As fall approaches and the air starts to get chilly, you are probably thinking about turning your furnace on for the season. While you may have done a few preparations, such as changing the filter, there are a couple of things that you need to watch out for after you turn on your gas furnace that could indicate a problem with the unit.
1. High Carbon Monoxide Readings
If you do not already have a carbon monoxide detector, go out and buy one before you light the pilot and turn on the furnace. Or, if you do already have a detector, make sure that the batteries are fresh. Then, after you fire up the furnace, keep a close eye on the readings, and listen carefully for any alarms indicating high levels of carbon monoxide.
If you do have high readings or the alarm goes off, your furnace is not burning off the gas properly, or there may be carbon built up inside of the unit that is now being burned off and producing this dangerous gas. Turn off the furnace immediately, and open up all of the windows in your home to air it out for a few hours. Then, call a repair service to take a look at the furnace.
2. Unusual Odors Lingering for More than a Few Hours
When you first turn on your furnace, you may detect a musty odor. As long as this smell is only present for a few hours, it is normal, as the dust that has accumulated inside of the furnace and your ductwork is burning off.
However, if you detect any unusual odors for more than a few hours, or if you smell something that resembles burning plastic or metal, turn off your furnace. There may be an electrical short in the motor, or part of the furnace may have broken off and fallen on the burner. If you start to smell something that resembles rotten eggs, this odor indicates a gas leak. Turn off the furnace and the gas supply, then contact a repair service immediately.
If your carbon monoxide detector starts alarming or you detect odd odors that resemble burning plastic or metal, turn off the unit, and have your furnace inspected as soon as possible. Contact an HVAC contractor who offers heating repair services so that they can find and fix any issues with your furnace before cold weather sets in.