Posted: February 3, 2020

Odd Smells In Your Vents? Does Your Furnace Need Repair?

odd smells coming from vents Hudson Valley

This is the time of year when you rely most on your furnace to keep you warm and safe – and if you maintain your heating equipment properly, it will usually do its job without complaint. But sometimes, your furnace will let you know it’s not happy – sometimes in the form of strange odors.

Odd smells coming from your furnace or vents can indicate several problems, some more serious than others.

Three of the most common furnace odors and what to do about them.

  1. Dusty/burning smell – A dusty, burning smell coming from your furnace can be quite common, especially if it’s early in the season; your furnace could simply be burning away accumulated dust and dirt. If the smell persists, try replacing your furnace air filter, which should be changed at the beginning of the season and checked one a month thereafter. If that doesn’t work, call for heating service and repair.
  2. Electrical or metallic smells – Electrical smells (think of the smell of burning wire) are typically a sign of overheating. If your furnace is shutting periodically off for no apparent reason, it could be a sign that your heating equipment is protecting itself. A similar odor is a mechanical smell, which could indicate that rubber or metal parts are burning due to wear and tear. Either way, shut your heating system down and call for service immediately.
  3. Rotten egg smell – In most cases, a rotten egg smell coming from your furnace indicates that you have a propane gas leak; if you do, follow these procedures immediately:
    • Avoid touching any equipment that could cause a spark (lights or light switches, appliances, telephones, cell phones, etc.); a spark can cause an explosion.
    • Get everyone (including pets) out of your house immediately and call 911 from a safe distance away.
    • 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.
    • 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 problems? We can help! Our highly trained heating technicians will get your equipment repaired quickly and do the job right so you can enjoy reliable heating service all season long. If your heating equipment needs to be replaced, we can help you there, too, with expert high-efficiency heating system installations in the Hudson Valley!