Troubleshooting Furnace Smells

What Do Different Furnace Smells Mean in Matthews, NC?

December 27, 2020

While the furnace in your home in Matthews, NC, will probably never smell like roses, there are a number of unusual odors it could emit. Certain odors actually give you a clue into problems in your heating system, so you’ll have time to call for repairs before those problems worsen.

Rotten Egg Smell

If you smell something like sulfur, rotten eggs or even a skunk, be sure to investigate it. This is one of the most notable odors that alert you to a dangerous gas leak.

If you do smell something that you suspect is natural gas coming from your furnace, don’t operate any electrical switches. Rather, open windows to increase ventilation, get to a safe place and call an HVAC comfort advisor to investigate and repair the leak.

Locker Room Smell

If you have teenage boys, you may think the smell is coming from their shoes. However, a furnace can generate this peculiar odor.

Just like shoes, a furnace may generate this smell due to excess moisture, caused in this case by condensation. The constant cooling and warming of the coils cause this moisture, encouraging bacterial growth.

The best way to combat this smell is to schedule regular maintenance visits. During these visits, a comfort advisor will clean areas prone to this moisture, like the heat exchanger.

Ozone Smell

Ozone is a smell associated with electronics and described as metallic. When you smell this coming from your furnace, it indicates your system is drawing too much current, causing some of the electrical components to overheat.

The bearings in the circulating fan motor wear with age, causing the motor to bind. This produces extra resistance, which causes enough heat in the wiring to melt it and cause shorts. During your regular maintenance visits, a comfort advisor will inspect your wiring and components for signs of wear that could lead to this extra resistance.

Chemical Smell

Sometimes, you may notice a strong chemical smell like formaldehyde. If your furnace is emitting this odor, it likely means you have a cracked heat exchanger that needs replacement.

Call Caryl Mechanicals Heating & Cooling to schedule your furnace repair today. Our friendly professionals will inspect your system and provide dependable solutions.

Image provided by iStock

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