Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now noticing a weird smell? You’re not alone, because plenty of other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s creating this smell, and when you can expect it to go away, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t ignore.

Why Your New Furnace Smells

There are two factors why a new furnace might stink.

Protective Coating

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

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

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to connect with a heating and cooling company if the smell persists. A burning smell that remains can mean the motor has overheated 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 flip on your furnace in the fall, making a burning smell. This smell should go away within a few minutes.

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

3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Ignore

While it’s less common for a new system to need furnace repair, it can happen. Here are three other smells you should watch for and what they might mean.

  1. Burning plastic or rubber. If your furnace smells like burning plastic, you might have an electrical problem. Electrical wiring is protected in plastic to avoid shocks, and this smell is a signal that heat is melting this protective coating. To hinder a fire, turn off your furnace right away and have it inspected out by an HVAC technician.
  2. Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to signal you when there’s a leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off as soon as possible, evacuate your home and contact 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you unwell, plus it’s very flammable and explosive.
  3. Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew developing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork inspected and cleaned if needed.

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