Furnace Smell Photo

Furnace Smells & Noises – Which Ones Should Concern You?

Sometimes, when you’re enjoying your cozy home on a bitter cold Indiana day, you may hear strange noises or perhaps an odd smell. What are you supposed to do? Is it something you should be concerned about? The furnace pros at Home Comfort Experts have put together a list of common noises and smells and which ones you should be concerned about. Read on to see if it’s normal or if you should call us for furnace check.

Furnace Smells

Dusty – At the beginning of the season, a dusty, slightly burnt smell is normal. Dust settles over the summer and when the furnace is turned on, it burns it off, producing a slightly burnt smell. This smell only lasts for a day or two.

Musty – A musty smell can be caused by mold or mildew growth. Change both your air filter and empty and clean the drip pan that catches excess condensation. Cleaning it with bleach or white vinegar can help prevent future mold growth.

Electrical Burning Odor – If it smells like burnt wire, it could be a motor overheating or a cracked heat exchanger. Before you call us, though, check your registers for spills. Sometimes this can emit the same smell. If you don’t see any spills in your ductwork, give us a call, and quick! A cracked heat exchanger could allow carbon monoxide to leak into your home.

Furnace Noises

Boom – Booms are fairly common with furnaces. It’s usually your ductwork expanding and contracting with temperature changes. However, a boom combined with a burning smell could signal a dirty burner or a defective gas valve.

Chirp – Chirping sounds are not uncommon either. They are usually just the natural noise of the mechanisms in the furnace when it’s running.

Clunk – Clunking or bumping sounds can mean you have a cracked belt. It’s best to get this looked at before it breaks and causes your furnace to stop working.

Crackle – Crackling noises are common when the furnace shuts off and are usually the metal parts cooling down.

Hum – You will usually hear a humming sound when the furnace burner lights.

Ping – Pinging sounds are typically heard when the ducts contract and expand when warming up or cooling down. They can be accompanied by booms.

Rattle – Rattling noises usually are heard while the furnace is cooling down after running for a cycle. They are no cause for alarm.

Screech – Screeches are not normal and could indicate a problem with the motor or fan belt. Turn your furnace off to prevent further damage and call a professional.

Whine – Whining noises are not a good sign. Again, turn your furnace off and call a professional.

Vibrating – Vibrating noises should also not be ignored. They may indicate a problem with your system. Call in an expert.


If you suspect trouble from a noise you hear or odor you smell from your furnace, turn it off and call the furnace pros at Home Comfort Experts. We have 24-hour furnace repair service, so call us when you need Furnace Smell Photous no matter what time of day or night.