4 Furnace Odors and What They Mean in Sumter, SC

Most homes around Sumter, SC have furnaces that don’t produce any odor as they run. However, occasionally those systems will put out various distinctive and unpleasant smells. Consider these common furnace odors you may encounter and what they’re telling you about your system.

1. Rotten Eggs

Companies add the distinctive rotten-egg smell to natural gas to alert people specifically to a gas leak. A furnace can leak natural gas (which is odorless) from a variety of areas, and each is concerning and needs immediate attention. If you smell a sulfur odor, turn off the system, get everyone out of your house, and call 911 and your gas utility company.

2. Strong Chemical

Your furnace produces exhaust as it burns the fuel, which it conducts out of your house through the flue. A leak in the system may produce a strong chemical smell that some associate with formaldehyde. This is a strong indicator of a cracked heat exchanger, which requires an immediate furnace repair or possibly a replacement.

3. Burning

A burning smell coming from your furnace can signify anything from dust burning off the heat exchanger to something more serious. You can tell the difference by the smell’s intensity and how long it lasts. If it doesn’t dissipate within a few minutes, you should treat it as if something’s burning that shouldn’t be.

4. Dirty Socks

This unpleasant aroma likely comes from organic growth within the system. Organic growth occurs most often during the spring and summer when there’s a cycling between warm and cold air outside. This cycling often causes condensation within the system, creating the perfect environment for bacteria.

With the proper maintenance, you can prevent many of the bad odors that your furnace produces. Call to schedule a furnace maintenance visit with one of our NATE-certified technicians at Air Solutions Heating and Cooling.

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