What to Do About Smells Coming from Your Furnace

As the temperatures keep getting colder here in Virginia, wintertime is getting real. It’s time to start thinking about your home’s heating system. Hopefully you’ve already had your annual tune-up of the entire system, but it’s important to know how to maintain things throughout the season as well. As a homeowner, your vigilance can be a key part of keeping everything in good working order. Believe it or not, this can include addressing odors—your furnace smelling bad in Alexandria, VA can be the first warning sign of a few problems you should get addressed immediately.

Rotten egg smell

The smell of rotten eggs emanating from your heating unit is most likely the first sign of a gas leak, which is a hugely serious problem. You should immediately evacuate everyone out of the house and call the gas company—make sure you have their number programmed into your phone well ahead of time. They will be able to detect and stop the leak for the time being, but that’s not the end of the road. You should also call an HVAC technician to come out and give the system a comprehensive checkup. This will help identify any further repairs that need to be done to prevent more problems.

Burning smell

Your furnace smelling bad in Alexandria, VA can oftentimes manifest as a “burning” smell, which can be the result of a few different things. It usually means that some sort of component is overheating, sometimes to the extent that the furnace itself is burning. You might be smelling burning plastic, hot metal, melting rubber or a mechanical malfunction that’s complicating matters. These are commonly related to electrical issues, so your best bet is to turn the unit off altogether and immediately call in the professionals to find out what’s going on.

Musty air vents

If you haven’t turned on your system in a while and smell a musty odor when you finally do so, that could be a sign of mold or mildew accumulation in the vents or ductwork. Your air conditioning unit can cause moisture to build up in your ductwork, which creates the perfect breeding ground for these nasty growths. They can exacerbate allergies and lead to your furnace smelling bad in Alexandria, VA, so regular vent cleaning or even an air filtration system could be a great way to take care of this particular issue.

Smoky smell

This is actually a common one at the beginning of the season—dust that builds up naturally might burn off over the first 24 hours or so that your system is running. If it smells like smoke longer than that, however, turn off the unit and the gas supply and call an HVAC company immediately to take a look.

As you can see, while some smells are relatively harmless, others require immediate attention from a qualified technician. If you need to get rid of a furnace odor in Alexandria, VA, it’s time to give the pros at A Action Home Services a call. Reach out today to schedule your appointment!

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