Furnace Smells Could Signal Problems: Here’s What You Can Do

Furnace Smells Could Signal Problems: Here’s What You Can Do

Furnace Smells Could Signal Problems: Here's What You Can DoYou’ve tried to ignore it, but you can’t deny it any longer – your home is plagued by unpleasant furnace smells. Although the reason for the odor coming from your heating system could be something basic, there are a number of reasons that your furnace may be producing smells.


  • First seasonal start-up – After hibernating all summer, your furnace is finally called to duty. Upon switching your system on, however, you notice a smell that reminds you of burning dust, which is exactly what it is. If this has happened to you, you’ll be relieved to know that this is typical of the first start-up of the season and can be minimized by changing your furnace filter and dusting off the grill before turning it on.
  • A dirty furnace filter –  Dirty filters can emit stinky furnace smells and can also lead to a host of other problems. Your filters should be changed out once a month during the heating season. If you’re unsure how to swap out or clean your filter, ask your HVAC technician during your next preventive maintenance checkup.
  • Dirty ducts – If you’ve noticed a constant burning smell in spite of a clean air filter, it’s a smart idea to have your HVAC contractor check out your ductwork and consider a good cleaning. Not only will this eliminate the odor, but it will also boost your indoor air quality.
  • High resistance – Do you ever close off registers in some rooms of your home? It’s okay to do this, but when you shut over 20 percent of your registers, it can lead to high resistance and heat buildup within your furnace, causing smoky furnace smells.
  • Overheating motor – If you notice a smoky smell, the culprit could be your motor going bad. Your contractor can tell you if this is the case or apply a lubricant to reduce friction and stop the motor from overheating.

And if you detect the smell of gas at any time, immediately leave your home and call 9-1-1 and your gas company.

To schedule service to diagnose your furnace smells, contact us at Powers Heating & Air. We proudly serve Peachtree City and the surrounding areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree, GA and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about furnace maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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