There are a number of issues that can arise when it comes to Edmonton heating and plumbing. When it comes to your furnace heater, one of the biggest issues you can run into is a series of odours. Typically, a rather unusual smell will start to come from the machine. In some cases, it’s a rather faint whiff that will make you wonder if it actually came from the furnace in the first place. Unfortunately, some odours will flat-out overwhelm you and whoever else lives in your home. 

However, it shouldn’t just be about the strength of the questionable odour. Certain smells need to be paid attention to rather immediately. This is because those smells are usually indicative of failure or damage in a unit. For you and your family to be safe in the home, it’s vital to familiarize yourself with typical odours made by a furnace. More importantly, you should be aware of what causes them.

Here are some of the most typical odours from a furnace you should beware of:


  • Locker Room or Dirty Socks


There are cases wherein bacteria ends up building up on the coils of a heating system. That’s generally referred to as dirty sock syndrome. In the autumn and spring seasons, the coils end up cooling when there’s a drop in the outdoor temperature. They end up reheating when the thermostat is turned up. Due to the constant cycle between cold and warm, a moist environment paired with condensation buildup will be the typical result.

When you’re looking to address this particularly unpleasant odour, nothing beats a good cleaning. Have the air filter replaced, then get the evaporator coils cleaned with a non-acid coil cleaner. In cases where the smell lingers still, a good rule of thumb is to call in an HVAC technician. This way, the air ducts and the entirety of the unit can be cleaned thoroughly.


  • Sulphur or Rotten Eggs


By default, natural gas is incredibly flammable. The combustibility leads it to become an inadvertent fuel source for multiple appliances across your home. Natural gas also poses a danger when inhaled, which causes irregular breathing, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. When there’s a gas- or propane-powered furnace that ends up smelling like sulphur or rotten eggs, there’s a huge chance a gas leak is involved.

Since there’s a high danger risk, gas leaks must be considered high-priority. The source of gas leaks should never be attempted to be traced or pinpointed without an expert. Leave your home and call a professional. This way, you will be sure that your home is safe when you return.


A number of odours can come from a furnace, though some can be so faint they may not register as having come from there. It’s key to watch out for the smell of sulphur or rotten eggs because that typically indicates a gas leak, which can lead to fatal consequences. Another smell to be wary of from your furnace is one that seems like a locker room or dirty socks, which can typically be resolved through cleaning.

Need to get a furnace replacement in Edmonton? Contact Capital Plumbing and Heating today! We provide all kinds of heating, plumbing, and air conditioning solutions.