Kick-starting a furnace’s use may leave some typical smell, but the persistent odour can indicate a leak, be worrisome and a health hazard for you and your family. Here are five furnace smells that you should take seriously.

1) Chemical Smell

If you sense a chemical smell like formaldehyde, this could mean your furnace’s heat exchanger is cracked. This type of smell is hazardous for two reasons. First, it can fill your home with carbon monoxide(CO) leading to CO poisoning and second, it can cause a house fire. If you smell chemicals out of your furnace, shut off the system immediately and call an HVAC professional at the earliest.

2) Rotten Egg Smell

If your furnace system lets out a rotten egg smell or sulphur, it indicates a natural gas leak. Natural gas is odourless, so the gas companies add chemicals to the gas, which causes it to smell like rotten eggs or sulphur to give you an indication of a gas leak. Inhaling such gas can adversely affect your health, causing fatigue, nausea, dizziness and respiratory issues. If you sense such a smell, immediately turn off the system, open the windows to increase ventilation and call a furnace expert right away. It is better to stay out of home until this issue is rectified.

3) Metallic or Electrical Burning Smell

A metallic or electrical burning smell is an indication that your furnace system is overheating. This extra heat can cause the rubber components to melt and create sparks, leading to a fire. It is best to shut the system down immediately and call an expert technician to assist you with the system before it causes any further damage.

4) Dusty or Musty Smell

A musty odour is probably due to moisture buildup in your duct system. This type of smell is entirely standard as dust and dirt tend to build upon your furnace when it is not in use. It releases a dusty or musty smell when you turn on the system for the first few times during the season. If the odour is persistent, the furnace experts suggest getting your air filter changed. You can either do this yourself or call a professional.

5) Burning Oil Smell

Homeowners with an oil furnace will face the issue of a burning oil smell. This occurs if the system burner doesn’t catch all of the oil and leads to oil fog. Another reason for a burning oil smell is that items may fall next to the oil furnace pilot light and catch fire. Also, if you spill oil while refilling the oil tank, it may leave a smell. If you notice this smell for a long time and if your system is about 15 years old, you should get it checked by an HVAC professional to either get it rectified or replaced by a modern furnace system as they are safer and more efficient.

Getting these smells checked and rectified at the earliest by an expert is best to reduce significant damage to your health and the system. One such furnace expert in Edmonton is Capital Plumbing and Heating that provide safe and affordable installation and maintenance services for your furnace system. Contact us today!