By Sierra Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Decipher which odors are normal and which mean trouble.

With this summer hitting record highs, we’re sure it’s probably been quite some time since you’ve even thought about turning on your furnace. Since it most likely hasn’t been used since last year, we wanted to make sure that you were aware of the fact that your furnace may smell when you turn it on for the first time! However, it’s important to know which odors are normal and which mean trouble!

Dusty Odor

When you turn your furnace on for the first time each year, it may smell. The odor comes from all of the dust and dirt that collected over the last year since you’ve used it! When you first turn it on, all of the dust and dirt will burn off and that odor is blown throughout your home. This smell should go away after the first use. However, if it continues, call us and we are happy to come to take a look to see why this odor is persisting. And don’t forget that it’s still important to change your filters once a month during the winter too!

Electrical or Metallic Odor

Electrical or metallic odors smell a bit like burning wires. These smells often indicate that components within your furnace are overheating. Most likely, if you encounter these smells, your furnace may shut off as a protective mechanism to protect it from further damage. If you smell these odors, shut off your system and call us to come out and take a look at your furnace. It’s best to stop the smaller issues before they become huge expenses!

Rotten Egg Odor

If you smell this, turn your furnace off and open the windows immediately. In most cases, this odor means that you have a gas leak, which can cause very dangerous situations. Vacate your home, call the gas company for service as they may need to turn the gas off before your furnace can be fixed. Call us right away – we provide 24-hour emergency service and are happy to help you with an emergency such as this!

If you are unsure of what odor you are smelling, call us and we are happy to come to take a look at your furnace. We offer complimentary Carbon Monoxide (CO) testing at your request. If you have not had your home tested for CO, it’s important to do so! Last year, we met a couple whose lives were saved by a CO detector that our technician had installed in their home and it alerted them to the danger! For more information about CO poisoning or to learn more about how we helped this couple.

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