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Why is my furnace making a smell?

Many homeowners have been greeted by unfamiliar smells when turning on their furnace.

While some smells can be cause for concern, other smells are completely normal for a properly working furnace.

Here are a few smells that may be coming from your HVAC equipment and what they might mean. If you smell burning dust coming from your furnace, particularly at the beginning of the winter season, this is typically normal. Dust will build up in your furnace over the months that it’s not being used, and the first time you turn it on, some of that dust will burn. This smell typically goes away on it’s own within a couple of hours. If you smell burning metal, you may have components in your heater that have become too hot. If you smell this kind of smell coming from your furnace, it is a good idea to turn your furnace off and call an HVAC professional to come assess the problem. If you smell sulfur or rotten eggs, you may have a gas leak. Natural gas, on its own, is odorless, but a scent is added to it during the manufacturing process in order to alert people of a leak. If you smell sulfur or rotten eggs coming from your furnace, turn it off and call your HVAC provider immediately, as you may have a serious problem that can potentially cause harm or a fire. The best way to prevent these issues is to have regularly scheduled maintenance performed on your HVAC system. An experienced HVAC professional will be able to make sure that your system is running properly, and will make sure that problems are identified before you are disturbed by any problem smells.

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