It is completely normal for your furnace to give off an odor when it is turned on for the first time at the beginning of the season after sitting for so long. However, it is important that you are familiar with the difference between normal odors and concerning odors. By recognizing the difference, you can promptly alert a professional and avoid a problem (or multiple problems). Here are three different types of odors that may be emitted by your residential furnace.
It is not unusual at all to smell a burning odor. In fact, when you turn on the furnace for the first time for the season, this is the odor that you are likely to smell. When there is an accumulation of dirt, dust, and grime inside of the furnace throughout the off-season, the appliance will burn it all away. The burning odor should not last very long. However, if you notice that the odor lasts for some time, the first step that you should take is to replace the air filter. If the odor continues, contact an HVAC professional who can examine the internal parts of the furnace for damage.
When you smell rotten eggs, it means that there is a problem with the gas. Gas companies use a sulfuric odor to scent their fuel so that you will know that there is a gas leak in the home. If you smell this odor in the home, it is important to leave the home and contact the local gas company immediately. The gas supply will need to be turned off prior to the problem being repaired by the HVAC company.
Make sure that you are paying attention to metallic smells as well, particularly if they smell as if something is sizzling or something is burning. Sometimes, this is an issue that will occur when there is an interior component overheating. Some parts like those that are made with rubber or metal may start to burn away if they are old or if the heating system has not undergone service recently. This is likely a very serious issue, so turn the furnace off and contact a repair professional as soon as possible to have the issue resolved.
If you notice any of the aforementioned odors coming from your residential furnace, turn the furnace off and get in contact with your furnace repair contractor to schedule an inspection.