Over the warmer months when the heat is not in use, the dust from your home can settle in the vents and around the heating elements or combustion chamber in your furnace. So which odors are worth worrying about and which odors can you safely ignore? In these types of furnaces, you’ll want to change the oil filter to ensure overheating does not occur. If this catches on fire, it can cause a burning smell and even smoke. In some cases, dampness can lead to mold. If there is a natural gas leak in your home, turn off your system immediately. Heat-damaged circuit boards can also give off acrid plastic odors. My home is 5 yrs old.. Dusty and/or musty heating system smells are completely normal. For example, if your furnace smells like sewage, the odor likely comes from a sewer system opening that is near your intake system. For example, it’s common for your furnace to smell the first time you turn it on during a season. If you smell electrical burning, immediately turn of your system in order to prevent a fire. If you suddenly get a strong whiff of this highly unpleasant odor after you’ve started your furnace, shut it down and exit your home immediately. Is it dangerous? These parts will need to be replaced, but this is generally a … You will need a trained professional to assess your system during a heating service appointment and repair it before it can be safely used again. Open your windows in order to increase ventilation and call an HVAC service professional for a heating service appointment. Have your furnace inspected annually by Miller’s Heating & Air to look for faulty components, general wear on the unit and a cleaning of your unit. Your furnace is not used during the warm months. The fumes can be dangerous and may signal a crack or misalignment in your oil burner. If you smell this type of odor, it could indicate a natural gas leak that could cause a catastrophic fire or explosion in your home. Dust and dirt build up on your furnace and in your duct work when it’s not in use. Some observations: It smells like diesel exhaust, although when asked if it smells like fresh oil, maybe that too. A burning oil smell only applies to home owners that have an oil furnace. An annual maintenance completed by trained technician should take care of this problem. Items can fall next to an oil furnace pilot light and catch on fire. How to prevent oil burner puffbacks: be alert for signs of a developing oil burner puffback situation such as sooty heating equipment operation, heating oil odors, and stumbling oil burner operation. Inhaling natural gas is a health hazard, which can result in nausea, fatigue, dizziness and breathing issues. im having the same problem it kind of smells like a old heater that's heating up and burning thedust off but it just keeps getting stronger. A smell like singed wires likely indicates an overheating metal component, while a more metallic smell may come from a damaged rubber component. After a few heating cycles, the odor should clear up on its own as the last of the dust is burned away. However, there are some heating system smells that indicate a leak and potential health hazard to your family. If the musty odors don’t go away or they get stronger as time goes on, then you may be dealing with mold or mildew. If the smell isn’t coming from the vents, it’s most likely a leak at a pipe fitting or within the equipment. Exhaust fumes inside are more hazardous because they can contain carbon monoxide. It is only noticible when the furnace kicks on but BEFORE the fan starts blowing. You have noticed an odd smell coming from your furnace. The accumulated dust eventually burns away when you finally fire up your furnace, producing a tell-tale burning odor. First, it can fill your home with carbon monoxide. When an oil burner ignites, it pressurizes the combustion chamber for a few seconds. A cracked heat exchanger is extremely dangerous for two reasons. What do you do now? Bacteria builds up in your system over time and causes the smell. It could also mean a failing fan motor and that could mean you need a new furnace! I pushed the button that makes it run until you push it again and just got cold air. What is the culprit? You might have an oil leak somewhere or a crack in the heat exchanger depending upon when you smell the odor. You should schedule service as soon as possible to correct this situation. Burnt dust isn’t a problem for your furnace in most cases. An electrical burning smell coming from your furnace indicates that it’s overheating. We have these strict policies in order to protect our customers and home owners. Electrical Burning Smells Electrical and metallic odors generally stem from excessive heat within your furnace. If you smell a smoky smell coming from your heater, you will want to call an HVAC technician right away. Oil leaks can also cause odors, so have a heating and cooling professional carefully inspect your furnace for leaks. I less the reset button and it lit, but then, black smoke came out from the exhaust. If you smell a strong odor of fuel, there could be a problem