We're well into the winter, and that means you've probably been using your furnace to keep your family comfortable for a good stretch already. During this time, make sure to pay attention to any signs that your furnace is starting to malfunction... you don't want to have break down on you during one of the coldest days of the year, and catching problems early will help you call for professional repairs in time.
One type of warning sign you may detect from your furnace are strange smells coming from the vents. We've listed below some of these unusual odors and what they may mean:
- Burning: A small such as burning plastic or wiring can mean something as simple as child's toy inside the ductwork to electrical and mechanical issues, such as a motor that is overheating and will soon burn out. Definitely call for repair technicians to look into this problem.
- Musty and dusty smells: These kinds of odors you can often expect when the furnace turns on after a period of inactivity. The blower fan will send out the dust and debris that collects inside the ducts, and any dust that has gathered over the heat exchanger will burn off and create a distinctive smell. If these odors do not go away after a short time, it might mean something else is wrong that will need professionals to investigate.
- Moldy odors: If you notice a moldy smell from the vents, it often indicates that there's mold growing in the air filter. (This is one of the reasons that you must always allow a filter to completely dry after you clean it before you replace it.) Make sure that you change and/or clean the filter on a monthly business to prevent this. The mold may also come from damage to the ductwork, which will require professionals to seal them.