Is it Normal for a New Furnace to Smell?

December 08, 2021

Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now experiencing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because many other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s creating this smell, and when you can expect it to disappear, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t ignore.

Why Your New Furnace Smells

There are two reasons why a new furnace might stink.

Protective Coating

Your furnace has a special finish on certain parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely exhausts gases such as carbon monoxide naturally created during the heating process.

When your furnace runs for the first couple of times, the coating may give off a burning smell. This is normal and the smell should go away the more your furnace heats.

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to call a heating and cooling company if the smell continues. A burning smell that sticks around can mean the motor is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.

Dust

Dust collects inside your furnace when it’s idle in warm weather. That dust will burn off when you turn on your furnace in the fall, creating a burning smell. This smell should go away within a few minutes.

One way you can lessen or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done each year. This is required to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty valid, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run properly during the upcoming heating season.

3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Disregard

While it’s less common for a new system to require furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other odors you should look out for and what they might mean.

  1. Burning plastic or rubber. If your furnace smells like burning plastic, you might have an electrical problem. Electrical wiring is covered in plastic to prevent shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To prevent a fire, turn off your furnace right away and have it inspected out by an HVAC technician.
  2. Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to alert you when there’s a leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off right away, leave your home and call 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you sick, plus it’s extremely flammable and explosive.
  3. Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew flourishing in your ductwork. We advise having your ductwork checked and cleaned if necessary.

Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re well-equipped to take care of your new furnace. If you have concerns about a strange odor, our Titan Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 514-600-5499 to schedule your appointment today. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Central Point and surrounding areas.