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Does Your Furnace Smell?

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


Big Bear HeatingYour furnace pushes air through vents in every room of your home, so you want the best possible air quality coming through those vents. When you start to notice an odd smell throughout your house, the furnace could be the culprit. But what do furnace smells mean? Should you worry? Who should you call? These are all highly important questions and the following are some brief answers. For information regarding your specific furnace smell or issue, call our Big Bear HVAC technicians right away.

When is a Furnace Smell Normal?

Sometimes, a furnace smell is nothing to worry about, as it is part of the regular functioning of your HVAC system. For example, when you turn on your heat for the first time in the fall, your furnace will fire up and you may get a musty or burning odor in your home. After a couple of seasons of not using the furnace, it will need to get started and into gear, and dust likely accumulated near the heat exchanger. In most cases, the odd smell will only last about 30 minutes and you should not worry about it. On the other hand, if the smell does not go away, if it gets worse, or if another type of smell develops, there could be a problem.

The following are four smells you should be aware of and what to do if you smell them.

For musty odors – If you keep smelling a continuous musty or dusty smell, it could be a dirty or clogged furnace filter. This condition can restrict airflow and can also reduce the efficiency of your furnace, as well as affect the air quality in your home. If you change your filter, the smell should subside and your furnace may begin running as normal again. It is always a good idea to check your filters monthly to see if there are any signs of dirt or dust buildup. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your HVAC system running smoothly.

Burning odors – If it smells like something is burning in your HVAC system, it may be a sign that your motor is overheating. Overheating can result from the wear and tear on different parts of the furnace, and can lead to more serious issues, including potential electrical hazards. If you smell an electrical burning odor, turn your HVAC system off right away and call a technician who can check the various parts of your system and let you know if you need repairs.

Chemical odor – A chemical smell coming from your furnace can mean that you have a crack in your heat exchanger. This is a serious problem that could lead to the leakage of carbon monoxide into your house. You should contact our HVAC technicians immediately so that we can perform an emergency inspection of your HVAC system and let you know if you need an immediate repair. If any carbon monoxide detectors go off, make sure that you, your family, and any pets leave the house until the problem has been resolved. You should never ignore a chemical furnace smell or put off getting an inspection, as it could be dangerous for your household!

Rotten egg odor – If you start smelling rotten eggs throughout your house and you have a gas furnace, it could be a major sign that you have a gas leak. This is an emergency situation and you should take immediate action. Get everyone out of your house right away and call 911 once you get outside. Contact your gas provider and inform them of the possible leak. When not properly addressed, a gas leak can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning quickly or can even cause an explosion in your home.

No one wants to address an HVAC issue, and it can be tempting to wait and see if a smell goes away before taking any action. For certain smells, this may be okay, though failing to address the problem may cause more serious and costly damage. However, if you smell chemicals or rotten eggs, waiting to take care of the problem could be harmful to you and your family.

At Bear Valley Heating and Plumbing, we know how to inspect the cause of a weird smell coming from your furnace. It is always easier to have us inspect the matter rather than live with a bad smell in your home and the concern of what may be causing it.

Contact Our Big Bear Heating Professionals for More Information

Furnaces need maintenance and repairs – that is just a fact of life. Our technicians at Bear Valley Heating and Plumbing aim to make furnace maintenance as easy and affordable as possible for you. Whether you need a routine inspection or an emergency repair, we’re here to assist you. Call 909-584-4376 or contact us through our website to discuss your HVAC issues today.

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.

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