Furnace Odors, and What They Mean

From the sweet smell of home-made pumpkin pie baking in the oven, to the smoky aroma of a wood- burning fireplace, autumn provides us with a symphony of fragrances that delight the senses.

But when it comes to your home, not all aromas are as pleasant. Some can even be an indication of a serious problem in immediate need of attention.

So, as you prepare to curl up on the couch with your slice of pie this season, be mindful of any odors that might fill the air once your heating system is turned on. While some are common and pose no serious risk, others could leave you out in the cold.

Burning Dirt and Dust

It’s common to notice a slight smell of burning dust as you fire up the furnace for the first time. This odor is caused by the heating up and burning of dust that has settled on the furnace as it sat idle and typically is no cause for concern. Having your furnace inspected and your filters cleaned or replaced will often prevent the odor and ensure that your heating system is ready for another long winter.

Musty Smell

A stale, musty smell coming from your home’s heating vents indicates that moisture has entered your heating system and mold or mildew has formed. Not only is mold a health concern, but cracks or gaps in your ductwork can cause heat loss and result in higher energy bills.

Electrical Odor

Over time, furnace components can wear out. If electrical wires are frayed or motors become damaged, you may notice an electrical burning smell as air is moved through the system.

Smoky Smell

If you detect the scent of smoke, check to see if registers are opened so warm air can move freely. A smoky smell also can indicate that a motor is over-heating. The motor may need to be lubricated or replaced.

Don’t take furnace odors laying down. Instead, contact Eagle Service Company for prompt, professional, and thorough attention. We are your complete resource for all things plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.