Are There Strange Smells Coming from Your Furnace?

Having a failing furnace in your home stinks – literally. If unusual odors are emanating from your furnace, your system may be in need of professional maintenance or furnace replacement. Here are a few malignant malodors and the potential problems they may indicate.

Acrid Burning

A slight burning smell after a period of disuse is no cause for concern. Dust often settles over components that haven’t been used in a while but usually burns off quickly and harmlessly. However, there may be trouble if the burning smell persists overnight or is sharp and acrid in nature. This kind of burning odor is potentially indicative of a malfunctioning blower motor or an electrical fire hazard. It’s best to turn your system off and contact a professional for prompt furnace repairs.

Rotten Eggs

If yours is one of the Atlanta homes heated by natural gas, an odor that resembles rotten eggs is bad news. It’s typically an indication that you have a problem with your gas supply. Natural gas is odorless, but mercaptan is added to make it easier to detect a leak. You can open windows for ventilation if the smell is faint, but a strong odor requires immediate evacuation. In either case, the risk of explosion means you should leave the area quickly. Call 911 or your local fire department and then notify your gas provider.

Chemical Odors

These unusual scents are more tricky. In some cases, a clogged furnace filter or liquid spilled on a register can produce vaguely chemical smells. These are fairly harmless, but a chemical odor can also indicate a cracked heat exchanger. This can potentially cause deadly carbon monoxide fumes to circulate throughout your home and requires immediate action. For this reason, it’s best to promptly shut down your system and call for furnace repairs.

It’s important to pay attention to any smells coming from your heating system. They’re often vital warning signs and can alert you to the need for furnace replacement or repairs. If you’ve noticed odors that are out of place, check out Zack Hammonds AC Heating Refrigeration’s furnace services or call (770) 661-0334.

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