Have you recently had a new furnace set up and are now having a weird smell? You’re not alone, because many other homeowners also experience this at first. Let’s review what’s leading to this smell, and when you can anticipate it to subside, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t ignore.

Why Your New Furnace Smells

There are two reasons why a new furnace might smell.

Protective Finishing

Your furnace has a special coating on specific parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely gets rid of gases such as carbon monoxide naturally produced during the heating process.

When your furnace starts for the first couple of times, the coating may emit a burning smell. This is typical and the smell should go away the more your furnace heats.

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to call a heating and cooling company if the smell continues. A burning smell that remains can mean the motor is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other problems.

Dust

Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s not running in the spring and summer. That dust will burn off when you flip on your furnace in the fall, making a burning smell. This smell should subside within a few minutes.

One way you can lessen or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done every year. This is needed to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty valid, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run properly during the upcoming heating time of year.

3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Disregard

While it’s less common for a new system to necessitate furnace repair, it can happen. Here are three other odors you should keep an eye out for and what they might mean.

  1. Burning plastic or rubber. If your furnace smells like burning plastic, you might have an electrical difficulties. Electrical wiring is coated in plastic to avoid shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this protective coating. To prevent a fire, turn off your furnace as soon as possible and have it checked out by an HVAC technician.
  2. Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies add sulfur to natural gas to alert you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off as soon as possible, evacuate your home and call 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you unwell, plus it’s extremely flammable and explosive.
  3. Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew developing in your ductwork. We suggest having your ductwork checked and cleaned if needed.

Now that you understand which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re prepared to take care of your new furnace. If you’re worried about an odd odor, our Contra Costa Heating & AC HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 510-343-9841 to schedule your appointment right now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in The Bay Area and surrounding neighborhoods.