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 experience this at first. Let’s review what’s causing 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 coating on specific parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely gets rid of gases like carbon monoxide naturally produced during the heating process.

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

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to call a heating and cooling company if the smell persists. A burning smell that sticks around can mean the motor is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other issues.

Dust

Dust collects 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 go away within a few minutes.

One way you can decrease or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done each year. This is necessary 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 can happen. Here are three other smells 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 prevent shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this protective coating. To avoid a fire, turn off your furnace right away and have it checked 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 immediately, 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 needed.

Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re ready to take care of your new heating system. If you have concerns about a strange odor, our Cool Power LLC HVAC technicians can help. Contact us at 631-360-2665 to schedule your appointment today. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Ronkonkoma and surrounding areas.