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Why Does Your Furnace Smell Like It’s Burning?

As temperatures begin to drop, you’re probably firing up the furnace to prepare for the coming Wisconsin winter. Whether you turn on the heat at the first sign of cooler temperatures or wait until winter fully sets in, you might experience some alarming smells at the first use of the season. Find out why these smells happen and what they usually mean. 

Normal Furnace Odors

When your furnace is not in use throughout summer, and early autumn, dust and dirt particles can quickly settle inside a furnace and across internal components. When you fire up the furnace for the first time after the dormant season, all that dust and debris burn away, usually resulting in a discernible smell. The odor is typical, and if it dissipates within an hour or so, it is usually not cause for alarm. 

When You Should Be Concerned About a Smelly Furnace

Burning off an accumulated coat of dust is one thing; strong and ongoing hot smells are another. If you’re still picking up a pungent odor more than an hour after turning on the furnace for the first time, you may need to replace air filters or call a knowledgeable heating service for troubleshooting.

The acrid smell of burning plastic, electrical or metallic odors causes concern because it could indicate overheating motors, wiring issues or foreign objects in ducts. 

Picking up an odor like rotten eggs or sulfur? If you have gas appliances or heating systems, the safest course of action is to get out of the house immediately and contact your gas company. These issues can be incredibly dangerous and should be handled by knowledgeable professionals to ensure your home and family’s safety.

Preemptively Dealing with Furnace Odors

The first day of the heating season doesn’t have to be a stressful one. Getting out in front of potential issues before the temperatures drop into bitter territory with routine fall maintenance means you can have the whole system cleaned and inspected before damages occur. You’re able to address any minor issues before they rear their ugly heads, saving time and stress over what’s sure to be a challenging winter. We can help you tackle maintenance head-on, lowering the chances of an unexpected furnace replacement in the dead of winter. Contact us today, and we’ll make sure you’re all geared up for the plunging temperatures of winter.

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