Your furnace shouldn't produce any smells. If you've noticed an odor coming from the furnace, it's time to do a little investigating to find out what's going on. Those smells could be a warning sign that there's something wrong that could be putting your home and your family in danger. Here, you'll find a little information that can help you determine what the smell is and what to do about it.
Electrical Burning Smell
You know that smell – the smell that comes when an electrical component is beginning to burn – don't ignore that smell – not for a second. The moment you get a whiff of an electrical fire coming from the furnace, go to the breaker panel, shut the power off to the unit and contact an HVAC technician immediately. The wiring inside the furnace may have frayed or it may have been chewed by a rodent and the smell is your warning. Continuing to use the furnace will likely result in a fire.
Unburnt Fuel Smell
The second you smell unburnt fuel in your home, get out immediately. Of course, you will get a whiff of unburnt fuels from oil and gas furnaces from time to time, but you should never get more than just a whiff – if it is a persistent smell, grab your family and your phone and get out.
Leave the doors open and call the fire department immediately. The fire department will have the tools needed to detect gas leaks and will be able to get the gas shut off until repairs can be made. They will air out the house and make sure that it's safe for you and your family to continue living in the home until the gas company or HVAC technician can make permanent repairs.
Burning Dust Smell
In most cases, the smell of burning dust isn't going to be anything too scary, but it does mean that the furnace needs a good cleaning. Typically, you'll only get this smell when the furnace fires up after sitting idle for several weeks or months, but if you've recently replaced the filter, some of the dust may have settled elsewhere and is burning off – no worries in most cases, but if the smell persists for more than an hour or two, contact your HVAC technician, such as from Soco Air Conditioning, for help.
These smells are usually a warning that there's something wrong. Listen to your nose when it tells you it's time to get out of the house and have your furnace inspected and repaired.
My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.