The first time you turn on the heat during the cold season, it is normal to smell a slight burning smell. However, this odor should be short-lived, and it should not be strong. If the scent you detect in your home does not meet either of these benchmarks, you may have a problem. Learn more about what is behind furnace odors so that you can learn more about what repairs may be necessary.
A smoky-like smell could be a sign that your furnace is overheating. A furnace can overheat for a variety of reasons, including a dirty air filter, excessive dust collection, or a mechanical issue, such as a failing motor. With the dirty air filter and excessive dust, replacing the filter or cleaning the unit often resolves the issue.
However, with a failing motor, the smell could be the result of the motor working overtime, which, in turn, causes it to overheat and produce the scent you detect. System overheating will cause the furnace to fail prematurely, so have repairs performed right away.
A dangerous reason for an odor when the furnace is operating is electrical damage. If this issue is to blame, it is common to detect a smell that is like that of burning plastic or a metallic smell. Particularly if your furnace is on the older side, this scent could be an indication that the wiring inside the furnace is in bad shape and in desperate need of replacement.
Keep in mind that wires burning inside the furnace can lead to an electrical fire, so you must have a repair professional come to your home and inspect the unit.
One of the more severe problems behind a furnace producing a foul odor is a gas leak. This odor will typically produce a sulfur scent that is reminiscent of rotten eggs. If you detect this odor and you have a gas-powered furnace, you should turn it off immediately and contact a repair professional.
Particularly if you only detect the scent when the furnace is on, a repair professional will need to come out and inspect your furnace to determine where, exactly, the leak is coming from so that it can be repaired. If you fail to correct the issue, there is a potential that you could have an explosion in your home.
If you have an issue with your furnace, do not wait until it gets worse. Procrastination can lead to more costly and complex repairs, so contact an HVAC professional at your earliest convenience. Click here to learn more about heating repair services.