What Does the Odor Coming From the Furnace Mean?Furnaces are workhorse HVAC units that keep your Indianapolis home warm and cozy during the heating months. While furnaces will make noises common to their function, such as the sound of airflow from the vents or the blower motor, they shouldn’t create any odors. So, if you detect a furnace smell from the air vents, read on to learn what may be causing it and what to do.

Duct Obstructions

Obstructions in the air ducts are a common cause of odors. This could include vermin waste, mold and mildew or something that has fallen into a floor vent, such as a child’s toy or food. Use a flashlight to see if you can find the source of the odor. Or, better yet, schedule a furnace and duct cleaning with your HVAC professional.

Smells Like Rotten Eggs

The smell of rotten eggs from your furnace is a very dangerous sign. It means you have a natural gas leak somewhere, such as from a cracked heat exchanger. Natural gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless in its natural state, which is why utility companies add a chemical to it that smells like rotten eggs.

Burning Smell

Failing motor parts can give off a burning smell, such as burning electrical or metallic odor. This is usually caused by the blower motor. Turn off your furnace until your HVAC pro can fully inspect it. Another common burning smell is that of burnt dust. This often occurs at the beginning of the heating months when you turn on your furnace for the first time. This smell should go away after a few hours.

Musty Odors

Musty or earthy odors are often caused by mold and mildew development. Mold growth is most prevalent on the evaporator coil due to the large amount of water condensate produced during the cooling months. However, mold can also spread to the air ducts. In either case, or both, your system should be professionally cleaned.

If you need help remedying a furnace smell or need to schedule HVAC service for your Indianapolis area home, please contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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