What the Funny Smell Coming From the Furnace Could Mean
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What the Funny Smell Coming From the Furnace Could Mean


You just turned your furnace on for the first time this year. You notice a strange smell coming from furnace. Is this normal? Is this a sign of a serious problem? Learn the main causes and what to do when you have a smell coming from furnace.

Identify the Smell

Many different smells can come from your furnace – especially when you turn it on for the first time each year. The smell could be a minor or major problem. It is important to find the source of the smell to avoid costly repairs in the future. Here are the most common smells and their causes.

  • Dusty Smells – Minor – A dusty smell is normal when turning on the furnace for the first time each year. Dust collects on the air filter when not in use and should burn off in a short time.
  • Musty Smells – Minor – Mold on the filter causes musty smells. You can fix this problem by changing or washing and drying the filter.
  • Oil Smell – Minor/Major – A clogged filter can cause this smell and is a minor problem. Change the filter and the smell should go away. If the smell continues, call an HVAC professional to check for a possible oil leak. An oil leak can result in a major problem.
  • Smoke Smell – Major – A blocked chimney causes smoke to come out through the ductwork. Have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional.
  • Electrical Smell – Major – Burning plastic or metal smells mean a possible burned- out motor, frayed electrical wiring or malfunctioning electrical components. Have your furnace inspected.
  • Sulfur – Major – Caused by a gas leak in the main line or furnace possibly leading to an explosion.

Major or Minor – Get the Help You Need

The minor problems listed above are easy fixes. The major problems can lead to serious problems that need to be checked out for the safety of your family and to avoid costly repairs later on. Contact Roth Heating and Cooling and let us check out the smell coming from furnace for you today.

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