You notice that there is a peculiar odor inside your home, but you have no idea where it’s coming from. You suspect that your heating system is the culprit but you are not sure. There could be several reasons for this, some more serious than others.
A leaking gas line, a century-old house, or a malfunctioning unit can produce strong odors inside your home. However, if you suspect you may have a gas leak in your home, leave the premises immediately and call 911.
Some unpleasant odors in the home are harmless. However, other smells are very dangerous and should not be ignored. It is advisable that you learn how to differentiate between an innocent odor and a life-threatening one. If you become familiar with these smells, you know when it’s time to call in for HVAC service.
The Smell of Sulfur or Rotten Eggs?
Natural gas itself is odorless, but a sulfur-like odor is added to it by utility companies so that you can detect a gas leak if it should ever occur. A gas leak should never be taken lightly. If it is not resolved quickly, it can cause a fire or explosion in your home and injury to you and others. Inhaling gas can also cause serious illness, even death. If you suspect you may have a gas leak in your home, leave the premises immediately and call 911.
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg smell inside your home, this might be a clue to the possibility of a gas leak. If you determine that their gas is leaking, leave immediately and call a gas leak expert or your utility company.
This is what you should look out for:
- Corroded fuel lines that lead to gas appliances.
- Water bubbling or movement of the ground on your property.
- A whistling, Hissing or roaring sounds coming from a gas appliance.
- A gas pipeline has been exposed after a natural disaster such as an earthquake hurricane or flood.
What is That Old Musty Smell?
Winter has arrived and you turn on your furnace for the first time since last year only to notice a smell reminiscent of a musty basement. This is particularly common in older homes. A musty odor can be caused by dirt and debris that has accumulated in your gas appliance and in the air ducts.
This is not serious and it usually goes away gradually. If the smell persists, however, it is possible that you may have a clogged filter. A clogged filter will cause dirt and dust to enter the motor.
You can resolve this by changing the air filter of your unit. If you live in an older house, leaky pipes, high humidity, or even a damaged roof can emit this offensive smell. Additionally, exposed ground in the crawlspace can build up moisture over the year resulting in mold growth behind the walls where you can’t see it. This will cause your entire home to smell like mildew.
You Smell Something Burning
If you notice a sharp smell of ozone or burning diesel inside your home, check your heating system. Sometimes the bearings in your appliance will force the motor in the blower to bind, which forces the furnace to pull more electricity to push through.
That extra voltage can result in excessive heat buildup inside the appliance motor. This heat can melt wire insulation and your appliance might produce electrical sparks that emit a burning smell.
If you notice any of these odors inside your home, call the experts at Honest Abe's Home Services in Osage Beach, MO for an inspection of your heating system. For your convenience, 24/7 service is available.