The Warning Smell - An Issue With Your HVAC System
3 minutes read

The Warning Smells That There May Be An Issue With Your HVAC System

Published by Steven Weiland

It is typically pretty obvious when your HVAC system is having problems because your home or business is either hotter or colder than it is supposed to be. However, in addition to drastic temperatures changes as signs of a heating a cooling problem, your nose can be a great detector of HVAC issues as well. If you ever turn on your unit and an unpleasant odor arises, you should schedule an appointment with heating contractors in Chicago right away. Here are a few smells you should look out for:

Rotten Eggs/Sulfur

If your home or business ever begins to smell like sulfur or rotten eggs, this could mean there is a natural gas leak in your HVAC system. Natural gas is very flammable and because of this, it is a common fuel source for household appliances. Gas leaks can be dangerous to your health when inhaled, so you should get this leak fixed as soon as possible.

Burning Electrical Smell

An overheating furnace blower or motor can give off a strong smell as well, often a burning metallic or electrical odor. This smell should never be ignored as the excessive heat may create sparks that could start a fire in your home.

Chemical Odor

If you ever smell a chemical aroma that resembles formaldehyde, your furnace may be suffering from a cracked heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is in charge of transferring heat from the combustion chamber throughout the furnace and if it is damaged, carbon monoxide can leak into your home through the vents.

Dirty Socks

The buildup of bacteria in your HVAC system can cause the air circulated throughout your home to smell like a dirty gym bag. The best way to get rid of this odor is to schedule an HVAC tune-up and have your unit cleaned.


Dust and debris buildup in your furnace can cause a musty or almost smoky smell when the furnace starts to warm and it burns away. This isn’t a dangerous smell, but it does mean that your unit and air ducts may be clogged.

If you smell any of these strange odors in your home, call a Heatmasters heating contractor in Chicago today!

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