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Do You Need Furnace Service for These Smells?

furnace serviceMystery Smells that Indicate Furnace Service is Needed

On a regular day, you might not even notice that your furnace is running, especially if it’s quiet and running efficiently. However, the moment it starts to push out strange smells, you know something’s gone wrong. Our expert HVAC technicians review 6 common furnace odors and whether they are harmless or indicate hazardous conditions require scheduling furnace service.

Odors Indicating Furnace Service is Needed

Chemical Odor

If you smell anything that resembles a chemical odor, such as formaldehyde, it could be due to a crack in your heat exchanger.  Shut down the system, call NJNG at 800-GAS-LEAK (800-427-5325), and then call Brown’s at 732-741-0694 for emergency heating service.

Electrical Smells

Any electrical odors coming from your furnace could be due to excessive heat buildup. Overheating metal or rubber components can lead to this problem. To reduce the risk of fire, we advise customers to shut off the furnace until a professional furnace service technician arrives.

Rotten Eggs or Sulphur

The smell of rotten eggs almost always indicates a problem with the gas supply. While natural gas is odorless, natural gas is always treated with a strong sulphur odor to make gas leaks more detectable. Turn off your furnace and ventilate your home. Leave your house and call the gas company (above) from outside and follow their instructions.


Whether or not your smoke detector goes off, if you smell smoke, turn off your furnace immediately. It’s possible your chimney is blocked, forcing smoke to go through the ductwork rather than up and out.

Read more: 5 HVAC Danger Signs and What to Do About Them

Odors That Don’t Usually Don’t Require Immediate Service

Unlike many of the odors above, some smells are considered normal. Although they’re an annoyance and may still warrant having your furnace checked, they rarely indicate a dangerous situation.


It’s normal for your furnace to become dusty, especially during the off season. Before you turn on your unit, remember to replace your furnace filter. Typically, the first time your furnace is turned on, the gathered dust on inner components might “burn up” inside and push out a “burning dust” smell. Usually it dissipates after a day of running the unit; however, if it lasts longer than that, it’s advised to call for professional service to get it cleaned and checked out.


If the furnace is located in the basement, dampness tends to collect, resulting in a musty smell. If it does not dissipate after a couple days, you could have mold in your furnace. Breathing in mold spores is harmful. If you suspect mold in your furnace, call Brown’s – we partner with a very good Duct Cleaning Company and can refer you.

Brown’s Furnace Service

If you experience any funny furnace smells, sounds or behaviors, schedule a professional furnace service inspection.

At Brown’s Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, we offer a variety of dependable service options for residential and commercial properties throughout Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ and surrounding areas. Whether you need repair, replacement or routine maintenance, trust in our experts to help you get your home back to smelling fresh and feeling comfortable all season long.

Flexible Financing Available Through November 2018

Do you need a new A/C, heater or hot water heater. Our customers can get a new Carrier heating and cooling system installed 0% down and payments as low as $152/month*! Now through November, 0% financing for up to 12 months, no interest!”

*Wells Fargo approval.

As a convenient service for our customers, this great deal lasts only through November 2018!

Apply Today!

To learn more about special financing promotions, contact your local heating services expert over at Brown’s Heating, Cooling and Plumbing at 732-741-0694 or visit www.brownshc.com/financing for instant approval.