My Furnace Smells Funny – What’s Wrong?

what furnace smells mean massachusettsIf you have your propane heating furnace maintained by professionals every year, chances are it will go about its job with minimal problems for most of its lifespan. But as it ages, your furnace can start to break down – and one of the warning signs you’ll encounter as it does are strange odors.

What Furnace Odors Mean

Here are four common furnace odors, and what they could mean for your heating equipment:

  1. A dust-burning smell is normal early in the heating season as your furnace burns away offseason dust and dirt; the smell should go away after few hours. If it doesn’t, try replacing your air filter (which you should do at the beginning of the season anyway) before you call us for service.
  2. A burning wire/electrical smell is typically a sign of overheating. If your furnace is cycling (turning on and off) for no apparent reason, it could be your equipment protecting itself from this problem. Give your furnace a rest for a few hours; if the problem returns when you try it again, contact us for service.
  3. A worn-out rubber or grinding metal smell can indicate a serious problem (a worn out or broken part, or something more significant) that needs immediate attention; shut your heating system down and call a heating expert right away. Depending on the age of your equipment, it may be more sensible to replace your furnace than to repair it; we can help you make the call.
  4. A rotten egg smell indicates that you have a propane gas leak; if you have a propane leak, follow these procedures immediately:
    1. Avoid touching any equipment that could cause a spark (lights or light switches, appliances, telephones, cell phones, etc.); a spark can cause an explosion.
    2. Get everyone (including pets) out of your house immediately and call 911 from a safe distance away.
    3. If it is safe to do so, turn off the propane gas at the tank; if you don’t know how to do this, ask us – it’s important information to know.
    4. When inspection teams say it is safe to return to your home, do so – but do not use your propane equipment again until it is inspected by a professional.

Having furnace trouble? Our expert technicians can help. We’ll diagnose the problem and get your equipment back up and running quickly – if we can’t fix your furnace, we’ll help you choose a new one that meets your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more about high-efficiency heating system repair and installation in western Massachusetts!