You can avoid this bad smell. We’re coming up to the time of year where we need to turn on our furnaces to heat our homes. If you are like me, you will switch on the heat one early evening in anticipation of lower temperatures during the night. Then when the furnace fires up, maybe at three in the morning, a very bad smell will come along with the heat. It’s not something you want to smell while you are off in dreamland. Why does this smell happen and how can you avoid it?
Some people might worry that they are smelling carbon monoxide and they are now in danger. Relax. It isn’t carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is completely invisible and odorless. That is precisely why it is so dangerous. It can kill you before you know it’s there.
What you will be smelling is a layer of dust that has settled on the heating elements in the furnace over the summer and is now burning off when the heat goes on. It is totally harmless, but it does stink.
I really hate having this smell waft through the house in the middle of the night. Ugh! It’s like a bad dream. But you can avoid being bothered by this smell with a little pre-planning. On a balmy day when you might like the windows to be open, crank up the furnace. The smell will come as the heating elements burn off the dust. But open the windows and let the house air out the noxious smell. It really won’t take long. Then when you really need the furnace for heat in a few weeks, there will be no smell when the furnace comes on. No worries.
Sweet, and pleasant smelling, dreams.
A Safety Note: Your furnace can produce dangerous carbon monoxide if it is operating improperly. You should have your furnace inspected and serviced annually to avoid any chance of a carbon monoxide problem.