If you’ve noticed a strange smell coming from your furnace recently, especially this deep into the heating season, there is very likely something wrong with your unit that requires urgent furnace service.

A heating, cooling and ventilation professional will assess your heating system thoroughly, but we’ve provided a guide for you today that outlines what those strange smells likely mean:

When You Smell Rotten Eggs:

This is definitely the easiest smell to discern as it’s extremely strong and unpleasant. Most of the time, a rotten egg smell from your furnace indicates that there is a gas leak. Gas companies add this scent to gas (which is naturally unscented) to help warn homeowners of a leak. This is a serious problem as gas can cause an explosion. If you smell rotten eggs coming from your furnace, leave your home as soon as you can and call for emergency services to control the situation. After everything is deemed safe, you can call for heating service to make appropriate repairs to your heating system.

When You Smell Something Electrical or a Sharp Metallic Scent:

You will likely recognize this distinct, ‘burnt wire’ smell as it isn’t something you’ll smell often at home. These electrical smells indicate that parts of your furnace are overheating and can breakdown easily if that continues. A metallic smell, on the other hand, can be attributed to metal parts and plastic actually burning inside your furnace – usually due to old age and the wear and tear of parts. Turn off your furnace immediately and call for heating service to prevent serious damage to your unit. A professional will advise you on next steps and on future prevention.

When You Smell Burning Dust (After Your Furnace Has Been Running for a While!)

The smell of burning dust is very likely at the start of the heating season when things are starting to get moving again. However, smelling burning dust several months through the winter can signify a dirty air filter that needs to be replaced. Remember, air filters need to be switched out frequently according to your furnace manufacturer to ensure your system is running properly and efficiently. If switching out the filter doesn’t make the burning dust smell go away, you will likely need to call for heating service to check for any serious problems and to perform a deep cleaning of your unit.

The best way to stay on top of your furnace care is to schedule regular furnace maintenance. Our team of fully-licensed heating and cooling professionals here at JPS Furnace & Air Conditioning are ready to help you through all of your home comfort system needs all year ‘round!

If you’re smelling something strange coming from your furnace, don’t wait! Contact us today!

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