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You don’t expect to notice many changes when you run your furnace in Columbus, GA beyond hearing it kick on and off. Any funny smells you pick up are signs of a possible problem. We’ll cover some of the common smells produced by a furnace and what it means in the below article.

Dirty or Sweaty Clothing

Dirty sock syndrome is a common issue that relates to old furnaces. The syndrome produces an odor that smells like dirty clothing or sweaty socks. It happens when the coils in the furnace have a buildup of bacteria and causes the odor to worsen when you turn it on and run the furnace.


The presence of chemical smells does not automatically mean you need a new furnace, though they do increase the likelihood you’ll need to replace it soon. This smell is a common sign that you have one or more cracked parts that no longer work as they should. The odor can even smell like formaldehyde.

Burning or Fire

You don’t need to worry if you smell a minor burning odor the first time you use the furnace after it has been idle, as the unit burns off dust that has landed on it. Only worry if you keep smelling it, or it worsens over the next few weeks. A fire or burning odor may mean you need a new evaporator coil.

Rotten Eggs

Natural gas has no smell, which is why companies add a chemical that makes it smell like rotten eggs or sulfur. A furnace that smells like rotten eggs likely has a gas leak. As gas leaks are dangerous, do not stay in a house when you detect a sulfur smell. Turn off the system, leave and call for repair.

Furnaces can smell funny because they’re old, have dust buildup, there is a gas leak, or you have some broken parts. Call Climate Control Heating & Air Conditioning in Columbus, GA to get the heating repairs that eliminate all types of strange odors.

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