Is Your Furnace Producing a Weird Odor?

Yesterday was the start of fall, and with the change of the season came a massive chill. For some of you, that may have meant turning on your furnace. Whether it be with oil, gas, or electricity, furnaces heat your home all winter long. When your furnace starts to show symptoms of a possibly serious issue, it is important to figure out the issue before the unit malfunctions and stops producing heat. One of these symptoms is odor. Some odors being coming from your furnace are fine to ignore, but others show the need for maintenance and repair.Dusty or Burning Odors- This odor may have been something you experienced if you cranked up your furnace yesterday. When your furnace doesn’t run for multiple months, dust can gather in the combustion chamber. Dust will burn off and release a burning odor and a small amount of smoke when the furnace starts up again. Dirty filters full of dust can make the problem worse, but also new furnaces can produce a burning odor because the oil used to keep the components from rusting burns off. If this odor continues beyond the first day of furnace use, it is something else burning inside your furnace, and a professional technician should be called.
Musty Odors- If you smell a damp, musty odor of mold or bacteria, it means that you need to clean your condenser pump. The condenser pump on your furnace collects water from your furnace system and needs a cleaning annually. Dust and water collected in the pump can produce mold and bacteria. If once your condenser pump is cleaned, you still smell the musty odor, then the problem is not within your furnace, but is somewhere else in your home.
Fuel Smells- If you are smelling the “rotten eggs” gas odor in any room away from your furnace, it is pertinent to exit the house and call the fire department. This could be a sign of a serious gas leak that could lead to an explosion, Oil and natural gas-powered furnaces typically produce a small odor of burnt fuel, but smelling unburnt fuel can be a serious hazard.
Electrical Smell- Most cases of electrical odors are coming from broken or malfunctioning parts within the furnace. Electrical odors smell like hot metal or an overheated iron. A dirty air filter will increase the chance of electrical components overheating. Once they are broken, they need to be replaced.
If you are experiencing any odors from your furnace, or if your HVAC system is not running properly, call MTB Heating and Air. Right now, MTB is offering an $89.00 heating system checkup that will even detect deadly carbon monoxide leaks. If you haven’t turned on your furnace yet, it is beneficial to get a furnace checkup to make sure your home is heated all winter long.