There are several things you might notice if you need a furnace repair. Offensive odors are among the top things that will get the attention of most homeowners. A properly working furnace should not emit offensive odors. This is why it is ideal to know certain odors and how they relate to furnaces. The following points identify three odors that every homeowner needs to be aware of.
There are different types of burnt odors, and each means different issues. A burnt smell that is similar to the smell of singed hair or a clothes iron is likely dust burning off of the furnace burner. It might also be a sign of a dusty filter that needs to get changed. Burnt oil smells are indicative of combustion and may or may not be a problem. An HVAC contractor can make the assertion. A burnt metallic odor likely means that there is an electrical issue. Electrical shorts can emit this distinct odor, and you do not need to use your furnace if you smell this odor because the continued operation could cause a mechanical failure or a fire.
This smell is associated with gas furnaces. The eggy odor is the result of a sulfur additive. It is added to promote safety. Natural gas without additives is odorless. The sulfur is added to ensure that if there is a gas leak, the smell will be detected and possibly save lives. Rotten egg odors from furnaces should be treated as an emergency. Let up as many windows as possible in your home. Do not turn the furnace or anything else on in your home. Leave the residence and contact emergency personnel to determine if there is a "true leak." They can turn off the gas supply upon arrival and a safe repair can be made to the furnace.
A distinctly sour odor that mimics the smell of dirty socks or clothes that did not thoroughly dry is indicative of moisture and dust that have combined together somewhere in the HVAC system. The usual area is the ductwork. Air ducts circulate air throughout homes. This is why the smell is strong when the furnace gets turned on. This is not a sign of a harmful situation, but the smell can be embarrassing and could make you nauseous. The fix for this issue is to get your air ducts cleaned.
An HVAC contractor is a good resource to use to determine the exact nature of offensive odors related to furnaces. They can inspect and make repairs. Reach out to a professional who provides furnace repair for more information.