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Why Does My Furnace Smell Funny?

Cincinnati heating company

Here in Cincinnati – and throughout the Tri-State region – we get to enjoy a wide range of natural aromas. Honeysuckle is plentiful, as is clover, and fresh-mown grass.

Training your noise for some less pleasing scents, however, may help you identify issues with your furnace.

If you have wondered why your furnace smells funny, know that it is most common that these smells emanate from your furnace after the summer, when you are activating your heating system for the first time in the season. They can, however, happen any time of year.

Recognizing these may help you – and us – diagnose what is ailing your furnace.


If you furnace smells like rotten eggs, it is unpleasant. It is also a sign of a gas leak. If you smell rotten eggs, turn off your furnace, open up your windows to let fresh air flow in, and leave the house. Then call your gas company. They will most likely need to shut off your gas before fixing your furnace, given the dangers any gas leak will present.

Burning Dust

Good news! If you turn on the furnace for the first time after months of rest, this smell is what you SHOULD smell. It smells like burning dust because your furnace is dirty after a long period of inactivity, and it’s burning off what has accumulated. The smell should dissipate after a few hours.

Metallic Smell

This may smell like burning wires, or “like electricity smells.” This may indicate that parts of the furnace are getting too hot. It could also mean that old rubber or metal parts are burning out from overuse. Either way, if you detect an electrical or metallic smell, you must shut off your furnace and call a qualified repair technician immediately.

A Reputable HVAC Company In Cincinnati

For a free Cincinnati consultation about your heat pump, heating system, and any other thermal questions, just get in touch with us at our southern Ohio headquarters, and we would be happy to help you. Call the Cincinnati HVAC professionals from Pinnacle Air Solutions at 513.984.HEAT (4328).

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