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Why Do I Smell Gas When My Furnace Kicks On?

Smelling gas when your furnace kicks on can be a disconcerting experience. As a homeowner, you should know that the smell of gas inside your home should never be ignored as it can indicate a potentially dangerous situation. Keep reading to find out why you might smell gas, what steps you should take, and how to prevent it in the future.

Understanding Natural Gas and Its Odor

Natural gas is the most common type of fuel used for heating homes. It’s colorless, tasteless, and odorless in its natural state. However, gas companies add a chemical called mercaptan to give it a distinct odor. This smell, often likened to rotten eggs, serves as a safety mechanism to alert you to potential gas leaks.

The Heat Exchanger: A Common Culprit

The heat exchanger in your gas furnace plays a crucial role in heating your home. It separates the combustion chamber from the breathable air in your house. However, a cracked heat exchanger can cause furnace gas leaks, leading to the smell of gas when your furnace kicks on.

A furnace inspection by an Air Specialties HVAC technician can help detect a cracked heat exchanger. Regularly scheduled maintenance and furnace services in New Haven, CT are essential in preventing this issue.

Gas Lines and Furnace Exhaust

Gas lines supply natural gas to your furnace, while the furnace exhaust vents the combustion gases out of your home. A leak in either of these systems can result in a gas smell.

Leak detection in gas lines should always be carried out by professionals. If you smell gas near your furnace, it’s best to call an HVAC technician for a thorough inspection. They have the necessary tools and expertise to detect gas leaks and carry out necessary furnace repairs.

Incomplete Burn in the Combustion Chamber

Sometimes, the gas smell could be due to an incomplete burn in the combustion chamber. This usually happens when the furnace short cycles, i.e., when it turns off before reaching the desired temperature. An incomplete burn can cause an insignificant amount of unburnt gas to enter your home, resulting in a gas odor.

In such cases, a tune-up of your furnace can help ensure it’s working properly and prevent the smell of gas when it kicks on.

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Threat

While a natural gas leak is dangerous due to the risk of fire or explosion, it’s not the only threat. Carbon monoxide, a byproduct of the combustion process in gas furnaces, is a colorless and odorless gas that can be deadly in high concentrations.

Carbon monoxide detectors are a crucial safety feature in any home with a gas furnace. If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, you should leave your home immediately and call your local fire department.

What To Do If You Smell Gas

If you smell gas when your furnace kicks on, it’s essential to take immediate action. And if the smell lingers, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Turn off your furnace and open windows for cross ventilation. Avoid using anything that could create a spark, such as light switches, phones, or garbage disposals. Immediately leave the house and contact your gas company or local fire department.

Preventing Gas Smells: The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Preventing gas smells starts with regular furnace service and routine maintenance. An HVAC technician can conduct a thorough inspection of your furnace, including the heat exchanger, gas line, and venting system. They can detect potential issues before they become significant problems, ensuring your furnace operates safely and efficiently.

Stay Comfortable and Safe With Air Specialties

If you’re experiencing a gas smell when your furnace kicks on, don’t hesitate to contact Air Specialties. Our team of experienced technicians can provide a comprehensive furnace inspection in New Haven, CT — ensuring your heating system is safe and functioning at its best. Remember, when it comes to gas leaks, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Furnaces Heating

Why Is My Furnace Running Constantly?

Why is my furnace running constantly? Many people ask this question while wondering how long a furnace should run before shutting off. What if your furnace keeps running when the thermostat is off?

Gas furnaces that run constantly are annoying to listen to, wear down the system, and increase your monthly energy bill. Luckily, the possible causes are easy to spot and don’t take long to fix. 

Here at Air Specialties, we’ve provided a list of reasons to help you answer the question of why the furnace is running constantly. We’re your CT heating specialists, with a team of certified technicians that can diagnose and repair any problem with your HVAC system.

What Is the Typical Furnace Run Time?

How long should a furnace run before shutting off? Typically, you can expect furnace cycles to run two to three times per hour. Each cycle runs for about 10-15 minutes. During freezing weather, this cycle may increase slightly.

Reasons My Furnace Is Running Constantly

Why is my furnace running constantly? There are several reasons why this may be happening. Here are some steps to follow to troubleshoot the cause of the issue:

1. Dirty Furnace Air Filter

A dirty furnace filter is the most common reason why your furnace may constantly be running. Your HVAC system must pull air into the equipment to warm the air before it circulates back out through the vents. 

A dirty air filter can obstruct your furnace, causing it to work harder to meet your heating demands. However, it will continue to run until your home reaches the desired temperature. 

If your air filter is dirty, replace it with a new one. You should do this every 1-3 months.

2. Wrong Thermostat Setting

Why is my furnace running constantly? If your thermostat is set too high, it will keep running to get it to that temperature. You may notice your house is hot before becoming aware that the furnace keeps running. Check your thermostat to see the set temperature. 

It’s also possible that you have a malfunctioning thermostat. For example, if your thermostat runs after the temperature change, it may be faulty.

3. Blower Issues

When your furnace is turned on but not producing warm air, the cause is likely an issue with the blower. For example, the blower may have corroded wires, or the fuse may have blown. 

If your room temperature feels colder than usual, check your thermostat. Since this problem involves electrical components, contact a professional HVAC company to fix the issue. 

4. Faulty Limit Switch

The limit switch controls the heat in your furnace. When the thermostat sends a signal to the controller that it’s time to turn on the heat, the switch sends a signal to the furnace. 

If your furnace has a faulty limit switch, it may not receive the signal. This lapse can cause it to run more often than necessary. A faulty limit switch may also be why your furnace keeps running when the thermostat is off. You should call an HVAC technician to perform an inspection if you suspect this is the issue.

5. Malfunctioning Pilot Light

A pilot light ignites the gas before it reaches the burner. If it’s malfunctioning, the broken pilot light can cause your furnace to run constantly. The reason is that the system can’t reach the set temperature without a sufficient supply of gas to warm the air. 

If the pilot light is malfunctioning, you may need to call an HVAC professional to have it replaced. In addition, you can find the reset button on your furnace to try resetting the pilot light, which may solve the problem. If this doesn’t work, it may be an issue with the heat exchanger.

Schedule an Inspection or Repair With Our Service Experts

Why is my furnace running constantly? How long should a furnace run before shutting off? Does your furnace keep running when the thermostat is off? Air Specialties can inspect your furnace and repair any heating system problems. 

Air Specialties also provides furnace cleaning in CT to ensure your furnace runs efficiently for the winter. Contact us today!

Boiler Furnaces Heating

Boiler vs. Furnace: What’s the Best Heating System for Your Home?

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