What‘s That Weird Odor When You Turn on the Heat?

5 Ways to Keep a Healthy Winter IAQ

Weird odors are among the most reported HVAC issues in Fort Worth, TX and nearby towns. When you notice odd smells whenever you run your heating system, the best thing to do is get help from your local HVAC experts for complete and professional diagnosis.

Do you know what probably causes these odors? Read on and find out.

Burned Dust

You probably observed a burnt or dusty smell when you turned on your furnace for the first time. Don’t fret, that’s normal. This is the smell of the dust that settles in the components after the long months of being unused. However, the smell should not persist for more than a few days. If it does, take time to check the filters and replace them if needed. If the smell continues, call on a professional help for a complete inspection.

Rotten Eggs

Does your furnace run on natural gas? If it is, then you might probably experience a smell like rotten eggs when you turn the unit on. This is caused by a gas leak. It is a complicated issue and may require you to leave your home immediately and call 911. As you leave your home, be sure to unplug all appliances, turn off the lights and do not use your phone inside. You may also drive your car to a neighbor’s home.

Dirty Socks

Have you experienced having a musty odor inside your home when the heat is on? This is probably caused by the accumulation of mold or the presence of bacteria in your heating system. This happens most of the time for heat pumps. Schedule a cleaning service immediately for your unit and the ductworks.

Burning Rubber/ Plastic

If you notice a burning rubber or plastic when your unit runs, you should take time to check the air vents in your home. See if there are rubber or plastic items placed on top or inside the registers and vents. Remove them immediately. If the odor persists, unplug the unit and call an HVAC expert for complete diagnosis.

Metallic Smell

Are you bothered by an electrical or metallic smell as your unit operates? This is probably a sign that your heating system is overheating due to some malfunctioning motors or tattered wires. Letting the unit work can only make the situation worse. Unplug it and call professional help.


Are you aware of the simple task that you can do to prevent weird odors in your unit? Our professionals at Webb Air Conditioning recommend you schedule a regular maintenance service for your home devices. It will secure your unit’s proper operation all year-round. Set an appointment with us today!