The real question is what to do about them. When in doubt, contact Optimum Air to come check things out, because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on the more common furnace odors and one or two probable causes of each.
While natural gas is odorless, all gas companies add that familiar rotten egg scent so that, in case of a gas leak, you’ll notice it and be able to respond in a hurry. If, for example, you’re as far away from your furnace as you can be – and it’s the only gas burning appliance in the house – open windows as you exit the premises while gathering other family members along the way. Don’t touch any light switches, either. Then call the gas company from a safe distance to investigate the source of the leak.
If, on the other hand, the scent is confined to a single supply vent or two, it might not be gas that you smell at all. Instead, it could mean that dust that has settled on the heat exchanger through the warm months that, when burned off, can emit a gas-like odor. If that’s the case, the odor will eventually go away on its own.
Damp or Musty Smell
A damp or musty smell comes from water or moisture that, in turn, might signify a leak in your ductwork or a drip pan that needs to be emptied and cleaned. Wherever the smell is coming from, it should be tracked down and dealt with sooner than later as water and moisture create a perfect breeding ground for mold, the spread of which can cause ill health effects such as allergies and asthma.
If the smell of an electrical discharge is invading your nostrils, start by inspecting the air filter located inside your furnace. If it’s clogged or super dusty, then clean or replace it as needed. Electrical odors can also signify worn parts or loose electrical wiring, and those are more serious problems that should prompt a call to Optimum Air for closer examination
A burning smell can be caused by a clogged filter or from dust that’s being burnt off by the heat exchanger. This is the kind of odor you’re most likely to pick up the first time you turn on your furnace for the season.
And speaking of early in the season, now’s the perfect time to contact Optimum Air Co for our multi-point heating system tune-up and inspection. In the process, we check out all mechanical and electrical functions, test your thermostat, replace your filter, measure temperature differentials, and much more. Contact us today to schedule service for a season long of improved heating system performance and safety.
Contact us to schedule service or request a quote