When it comes to your furnace, strange smells are not something that should be taken lightly. That’s because when your furnace begins to give off a smell, the causes can range from completely normal to potentially life-threatening. So let’s get familiar with some of the most common causes behind furnace smells and what you should do if you ever happen to encounter them.

Possible causes of smells from your furnace

  • Furnace burning off dust. Furnace smells are often reported at the beginning of the heating season when your furnace is turned on for the first time. This usually comes in the form of some type of burning smell. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. After months of inactivity, dust builds up on the different components of your furnace. When your furnace heats up for the first time, it often burns that dust off. The burning smell should only last an hour or two. If you’d like to avoid this smell, schedule your annual furnace tune-up in the fall before the heating season so that your unit will be cleaned before you put it to use.
  • Furnace overheating. There are several different reasons why your furnace might start to overheat (we’ll save that for another blog post). In particular, your blower motor can be overworked and begin to give off a metallic burning smell. If you sense a strange burning smell from your furnace, especially if it’s any time after the first couple of days of use, be sure to contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning so we can inspect your system and fix the problem.
  • Gas leak. On its own, natural gas does not have a smell. Utility companies add a chemical to the gas that gives off a rotten egg-type smell so that you can be aware of gas leaks in your home. If you ever notice a rotten-egg smell in your air, evacuate your home immediately and call 9-1-1. Gas leaks can be extremely dangerous, which is why you don’t want to waste any time removing yourself and your family from the situation.

If you have any questions about strange smells coming from your furnace, or if you’d like an HVAC system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis heating and cooling company. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding cities like Chesterfield, Frontenac, and Town, and Country, MO.

photo credit: Cayusa via photopin cc

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