You have just turned on your furnace for the first time in the fall or winter and are met immediately with an odd burning smell. Does this smell mean your furnace is unsafe? Should you shut it off immediately?

Burning smells coming from your furnace can be frightening, but they are more common than most people realize. When dust builds up on the heating coils, it can trigger a burning smell when you first turn on your furnace for the season. As the dust burns away, the smell will stop. If the burning continues after the initial startup period, you could be facing significant problems.

Why Does My Furnace Smell Like Gunpowder?

If your furnace suddenly starts smelling like fireworks on the Fourth of July, your home is not in danger, but your unit is. Gunpowder smells usually come from a fried circuit board or a blown fan motor. Safety dictates that you shut off your furnace and seek professional repair.

My Furnace Has a Smoky Smell

If you have an oil furnace, you can expect to smell some smokiness. Smoky smells are byproducts of your furnace burning oil. A smoky smell doesn’t necessarily mean that your furnace has a problem, but you do need to keep in mind that the smell could affect your indoor air quality. We urge you to learn more about air filtration from Element Air LLC.

My Furnace Smells Like Burning Plastic

When you smell that unmistakable burning plastic smell, you instantly know something is wrong with your furnace. Burning plastic smells can come from a variety of sources. You might have a foreign object in your furnace, such as kids’ toys or plastic utensils. When they begin to melt, they’ll cause a powerful chemical odor.

Occasionally, wear and tear are enough to cause burning plastic smells. In this case, the plastic sheath of the wiring is melting, and it could leave you vulnerable to fires. A professional furnace technician can help you identify the source of the smell and protect your home.

The smell of burning plastic can also indicate that your furnace’s motor is overheating. You’ll need to shut the furnace off immediately and seek professional repair.

My Furnace Smells Like Rotten Eggs

Why do your vents smell like rotten eggs? No, your kids probably didn’t lose an egg in there. The smell of rotten eggs is added to natural gas to make leaks more noticeable, which means that if you smell rotten eggs coming from your furnace, you need to get out of your house right away and call the local authorities to check the safety of your home. You also need to call the gas company to shut off the gas and an HVAC technician to complete an immediate repair.

My Furnace Smells Fishy

Many people do not realize a fishy smell can mean you have a burning wire problem. The electrical components have chemical coatings on them to offer protection. When these chemicals begin to become overheated, they can smell like fish. Ignoring such a smell could lead to fires or electric shocks. Here at Element Air LLC, we handle finding the cause of your fishy furnace smell and offer repairs to ensure your unit is safe to operate.

My Carbon Monoxide Detector Keeps Going Off

You may not notice any odors, but if your carbon monoxide detector is constantly going off, there is likely a dangerous problem, such as a gas leak. If you have a gas, oil, or propane furnace, burning fossil fuels leads to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

You may also notice soot around your furnace or a yellow pilot light. These are serious issues that should prompt you to seek immediate repairs. We will help you find the solution to your carbon monoxide problems and ensure your home is safe again.

Keep Your Furnace Operating Safely

Keeping your furnace operating safely is essential to prevent illnesses, injuries, and fires. One of the most critical things you can do to protect your furnace function is to change your filters regularly. A dirty filter does not allow for proper airflow.

You should also keep flammable materials away from your furnace. Items left near the furnace can become hazardous because of heat exposure. Inspect your furnace room regularly to ensure there are no dangers.

Finally, you need to schedule annual maintenance. We recommend scheduling furnace maintenance in the early fall before you turn on your furnace for the season. We will inspect every aspect of your furnace to ensure it operates safely. These tune-ups keep your system working efficiently and expand its lifespan. Call Element Air LLC to schedule your furnace services today.

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