Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now noticing an unusual smell? You’re not alone, because a lot of other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s leading to this smell, and when you can expect it to go away, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t disregard.

Why Your New Furnace Smells

There are two explanations why a new furnace might stink.

Protective Finishing

Your furnace has a special finish on certain parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely removes gases such as carbon monoxide naturally created during the heating process.

When your furnace starts for the first couple of times, the coating may give off a burning smell. This is normal and the smell should dissipate the more your furnace operates.

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to connect with a heating and cooling company if the smell lingers. A burning smell that sticks around can mean the motor is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other issues.

Dust

Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s not running in the spring and summer. That dust will burn off when you switch on your furnace in the fall, creating a burning smell. This smell should disappear 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 applicable, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run perfectly during the upcoming heating season.

3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Dismiss

While it’s less common for a new system to necessitate furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other scents 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 issue. Electrical wiring is coated in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this preventive coating. To hinder a fire, switch off your furnace as soon as possible and have it examined out by an HVAC technician.
  2. Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to alert you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off as soon as possible, evacuate your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, plus it’s very flammable and explosive.
  3. Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew growing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork inspected and cleaned if necessary.

Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re well-equipped to take care of your new heater. If you’re worried about a strange odor, our Heartland Heating & Cooling HVAC technicians can assist you. Call us at 515-344-3579 to schedule your appointment now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Des Moines and surrounding neighborhoods.