Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now having a weird smell? You’re not alone, because plenty of other homeowners also experience this at first. Let’s review what’s leading to this smell, and when you can anticipate it to disappear, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t neglect.

Why Your New Furnace Smells

There are two reasons why a new furnace might smell.

Protective Coating

Your furnace has a special finish on specific parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely gets rid of gases including carbon monoxide naturally produced during the heating process.

When your furnace operates for the first couple of times, the coating may give off a burning smell. This is typical and the smell should disperse the more your furnace runs.

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to connect with a heating and cooling company if the smell lingers. A burning smell that remains can mean the motor is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other problems.

Dust

Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s not running in warm weather. That dust will burn off when you turn on your furnace in the fall, creating a burning smell. This smell should subside within a few minutes.

One way you can reduce or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done each year. This is needed to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty valid, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run smoothly during the upcoming heating period.

3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Disregard

While it’s less common for a new system to necessitate furnace repair, it can happen. Here are three other scents you should keep an eye out for and what they might mean.

  1. Burning plastic or rubber. If your furnace smells like burning plastic, you might have an electrical issue. Electrical wiring is coated in plastic to prevent shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this preventive coating. To prevent a fire, switch off your furnace immediately and have it checked out by an HVAC technician.
  2. Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to signal you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off right away, get out of your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you sick, plus it’s extremely flammable and explosive.
  3. Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew growing in your ductwork. We suggest having your ductwork examined and cleaned if necessary.

Now that you are aware which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re well-equipped to take care of your new furnace. If you’re worried about a weird odor, our May's Heating & Air HVAC technicians can help. Call us at 301-690-0397 to schedule your appointment today. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Frederick and surrounding communities.