Why Are The Odd Smells Coming From My Vents?

Posted: February 21, 2022

Follow your nose to protect your furnace

propane leak rhode islandAccording to that darned groundhog, winter’s going to be sticking around here in Rhode Island for several more weeks. That means you’re going to be relying heavily on your furnace to keep you and your home warm and safe.

Maintaining your furnace properly with annual maintenance tune-ups performed by Vaughn Oil’s trained and experienced service technicians will generally ensure that it works without issue. However, unusual smells can be your furnace letting you know there’s a problem.

Odd smells coming from your furnaces or vents might indicate several issues, some more serious than others. Here are a few of the most frequent furnace odor problems and what you should do about them.

A dusty or burning smell

In the early part of the year, a dusty or burning smell emanating from your heating vents is not uncommon. Your heater may be burning away dust and debris accumulated since last winter. If the odor persists, change your furnace’s air filter which should be replaced at the start of the season and inspected once a month thereafter. If your ductwork has not been cleaned in the last three to five years, schedule a cleaning. If these do not work, contact us for a service call.

Metallic or electrical smells

Electrical odors (like burning wire) are typically a warning sign of overheating. If your furnace shuts off for no apparent reason and you smell that electrical smell, it’s possible that your heating equipment is protecting itself. A burnt rubber or metal smell indicates that rubber or metal components are burning due to wear and tear. In either case, turn off your furnace and contact us as soon as possible.

Noxious exhaust odors or smoke

Exhaust vents, when clogged or blocked, can release a variety of odors. These smells might indicate an exhaust chimney blockage, which could be partial or total. If this is the case, carbon monoxide may be building up in your home. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and potentially fatal. Immediately turn off the furnace and contact us. It’s a good idea to check your carbon monoxide alarms now and replace them if necessary. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement, as well as outside all sleeping areas.

Vaughn Oil provides dependable heating system maintenance and repairs for your home. Every time, you can rely on us for high-quality heating system service! For furnace upkeep and repair services, please contact us.