Woman registers furnace smells

3 Troubling Furnace Smells in Durham, NC

January 26, 2024

Your furnace should not be giving off strange or unusual smells. If it is, that should spur you to request repairs or take some other kind of major corrective action. Here are three troubling odors that might come from your furnace in Durham, NC and what the likely causes are for each.

1. Smoke or Burning

A burning smell coming from your furnace could mean that natural gas has ignited somewhere and caused a fire, or it could mean that the furnace’s flue pipe or other exhaust valves have major obstructions that prevent them from working. The smell of burning dust could result from old and clogged filters blocking the flow of air.

Be sure to check and change your filter on a regular basis, usually every three months. The former issue, however, requires professional intervention in the form of a tune-up.

2. Sulfur or Rotten Eggs

This particularly awful smell can be a sign of danger. Although natural gas is odorless on its own, utility companies may artificially add the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs to it to more readily alert people to its presence.

Therefore, if you suddenly smell sulfur or rotten eggs from your furnace, it’s probably leaking gas. As soon as you notice this, shut off the furnace and call for professional help.

3. Chemicals

A vague chemical or formaldehyde-like odor is another indicator of significant danger. In all likelihood, a furnace emitting such a smell has a cracked heat exchanger.

The heat exchanger should transfer heat from the furnace’s combustion chamber to its plenum, helping the system as a whole to achieve equilibrium. If the heat exchanger has suffered cracks or any other kind of damage, the risk of a fire or carbon monoxide leak rises drastically.

In nearly all cases, bad smells from your furnace mean bad news. To fix whatever’s wrong, call Lee Air Conditioning in Durham, NC, and ask for our heating services.

Image provided by iStock

You May Also Like

Why Does My Home Have Bad Airflow in Apex, NC?

Why Does My Home Have Bad Airflow in Apex, NC?

Poor airflow will cause your air conditioner to work harder than it should to keep your Apex, NC home comfortable. It's important to find out what is causing the reduction in the healthy flow of air before it results in higher energy bills or causes damage to your AC...

My Heat Pump Doesn’t Stay On Long Enough in Durham, NC

My Heat Pump Doesn’t Stay On Long Enough in Durham, NC

Short cycling occurs when a heat pump turns off before it has completed a proper cycle, and it's one of the most annoying and potentially damaging things that these systems can do. To save themselves a great deal of trouble, homeowners in Durham, NC should know why...

4 Causes of a Short Cycling Heat Pump in Apex, NC

4 Causes of a Short Cycling Heat Pump in Apex, NC

When a heat pump short cycles, it will turn on and then rapidly turn back off. It will never get the chance to complete a full heating or cooling cycle, and it can't effectively regulate humidity. The following are four possible reasons why the heat pump in your Apex,...

Why Choose Us

24/7 Emergency Service

NATE-certified technicians

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Pin It on Pinterest

Compliance Settings
Increase Font Size
Grayscale
Simplified Font
Underline Links
Highlight Links
Reset
Close