Five Reasons Your Furnace Might Smell

November 29, 2023

A strange odor when you run your heater can be alarming. If you’ve noticed something off about the air in your home, knowing what different smells mean can help you pinpoint which HVAC repairs your unit might need.

The top four most common furnace odors are broken down below to give you a better idea of what’s going on with your heating system.

If Your Furnace Smells Like Mold or Mildew

Mold can be caused by everything from a leaky pipe under the sink to a dirty coil in your furnace. While not all mold can cause illness or allergies, it’s still important to maintain your plumbing and HVAC systems to keep mold and mildew at bay.

If you’ve noticed a funky, mildew-y smell when you turn on your heater, you could have a mold problem. Regular HVAC inspections will ensure that your filters, coils and ducts are clean and dry to eliminate mold.

If Your Heater Smells Like Rotten Eggs

A rotten egg smell in your home requires an immediate call to your HVAC technician. The smell of a rotten egg is indicative of mercaptan, a chemical added to natural gas by utility companies to indicate a carbon monoxide leak. Since carbon monoxide is odorless, mercaptan is added to make leaks easily identifiable. 

If you notice this odor, immediately shut off all gas appliances and evacuate your home until your HVAC technician arrives.

If Your HVAC Unit Has a Sour Scent

A sour smell points to a problem with your heat exchanger: the component that transfers heat from the combustion chamber into the air blowing into your home. Not only does a sour smell indicate poor efficiency, but it could also point to a carbon monoxide leak. Noticing it means you should leave the property and get a repair person in as soon as possible.

If You Need HVAC Repairs For a Dusty Smell 

A  slight dusty smell when you turn on your furnace for the first time in a while is typical. On the other hand, a consistent dusty odor means it’s time for an HVAC maintenance appointment.

Annual heater maintenance is vital for keeping your air clean and your furnace operating efficiently. The ProFlo team is recognized across Temecula Valley for stellar HVAC and plumbing services and an even better customer experience. From minor HVAC repairs to heater replacement, our team has you covered. Call us today at 951-694-1300 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.


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