It’s the first week of fall and you’ve excitedly turned your heater on for the first time. You’re probably happy to feel that warm air draft in through your air ducts as you get cozy under a blanket with a book. Come on, did you forget that fall is the coziest season?
Then you start to smell something strange, like something is burning. You’ve looked around your whole home but you don’t see anything suspicious. What could that be?
There are a variety of smells that can come from a furnace. Some of them are just the dust that’s leftover from the last few months being burned off, but some smells are dangerous. We’re here to help you parse the difference. Remember to call us for furnace service in Atlantic County, NJ if your furnace is starting to struggle.
Smelling the Start of the Season
We all know that smell when we first turn on our heaters for the fall. The smell of burning dust can be quite offputting, especially if you’ve got a gas heater. It can be a panicky moment while you try and figure out if your heater is leaking gas or even carbon monoxide. The good news is that you’re most likely fine, but we’re going to go through a little bit of a checklist just in case.
When your heater starts up, it’s important to remember that it’s been sitting and collecting dust for months. Do you have surfaces in your home that haven’t been dusted since April? Go ahead and see how much dust has piled up there. That’s the kind of material you can expect to be sitting in your vents, combustion chamber, and other parts of your heater. It’s going to be a little bit of a rough start for the system to get to where it was.
Smells That Are Not Okay
That all being said, some smells are definitely not okay and we heavily advise you to contact your local professional if you detect these signs:
- The scent of gas or rotten eggs. Natural gas naturally has no scent, but gas companies add a harmless chemical called mercaptan to make it smell noticeable. That rotten eggs smell that gas usually gives off is actually the chemical we add to it! So, if you smell that smelly, gassy smell, then make sure you turn your heater off and call for our help ASAP.
- Headaches, loss of memory, fatigue, and other symptoms. When you encounter carbon monoxide, it can be almost impossible to detect via smell or sight. However, if you encounter symptoms like headaches, loss of memory, fatigue, or anything else that gives you problems in your day to day life, then you could be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Turn off the system and call us!
- Respiratory problems. Sometimes your furnace burns something in the air it shouldn’t. If this is the case, you might find yourself coughing, sneezing, or suffering from other respiratory problems. Make sure you get this issue addressed.
The team at Ambient Comfort is expertly trained in all furnace services. Call us today if you need help.