UPDATED: Furnace Smells - The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

What most homeowners do not realize is that their furnace is working 24/7, even in the Summer months. This is because the furnace distributes the cold air just like the warm air for the Winter time. The average furnace lasts about 15-20 years, and whether it is a gas or electric furnace, when it is nearing the end of its lifespan, it will provide you with common signs. 

One of the most common signs of a furnace that needs to be replaced is five different types of odors that will be smelt throughout the home. At ServiceOne, our Omaha furnace inspection helps many homeowners find potential problems early. Here are some smells to watch out for that may indicate an issue with your home’s furnace. 

Electrical, Metallic, or Overheating Smells

These smells are similar to burning wires, hot plastic, oil and rubber which are all very distinctive smells. This could be an indication that there is a foreign object trapped in the furnace or fan system, overheating or something is burning.

If you smell any of these electrical, metallic, or overheating smells, turn the furnace off immediately - even if it’s cold outside and in your home - and call for an Omaha furnace inspection with one of our technicians.

Rotten Egg Smell

This odor is most often indicative of a gas leak in your furnace. The situation is very serious and you need to take immediate steps. Over 73 million homes in the United States use natural gas as a heating element, and one of the most common issues with a furnace is a gas leak. 

If a homeowner starts to smell rotten eggs or notices the smell of gas within their utility room or other rooms within their home, it is imperative to evacuate and open the windows of the home. Do not ignore the smell because it can lead to serious physical health risks. 

Call the gas company and have them shut off the gas, and call a ServiceOne technician to come perform an inspection and help you navigate through this issue. 

Dusty burning or musty smells

This is one of the most common smells that people mention when they call us for furnace repairs. If you’re turning on your furnace for the first time of the season, chances are this smell just indicates that your system is burning away any dirt or dust that’s accumulated inside. Generally, this smell doesn’t last longer than the first few hours the furnace is on.

If the dusty smell doesn’t go away or you are experiencing a musty smell (which is most likely mold on your air filter), try replacing your air filter. It is important to note when you’ve changed the air filter so you can mark the next replacement date on your calendar and keep up with the manufacturer’s suggested schedule.

If time and a new air filter doesn’t get rid of the smell, it would be best to call for service. It may be in need of a deep cleaning or could be a serious problem with the furnace that only one of our ServiceOne technicians could repair.

Does your furnace have one of these funky odors?

Whether it’s a major fix or a minor maintenance check, get the help you need. Call ServiceOne and get an Omaha furnace inspection today!

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