Why Does the Air Coming out of My Furnace Smell Bad?

Furnace Repair

It’s the first cool night in October, you turn the furnace on for the first time and suddenly you notice a strange, pungent smell. This is a common occurrence for most homeowners because the furnace often produces an odor when it has not been used for several months. In most cases, the smell dissipates in a relatively short period of time. 

High efficiency furnaces have a condensation line that is designed to drain moisture away from the furnace and empties into a drain. Sometimes the hose does not drain properly, resulting in a small amount of water remaining in the line. This moisture can cause mold or mildew growth and can result in your furnace producing a foul smell.  If you suspect that this is the problem, remove the hose and clean it with a warm water and bleach solution. This should help remove the smell.

Sometimes homeowners forget to change the air filter regularly. When this happens, the furnace does not run as efficiently and nasty smells can emerge. Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this problem. Simply remove the old filter and replace it with an identical one from your local hardware store. If this fixes your problem, be sure to make a commitment to furnace maintenance and change the filter at regular intervals in order to increase the life expectancy of the furnace while ensuring that foul odors do not permeate your home.

Lastly, furnaces can malfunction and leak natural gas. Natural gas alone is odorless, but natural gas providers put an additive in the gas to make it smell like rotten eggs.  If you suspect natural gas, consider the problem an emergency. In these instances, go outside with your loved ones and pets and call the gas company. 

In general, your furnace should not produce foul odors, unless you have turned it on for the first time of the year. Most of the time, the smell goes away within a very short period of time. If you experience ongoing odors coming from the furnace, contact the trusted professionals at the Weather Changers to request service today!

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