Heating and Air Conditioning
Furnace Repair | Furnace Inspection
Normal and Abnormal Odors in a Furnace
With heating being the second highest cause of house fires ignoring problems with a furnace can potentially put your family, as well as your home in danger.
Some odors from the furnace are normal, but the smell of something burning may indicate a serious problem. If it is the first time you have turned the furnace on for the season dust that settled on the burner is likely burning off. The odor should disappear fairly quickly.
A dirty filter can cause additional dust to migrate through the furnace creating a burning smell that occurs intermittently. A new, clean filter should eliminate this from occurring. It is best to always install a new filter before the heating season begins, and to change it regularly throughout the season. Doing so helps to promote cleaner air, protects the system from damaging dust, promotes energy efficiency, extends the service life of the unit, and protects against burning dust.
Burning dust can leave a residue behind adversely affecting the performance of the furnace. It is best to schedule a thorough tune-up, inspection and cleaning every fall before cold weather arrives. This will reduce the odor of burning dust and ensures that the furnace is safe to operate. It will identify any potential problems and typically, a problem corrected early avoids it becoming a larger problem (and more expensive to repair) later on. By repairing worn parts you avoid the increased risk of furnace failure during cold weather and reduce the risk of failures that could cause fire, or of deadly carbon monoxide entering the home from a gas furnace.
If you have ever smelled burning wire it is an odor you aren’t likely to forget. As electrical components and motors become worn you may notice the scent of hot or burning wires or rubber. To prevent further damage, as well as the risk of fire from electrical shorts, shut off the furnace and call your HVAC technician for repair.
Preventative maintenance inspections may also save your families lives. Each year we hear of entire families who lose their lives due to a faulty gas furnace and carbon monoxide poisoning. Over time burner chambers can rust and develop holes in the burning chamber, and ventilation flues may become clogged. This situation can cause deadly carbon monoxide gases to fill the home. An inspection prior to use of the furnace can prevent this unnecessary risk, as well as provide the best performance possible from the furnace, saving on energy costs.
Always have a carbon monoxide detector in homes that use gas or any other fossil fuel for heating.
If you smell gas you may have a gas leak, get your family as well as yourself out of the home immediately, once everyone is out of the home contact your utility provider immediately. Use your own judgment as to whether or not it is safe to do so. With a gas leak, it only takes one spark to ignite a deadly explosion. Gas leaks may smell like rotten eggs, sulfur or garlic depending upon the additive by your supplier to make gas leaks detectable.
Routine inspection and service is always important to maintain efficient and safe operation of any HVAC system, it is especially important for gas furnaces. If you haven’t already had your HVAC system cleaned and inspected schedule an appointment now. Your air conditioning can beat the rush with a pre-season tune-up and inspection and the furnace can be inspected to ensure safety and proper and efficient operation.
Contact Cypress’s Heating and Air Conditioning specialists for a thorough inspection and service of your heating and air conditioning system. Our certified technicians provide furnace repair and installation, and air conditioning installation, repair and service. We provide 24 hour emergency service for your convenience.