There Are Odd Smells Coming From My Vents

Posted: February 21, 2022

Does my furnace need to be repaired?

furnace smells maineAs winter keeps its icy grip on Central Maine and that darned groundhog says it’s going to be sticking around for several more weeks, you’re going to be relying heavily on your furnace to keep you and your home warm and safe.

If you maintain your furnace properly with annual maintenance tune-ups by Murray-Heutz’s experienced and skilled service technicians, it will usually do its job without problems. But sometimes, your furnace will let you know there’s a problem, possibly in the form of strange odors.

Odd smells coming from your furnace or vents can indicate several problems, some more serious than others. Here are some of the more common furnace odors, what they mean, and what to do about them.

A dusty or burning smell

A dusty, burning odor emanating from your furnace vents might be rather common in the early part of the year. Your furnace may be burning away dust and debris accumulated since last winter. If the odor persists, change your furnace’s air filter which should be replaced at the start of the season and inspected once a month thereafter. If your ductwork has not been cleaned in the last three to five years, schedule a cleaning. If these do not work, contact us for a service call.

Metallic or electrical smells

Electrical smells (think of the smell of burning wire) are typically a sign of overheating. If your furnace is shutting periodically off for no apparent reason, it could be a sign that your heating equipment is protecting itself. A similar odor is a mechanical smell, which could indicate that rubber or metal parts are burning due to wear and tear. Either way, shut your heating system down and contact us for service right away.

Noxious exhaust odors or smoke

These odors might suggest an exhaust chimney obstruction, which can be either partial or complete. If this is the case, there’s the chance of carbon monoxide building up in your house. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and potentially deadly. Turn off the furnace immediately and get in touch with us. Now is a good time to check your carbon monoxide detectors and replace them if needed. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement, as well as outside all sleeping areas.

Rotten-egg smell

In most cases, a rotten egg smell coming from your furnace indicates that you have a gas leak. If you do, follow these propane safety procedures immediately:

For quality service of your home’s heating system, you can count on Murray-Heutz every time! Contact us for your furnace’s maintenance and repair services.