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person experiencing chemical smell from furnace

As winter seems more brutal, heating systems are already necessary for your home in Hamilton. They enable you to enjoy your indoor space without worrying about freezing temperatures. But then you encounter a chemical smell from furnace


As much as you want to ignore the issue, this is something that needs immediate attention. Below, we will discuss the possible reasons behind this and how you must handle it.


Aren’t furnace odours natural?


When winter arrives after a long hiatus, we utilize our heating systems again for the first time. While there could be odours due to the period since we turned them on, a chemical smell from the furnace is not one of the usual ones. Could it be a sign of your furnace failing? Or does it signal a furnace emergency?


A chemical-tinged smell emanating from your heating system is not typical. It may signal a serious problem which we will tackle further below. It can result in life-threatening circumstances and imposes a dire risk to your family’s safety. If this happens, quickly jump on a call to your trusted contractor and ask for their immediate help. 


What could be the reason behind this?


A chemical smell from furnace can indicate a crack on your heat exchanger. If you can recall, the function of the heat exchanger is to remove all the flue gasses off of the system. All the by-products of the combustion process are pushed off the system through this component’s aid. As time passes by, this part wears and tears. As a result, chemicals can escape and flee, mixing themselves on the airflow. 


The smell is tinged with chemical scent as it indicates the presence of carbon monoxide gas. As you are well aware, carbon monoxide can poison you when inhaled in large amounts. It can also bring raw skin allergies and respiratory issues if you have prolonged exposure. They are deadly gases; hence, you must practice caution at all times. 


Carbon monoxide is also a flammable substance. It can trigger fires in your home if you don’t address the issue immediately. As a matter of fact, about 1,500 people in the United States die annually due to this toxic gas. Hence, you must not take this lightly.


What can I do during this scenario, and how can I prevent it?


Once you detect a chemical smell from furnace, evacuate the house immediately. It is no longer safe for you and your family to remain indoors in such a situation. Power down the system and call your technician directly to inform them of your problem. 


While there is no primary prevention method for such circumstances, regular furnace maintenance can help decrease the possibility of chemical leaks. You have to ensure that your furnace does not miss any professional check-ups as it is key to keeping it in shape. Experts test each part and check if they have any potential anomalies. During your furnace’s maintenance schedule, the technician can assess whether your heat exchanger has corroded parts. If he sees any slight damages, he will instantly patch those up and recommend what repairs to do. 

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