with the burners within the furnace. Utility companies and fuel providers put odor-causing substances in normally odorless natural gas. When the furnace is turned on, the dust gets burned off. Oil odors. Make sure to keep debris and items far away from your oil furnace to prevent them from catching on fire. He has cleaned twice and checked for leaks and put his carbon monoxide sniffer near the unit and it does not show any traces.He thinks the wind is blowing the exhaust … Alienum phaedrum torquatos nec eu, vis detraxit periculis ex, nihil expetendis in mei. Your furnace is not used during the warm months. Like metallic odors, the smell of burning plastic usually indicates the damage or failure of a plastic furnace component. Eos ei nisl graecis, vix aperiri consequat. It is far worse when firing the furnace with a cold chimney. Oil leaks can also cause odors, so have a heating and cooling professional carefully inspect your furnace for leaks. The smoke from the unburned oil can move into the surrounding fresh air chamber–the heat exchanger—that then circulates into the house. Moldy furnaces are more common in areas with high humidity and in homes where the furnace stays cool and damp. If your furnace is the source of the gas leak, contact an HVAC professional and have them repair or replace your unit. No matter what odors your furnace makes, you can count on your HVAC professional to sniff them out. If you smell any metallic odors coming from your furnace, shut the unit down and have your HVAC technician search for any issues that could cause overheating. Your furnace can also give off musty odors upon startup, especially if your furnace shares the same air handler as your split air conditioning system. Oil fumes themselves--not the byproduct exhaust--are not often harmful in the long-term. Contact our team of knowledgeable experts at Advanced Heating & Cooling for your heating needs throughout Boise and the surrounding area this season. Sometime last spring, I started getting an exhaust smell when the furnace would kick on. If you filled the oil tank, any spillage may give off an odor as it dissipates. Smoky odors when your furnace is operating. 4. Smoky odors when your oil burner is operating. The oil furnace is direct,power vented. You can dust and vacuum your furnace to remove some surface dust and minimize burning odors, but not much else needs to be done. Could be just a cleaning and nozzle, filter & screen replacement or could be something else like a oil line or valve leak.also check the condition of the chimney and flue. If you have an oil furnace, your unit might not ignite all the oil that passes through the burner. The smell of dirty socks is never pleasant. Noxious Fumes. 6. Natural gas and propane are odorless and colorless in their natural states, making them nearly impossible to detect. Wear and tear on components such as bearings and the blower motor can cause them  to malfunction leading to overheating. Common Furnace Odors. Determine the type of odor and that will send you in the direction you need to look Raw fuel = Tank leaks and or fuel line leaks. Mold. Reply: Mike your oil burner needs to be serviced by a professional. Furnace guys don't think it smells like combustion fumes but can't describe the smell either. Operating your furnace in this condition could lead to further electrical damage and the risk of electrical shock. It would only last for a few seconds and would come and go- somedays we'd notice it, and somedays nothing. Natural gas is odorless. As you settle in for a spectacular fall in the Treasure Valley, chances are you’re starting your furnace for the first time in months. Musty odors can manifest themselves from dark and damp environments, especially after long periods of inactivity. Whenever you smell burning plastic from your furnace, have your HVAC technician check the unit for any signs of damage. For this reason, natural gas and propane suppliers add methyl mercaptan, an organic compound, to their gases prior to distribution. Another possible cause is an issue with the oil and the burner. That odor means electrical components and/or wires are getting scorched because of a short or some other malfunction. The first time you turn on the furnace it will most likely smell dusty or musty. The smell starts when the furnace is on and is stringer when the furnace enters stage 2. In the case of oil in your exhaust, it is important that you address the problem immediately. If your oil furnace is working properly, you should never smell fuel oil. A partially or completely blocked exhaust chimney can redirect noxious exhaust odors back into your home. Gas companies have added a chemical to the gas, which causes it to smell like rotten eggs and/or sulfur so home owners know when there is a gas leak. Your email address will not be published. Heating system smells that smell like rotten eggs or sulfur indicates a natural gas leak. Electrical shorts caused by damaged or unshielded wiring can create sparks and melt wiring insulators. 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