It’s rare for furnaces to fail without first giving you a sign that something is wrong. Unfortunately, a lot of the early signs of impending furnace failure go overlooked simply because homeowners don’t know what to look for. A little bit of vigilance can go a long way when it comes to furnace care. If you notice any of these strange smells or sounds, you don’t have a ghost in your furnace – but you might want to call your local HVAC contractors.
When you turn your furnace on for the first time in the fall, you may notice a burning odor. This scent actually shouldn’t alarm you. It’s just the dust burning off your furnace burner after it has gone unused for a while. As long as the smell goes away in a day or two, there’s no reason to worry. Keeping your ducts and vents cleaned can help keep this problem from repeating itself next year.
If you smell rotten eggs while your furnace is running, evacuate your home and call the gas company or 911. This scent often means you have a gas leak, which can lead to a fire. The gas company can turn your gas off, locate the leak, and if needed, work with your gas heater repair contractor to fix the leak.
If the odor reminds you of burning metal, you may have an electrical issue with your furnace. This could be something as simple as a worn contactor. Start by calling your furnace service company. If they find a larger electrical issue, they may advise you to contact an electrician instead.
A sound that has a scraping, scratching quality can often be traced back to the blower motor. You may have a worn ball bearing or a damaged fan belt. Luckily, both of these parts are fairly easy for an HVAC contractor to replace. You can usually keep running the furnace in the meantime, but you will need to have the faulty parts replaced to prevent further wear and tear.
Does your furnace make a loud booming noise when it first kicks on? Even though this sound is short-lived, it is something to discuss with an HVAC contractor. It could mean that your furnace has a delayed ignition issue a problem with the heat exchanger or a delayed ignition condition which could lead to a carbon monoxide leak or potential fire, which could lead to a carbon monoxide leak. You will want to call an HVAC professional ASAP.
In the meantime, make sure you have a working CO detector. If it goes off, evacuate your home to prevent CO poisoning.
Don’t hesitate to contact H & H Heating & Air Conditioning if you notice these or other issues with your furnace. In many cases, scheduling a winter furnace tune-up can help prevent these problems from developing. We also offer furnace installation services, repairs, and so much more.