With Indianapolis winters having an average temperature below 46 degrees, there is no doubt that we rely on our furnaces. 

Sometimes furnaces produce concerning sounds, but what about concerning smells? Left unattended to, certain furnace smells could cause damage and expensive repairs. 

Keep reading to learn about 5 types of furnace smells that you should address right away.

1. Musty or Moldy Smells

When you start up your furnace after not using it in summer, you may encounter moldy furnace odors.

Oftentimes, if you smell mold, that means it’s present nearby. You may have mold growing in the ductwork in your home. It’s also possible that there is mold on the air conditioning coil above your furnace. 

Call a trusted furnace technician to perform an inspection. For your safety, the mold will need to get cleaned out of wherever it is found.

2. The Smell of Rotten Eggs

If you smell something like rotten eggs or sulfur coming from your furnace, turn off your furnace and call a technician right away.

A rotten egg smell usually indicates a gas leak. Fuel providers put odor-creating substances in natural gas to help detect gas leaks. If you end up smelling the odor, it is an indicator of a natural gas issue.

Gas leaks require immediate attention because they could cause explosions or fires. 

Your furnace could also be experiencing a failed heat exchanger. A failed heat exchanger can pump carbon monoxide (CO) gas into your home. Be sure to test for carbon monoxide as high levels of the gas are dangerous.

3. Smoke Odor

The smell of smoke coming from your furnace is usually the result of a blocked chimney. A blocked chimney forces the smoke to go through the ductwork. 

If the smell is strong, or if your smoke detector goes off, shut off your furnace right away. In the case of a sudden, strong smell, leave your house and call a professional immediately. 

4. Metallic Smells

If the electrical elements in your furnace get too hot, they may produce a hot metal smell. The same issue can also produce smells like burning oil, plastic, or rubber.  

Excessive furnace heat can damage metal and rubber components. Turn off your furnace and call a technician right away. This will reduce the risk of fire and prevent an automatic shutoff. 

5. Dusty Smells

You may experience a dusty smell after starting your furnace for the first time in a while. Usually, this is a normal smell, and it will go away after the dust in the system blows off. 

If for some reason the dusty odor doesn’t go away, there could be an issue. Try changing the air filter. If the odor persists, call a professional for help.

Professional Help for Furnace Smells

If you live in Indianapolis and experience any of these concerning furnace smells, LCS Heating and Cooling can help.

We proudly service the following cities in Indiana: Carmel, Cumberland, Fishers, Fortville, Greenfield, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Lawrence, Noblesville, New Palestine, McCordsville, and Westfield.

Our reliable professionals diagnose and repair furnace issues of all kinds. Contact us today to schedule your furnace service.