According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating systems are the third leading cause of house fires. Now that you are using your heating system frequently during these cold months, it is important to identify any gas furnace odor.
Common Gas Furnace Odors
Which gas furnace odor should be worrying out, and which can you just ignore? The following are the most common odors you may encounter as you operate your furnace this season.
#1 Sulfuric Odor
Let us begin with the most dangerous furnace odor; a gas leak.
If you use natural gas to heat your home and smell something similar to rotten eggs, you need to open all the windows and leave your home immediately. This odor means there is a gas leak, and an explosion could occur.
After you leave your home, call the fire department right away. Next, call your gas company. Do this as soon as possible!
#2 Burning Odor
A furnace burning smell could be dust in your heating system or a very old air filter. This odor occurs when you haven’t used your furnace in a while. This furnace odor is from dust gathered in the combustion chamber.
Your furnace filter needs to be replaced if it is full of dust. Another possibility could be debris in the ductwork melting. Call a professional if the burning smell continues after the first day of use.
#3 Musty Odor
A musty or damp smell could mean you have mold in your furnace or its ductwork. This smell might mean your condenser pump needs a good cleaning. The collection of water and dust in the condenser pump can cause mold to grow.
If your home still smells musty, you could have mold growing somewhere else in your home, and you should call a professional.
#4 Electrical Odor
An electrical odor will smell like hot metal or a burning iron. This smell can mean a variety of things.
Electrical odor means there is a loose electrical connection. A mechanical malfunction can also cause this odor. A dirty air filter can also be the root of the smell by restricting the airflow and causing the heater to overheat.
#5 Oil Odor
This particular smell usually means there is an oil leak or your oil burner is not working properly. Luckily, any gas furnace leaks are easy to spot. Look on the floor around your oil burner for oil drips.
How to Prevent a Gas Furnace Odor
There are a couple of things you can do to minimize the risk from gas furnace odor.
- Buy a carbon monoxide detector.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and deadly. Spending a few extra dollars on a carbon monoxide detector is useful for the early detection of any odor.
- Maintain your furnace.
Having regular furnace maintenance will keep your system well and keep your home and your family safe.
If you notice a strange smell coming from your furnace, consider scheduling a professional inspection. Even harmless odors can be dangerous for your home, no matter what odors your furnace makes. Taking action against any gas furnace odor could save your home and your family.