Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

If Your Furnace Has an Odor When It’s On, There Could Be a Problem

With winter right around the corner, your furnace is in line for a serious workout. But does it pass the smell test? If your furnace has an odor, don’t hesitate to call an HVAC pro to conduct an in-depth system evaluation. Your heating unit may have a serious problem that requires immediate expert servicing. 

When you first turn your heater on each year, you may notice a musty smell which is normal, the odor might be similaIf Your Furnace Has an Odor When It's On, There Could Be a Problemr to a damp basement. But the smell should only be temporary; if it persists, there may be several critical things wrong with your furnace.

If you have an electrical burning smell coming from your furnace, the cause may be something as innocent as a loose object overheating inside your ductwork (your child’s missing toy, perhaps)? It may also be nothing more than a spill on one of your registers that has leaked into your ducts. But it might also mean you have a cracked heat exchanger or an overheated motor. If there does not appear to be any foreign items causing the odor in your ducts, call a pro immediately to give it a closer look.

If your furnace has an odor of oil when it first kicks on, there’s a good chance you have a clogged filter that should be changed immediately. To ensure your filter and the rest of your furnace’s components are ready to brave the winter, schedule an annual routine maintenance appointment with a qualified HVAC specialist.

A smoky odor coming your furnace, meanwhile, may indicate a blocked chimney. Instead of escaping out the top of your chimney, smoke is bellowing back into your furnace and flowing into your ductwork. Again, contact a Yuma, Arizona HVAC pro if your furnace reeks of smoke.

For more information or to consult one of our experts about an odor coming from your furnace, contact the Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace odors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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