Just like anything else in your home, your heating system collects dust when it’s not in use. This is particularly true if you have a clogged air filter or if you don’t have a powerful enough air filter in place. What this means, is that when you go to turn on your furnace or heating system for the first time this year, the dust will burn off and you’ll likely smell an odor.
Another problem some homeowners face, at least if their system wasn’t maintained yet this year, is strange sounds when they turn on their system for the first time during the heating season. Whether you’re dealing with smells or sounds when you turn on your heater, we have pertinent advice for you. Keep reading!
Troubleshooting Foul Odors
The smell of dust or dirt burning off should go away after the first cycling of your furnace or heating system. While this isn’t something to be alarmed about, and doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with your heater, it would still behoove you to have the system professionally cleaned during a maintenance session.
What if the odor doesn’t go away, though? After 15 minutes or so if there is still a strong odor coming from your system, whether the furnace is electric-powered or gas, turn the system off. You may have electrical wiring that’s smoldering or burning and can lead to a house fire. In the case of a gas-powered system, you may be experiencing a gas leak, which can make you ill, or worse.
Addressing Odd Noises
For instance, did you hear a loud bang during startup? Don’t just brush this off—it could mean something serious for your heating system. It can be a solution as simple as cleaning the furnace burner (which should always be done by a pro), but this dirt allows gas to build up, which causes a sort of “mini-explosion” when the burners finally do ignite.
While this might not impact your home right away, this rattles the heat exchanger, which could lead to the problem we addressed above.
Squealing is another furnace noise not to ignore. It might be the result of a lack of lubrication, or perhaps a blower fan belt that’s wearing out. This is typically an easy fix for HVAC pros, but if you let it go on for too long without addressing the problem, the fan can cease working altogether, stopping the furnace form running when you need it the most.
A low rumbling noise is a sound that can be pretty mysterious if you aren’t too familiar with how furnaces operate, but it could be an issue with a low pilot light or it even something like a gas leak. Turn your system off right away if you hear this, and give our staff a call.
Last but not least, if you turn on your furnace for the first time and hear scraping, like metal on metal, it likely means that the motor mount has come loose from its casing. Severe damage can occur to your system due to this, so scheduling repairs right away is imperative.