Furnace issues, like an unpleasant smell, are often an uncomfortable disturbance in Columbia and Greenville, SC homes and businesses, but at Easy Air + Heat + Plumbing, our team of HVAC professionals is here to help! When it comes to a malfunctioning furnace or other heating system, there are several factors that home and business owners should be aware of. In some instances, they may be able to solve an issue with their heater themselves. However, if you are not experienced working with HVAC equipment and appliances, you should always seek assistance from a professional HVAC company like Easy Air + Heat + Plumbing.

Common Furnace Smells

Although unpleasant odors are never wanted, there are several recognizable smells that a furnace can emit. Some of the most common unpleasant furnace smells include:

  • Electrical wiring
  • Plastic burning
  • Metallic smells
  • Burning dust or smoke
  • Rotten eggs
  • Mold or mildew
  • Pet odors
  • Sewage

Despite their unpleasantness, these smells are typical among problems with furnaces and heating systems in Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina. Fortunately, identifying the scent can help narrow down the cause of an issue!

Easy Air van

What to Do When You Experience Furnace Odors

When it comes to foul odors coming from your furnace or vents, there can be a few culprits. Knowing the exact cause can be a challenge for the untrained, but fortunately, there are a few things home and business owners can look for to try to identify what is going wrong with their furnace or heating system. Three things to look for with a smelly, malfunctioning heater include:

#1. Inspect the Area Surrounding Your Heating System

If you experience an unpleasant odor coming from your furnace or vents after turning the heat on, it may be the result of something around your heater. Something may have spilled on the furnace, or something may be so close to the system that it is producing a smell as a result of being heated. These are often simple fixes a home or business owner can address, so it is always wise to inspect the area around your heating system.

#2. Inspect Your Vents

Foul smells taking over a home or business when a furnace or heating system is running can also be the result of issues with the vents and air ducts. Some smells, like pet odors and even sewage, can be the result of something being near or in a vent. For example, floor vents can unintentionally become affected by something like pet waste. And once the heating system engages, it can sometimes carry that odor throughout a home or business. So it is also wise to inspect your vents when dealing with a smell.

#3. Know Which Smells Are Dangerous or Harmless

When it comes to furnace odors, there can be a variety of smells that diffuse throughout a home or business. However, some scents are often harmless, while others can be dangerous. So it is crucial to know which is which. Usually, smells like burning dust and pet waste are harmless. In fact, the smell of burning dust is typical for when you first turn on your furnace in the winter and will dissipate quickly. Yet, smells like rotten eggs, mold, chemicals, and smoke can all be incredibly dangerous. In these situations, it is essential to turn off your heating system and contact an HVAC professional.

Always Contact a Professional for Heating System Issues & Repairs

While there are some potential issues when it comes to furnace smells that a home or business owner can solve on their own, it is vital to contact a professional to ensure that the furnace or heating system is operating properly and not a danger to your property. Some smells can be harmless and easily fixed, while others can present a danger to everyone in the building. So it is always best to seek help from experts like the team at Easy Air + Heat + Plumbing!

Easy Air Technician posing by his van