Is it Normal for a New Furnace to Smell?

December 08, 2021

Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now noticing a weird 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 anticipate 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 Finish

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

When your furnace operates for the first couple of times, the coating may emit a burning smell. This is standard and the smell should dissipate the more your furnace runs.

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 accumulates inside your furnace when it’s not running in warm weather. That dust will burn off when you turn on your furnace in the fall, producing a burning smell. This smell should disappear within a few minutes.

One way you can lessen or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done every 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 need furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other odors you should watch 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 protect against shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this protective coating. To avoid a fire, shut off your furnace right away and have it inspected out by an HVAC technician.
  2. Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies add sulfur to natural gas to warn you when there’s a leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off right away, leave your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you sick, plus it’s highly flammable and explosive.
  3. Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew growing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork inspected and cleaned if necessary.

Now that you are aware which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re ready to take care of your new furnace. If you're worried about an odd odor, our Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling, Inc HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 740-474-5940 to schedule your appointment now. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Circleville and surrounding areas.