Turning on Your Furnace for the First Time? Issues to Keep an Eye Out for

If you're turning on your furnace for the first time this cold-weather season, no matter the age of your furnace, there are things you should keep an eye out for that could indicate a problem. These are issues you shouldn't ignore and should have inspected by a professional HVAC technician to prevent the problem from worsening and to prevent injury to you and your family. Read on for a few of these things to watch out for.

Burning Smell

A burning smell sometimes happens when you turn on your furnace for the first time after being turned off for six months (or more). This is because you may have dust on the system that is burning off. The smell usually goes away after a few hours, but if you continue to smell a burning smell days later after having your furnace turned on, you may want to have this inspected. A burning smell could be anything from wiring in your home to an issue with the motor or the belt. If the burning smell isn't the "normal" odor you smell each year, call a professional to have this inspected.

Clanking or Popping

If your furnace is clanking or popping while it's running, this isn't normal. You shouldn't hear noises other than it starting or turning off. The noise could be an issue with your ductwork, or it could be a potential problem with the motor in your system. A popping sound in the ductwork could be due to your furnace being too large for your home, in which case the noise is from the force of air moving through your ductwork. A clanking within the furnace itself could be a motor issue. Talk to a professional HVAC technician to have this issue diagnosed, have your furnace replaced, or prevent a potential breakdown of your system.

Carbon Monoxide Leak

If your carbon monoxide detector is going off, it could be due to your furnace. Turn your furnace off immediately and call an HVAC company to have your furnace inspected. A carbon monoxide leak in your furnace is usually caused by a cracked heat exchanger. This can be dangerous for you and your entire family, as it can be lethal if it isn't repaired. If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, it's imperative that you get one. Carbon monoxide is a gas that you cannot smell or see, which is what makes this so dangerous. A detector in your home can save your family's lives.

If you've turned on your furnace for the first time this year and you've spotted any of these issues or noticed anything unusual about your system, call in an HVAC professional to have your system inspected.