Foul odours emanating from your gas heater can be a cause for alarm. Knowing the likely cause can ensure you get repairs scheduled before the problem poses a hazard.
1. Fuel Leaks
The most alarming heater smell is gas, as it can pose an immediate danger due to its flammability. Natural gas contains additives that give it the distinct sulphurous odour of rotten eggs. The odour can be the result of a leak in the gas line, or it could simply be that the fuel isn't fully combusting due to a malfunction. Turn off the furnace and gas supply until a repair tech can determine the cause, just to be safe.
2. Mould Growth
The musty stale odour of mould and mildew is unmistakable. If the smell tends to intensify when the heater is running, then the issue is mould growth somewhere in the heating system. Inside the ducts is a common location, as condensation that collects on air duct walls can lead to mould growth. Mould may also grow on the filter or in the filter housing of the heater. A full tuneup and cleaning will remove the mould spores.
3. System Dirt
Dusty odours or those that are reminiscent of burning hair are most often the result of dirt in the system. Dust and grime can build up in ducts, on the gas burner in the heater or in the system's filters. Hot air causes the dust to singe slightly, which results in a bad smell. Regular annual maintenance that includes cleaning the burner system and any other dirty components will cut down on the odour.
4. Worn Components
Components like belts and fan blower bearings age over time. When this happens, you may pick up the smell of burning rubber or plastic. If allowed to persist, the belt can break or the motor can seize, which means no more warm air blowing through the vents. Replacing components like belts before they wear out and regularly lubricating moving parts will help prevent issues.
5. Electrical Shorts
Metallic odours coming from the heater can be a sign of major problems. Most gas heaters still use electricity for their ignition systems, as well as to power the blower fan. Any shorts in these electrical systems can lead to a fire, and the first sign of a short is a smell best described as burning metal. Turn off the heater until a repair tech can locate the source of the smell.
Contact a heating repair service if you notice any odd odours emanating from your heating system.Share
21 July 2022
Howdy! I'm Hank and I am writing this blog so I can give you the lowdown on the cheapest and most effective ways you can heat or cool your home. I'm not a trained HVAC contractor but my brother is. Last year, I called up my brother and asked him to drive over and install a new HVAC system in my property. The old system wasn't cooling or warming my house and it was making a strange noise. During the installation, my brother gave me lots of great advice and explained exactly what he was doing at each step. I hope you find this information useful.