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Do Your Vents Have a Weird Smell?

When to worry about your furnace

hvac odors new yorkOdors are powerful. A single smell can warn you of danger, connect you to a memory, make you feel hungrier, or make you sick to your stomach. Do the vents for your furnace have a smell? Some are caused by problems with an easy fix. But other smells are usually indicative of a more severe problem. It’s important to distinguish between the smells that you can ignore for a while and the smells that you need to react to immediately. Let’s take a look at what each of the more common smells is likely to mean.

  • A dusty or burning smell is common and not serious. Especially if it’s early in the season, there may simply be dirt and dust around the furnace. Chances are the problem will resolve itself in a few hours. If it doesn’t, replace the air filter. Make a habit of putting in a new filter at the beginning of each heating season and then checking it monthly.
  • An electrical or metallic smell is usually a sign that a component is overheating. Especially if the smell is coupled with your furnace shutting down now and again for no clear reason, chances are your heating equipment is protecting itself because something is seriously wrong. Shut your heating system off and call for service immediately.
  • A mechanical or burning rubber smell is also usually a warning that some of the rubber or metal components are burning due to wear and tear. This is another instance in which you should shut off your system and immediately call for service.
  • A rotten egg smell usually means that you have a propane gas leak. It’s very important that you act immediately. Keep reading to find out what to do.

What to do in the case of a propane leak.

If anyone in your household thinks there is a propane leak, follow these safety steps immediately:

  1. As much as possible, don’t touch any equipment that could spark (e.g., lights, light switches, electrical appliances, telephones, cell phones, etc.). Depending on how much gas has built up, a spark could cause an explosion.
  2. Immediately get everyone (pets included) out of your home. Call 911 once everyone is a safe distance away.
  3. If you can do it safely, turn off the propane gas at the tank.
  4. Call your propane service provider and ask for an inspection team to be sent. Don’t return to your home or use any of your propane appliances until they say it’s safe to do so.

Let Black Bear handle your HVAC needs

We care about your safety, and whether you need your furnace repaired or replaced, the professionals at Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Our technicians provide quality repair work in a reasonable amount of time. And our friendly sales staff can help you find the right high-efficiency heating equipment for your home and budget.

At Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning we provide affordability, quality service, and efficiency. Black Bear serves customers in Sullivan County and parts of Ulster and Orange Counties. Click here to see if you live in Black Bear’s service area.

If you need a new furnace, call the Bear. We’ll be there. We can provide you with a free estimate and show you how affordable a new, high-efficiency heating system from Black Bear can be.