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Common Gas Furnace Odors and What They Might Indicate


While the every once-in-a-while funny odors you smell when your furnace kicks on don’t always indicate that something is wrong, there are some that might hint it’s time to do some investigating. What’s more, some odors might suggest your furnace might need minor repairs whereas others signify you have an emergency on your hands, and a professional heating technician should be called immediately.

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Here are some odors, and what you should do if they are apparent:

Rotten Egg Smell.

If you walk into your home or wake up one morning smelling rotten eggs, it’s time to shut off your furnace, open your windows, and call someone right away. If you didn’t know, the reason you are most likely smelling rotten eggs is because gas companies add a chemical to the gas to help guarantee it is detected in the event of a leak (as natural gas does not have an odor.) In all, if you smell rotten eggs, you need to take action immediately.

Electrical Burning Smell.

Not every burning smell you sense means that something is on fire. In the case of your furnace, that electrical burning odor you smell is likely a sign that the appliance is overheating, or that some other metal or rubber components are wearing down. While a smell like this doesn’t necessarily have to be addressed immediately, you should have someone out within the next week to prevent further problems from happening. Furthermore, if your furnace is overheating, you might find yourself with a higher energy bill at the end of the month!

Dusty and/or Moldy Smell.

It’s typical for you to smell a dusty and/or moldy odor right after you turn on your furnace for the first time. But, if either one of these two smells does not go away after a couple of days, it’s worth it to call someone. Other causes of these smells could be a dirty air filter and mold developing in your ventilation system.

If you are consistently smelling an awful odor, and your furnace and/or heating system is acting out of the ordinary, it’s time to get in touch with a heating company. To learn more about what to do if you smell certain odors, or how we can eradicate them, please browse our website, or reach out to us at any time.