What’s That Smell When I Turn On the Furnace?

By October 23, 2014Heating, HVAC, Tips

Replace Furnace FilterWe’re getting close to that time of the year when a cold night might cause you to fire up your furnace for the first time. Just like every year, you might be asking yourself, “what’s that smell coming out of my heater?” There’s no need to be alarmed. Remember that your furnace hasn’t been used in almost 9 months, so there’s bound to be some dust and debris that has built up over the months.

What you’re most likely smelling is the dust that the heater exchange is essentially burning off, and that temporary burning smell is coming through your ducts. We realize that this smell isn’t the most welcomed scent when you settle in for your first cozy night of fall, but we have a few solutions to make sure that when you snuggle up and watch your favorite movie or read an autumn tale, you won’t be greeted with the oh-so-subtle scent of burnt dust.

Clean up your heater

The first step to help fight the funk is to clear your furnace of any dust or debris that has collected on the coils, heater exchange, or in the interior of the heating unit prior to turning it on.

Change your filter

Once the inside of your heater is nice and clean, the next possible cause could be a dirty filter. Normally the filter is located in front of where the heat enters into the duct system. Locate the filter and see if it’s dirty. If it is dirty, the debris that’s collected on it will pass through the ducts and exit through the vents. To fight that, simply swap out filter and you’ll be set.

Check the ducts

Lastly, if your heater is clean and the filter has been replaced, check your duct system for any dust and debris that has settled. A simple vacuuming of the ducts will take care of any excess dust and leave your system ready for the fall and winter.

If the scent is smoky as opposed to funky, there might be a serious problem with your heating unit. You should turn off the furnace and contact B.R. McGinty immediately. Make sure to have your unit serviced each year prior to use to ensure that the unit is properly functioning and is safe to use.

The fine HVAC technicians of B.R. McGinty are here to help make sure that you and your family is safe and warm this cold season. Contact us today at 501-847-6800 or simply fill out this form and drop us a message.