Furnace Stinks

Why Your Furnace in Charleston, WV, Stinks

March 4, 2024

Terrible smells coming from your furnace in Charleson, WV, is cause for concern. Some of these smells could mean your heating system is failing or there’s a dangerous situation developing. The type of odor you smell can help determine why your furnace stinks.

You Smell Rotten Eggs

The smell of rotten eggs means there’s possibly a gas leak. A gas furnace makes use of natural gas, which can be deadly if inhaled for an extended period. Not only is the gas flammable, but it can cause nausea, fatigue, dizziness, breathing difficulties and headaches.

Manufacturers add a chemical called mercaptan into natural gas to give gas an odor. The chemical produces an odor that smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. A gas leak is dangerous, so it’s best to let a professional check for a possible leak and perform any necessary furnace repairs.

You Smell Dirty Socks

A furnace that smells like dirty socks possibly has an accumulation of bacterial growth on the coils. This can occur because condensation on the coils creates a moist environment, which can result in bacterial growth.

You Smell Electrical Wires Burning

If there’s an electrical burning smell, the furnace might have worn bearings. The worn bearings can make the blower motor seize up, which can eventually result in excessive heat buildup in the motor. The excessive heat might melt the wire insulation and cause sparks or electrical shorts.

Your Smell Musty or Dusty Odors

A furnace that hasn’t been in use for months might smell dusty or musty when you turn it on. Turning it on causes dirt or dust inside to burn away and create an odor. In most cases, the odor fades after the first few uses of the furnace.

Your nose can alert you to potential problems with your furnace. Contact us at E.J. Thompson & Son LLC to schedule an HVAC servoce technician to come inspect your furnace and make any necessary repairs if it stinks.

Image provided by iStock

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