Indoor air quality is an essential part of home life in the 21st century. Many homeowners don’t know this, but the air inside your home can sometimes be more polluted than the air outside! That’s why we offer indoor air quality testing and IAQ solutions for homeowners here in Fresno. If you’re concerned about your home’s air, it’s time to call Allbritten and schedule your test.

Here’s what you should know when your furnace begins to smell

If your home has a gas or electric furnace, you’ll be running it extensively this winter to keep your home warm. There are many potential indicators that a furnace isn’t working right, from strange noises and performance issues to ever-increasing energy bills. However, one important warning sign of an impending or ongoing furnace problem is strange furnace smells.

No matter what type of furnace or heating system you have, never ignore furnace odors. In a vast majority of cases, they are a sign that something is not working the way it should. In this article, we will review some of the potential odors produced by gas and electric furnaces and whether or not those odors are an indicator of a major problem with your heater.

However, in general, strange odors should always prompt a call to your local HVAC technician for an inspection. Here in Fresno and the Central Valley, be sure to call our team at Allbritten for fast and reliable heating repair from our experienced, friendly techs.

What kind of odors can a furnace produce?

Here are some of the most common furnace odors:

  • The smell of electrical wiring or plastic burning
  • Metallic smell
  • Burning dust or smoke
  • Rotten Eggs
  • Mold or mildew
  • Pet odors
  • Sewage

As we’ll review in the sections to come, not all of these smells are directly caused by the furnace, but they may indicate a fixable issue all the same.

1. Burning dust smell

A burning dust smell may emanate from the furnace once you start the furnace at the beginning of the winter season. This smell is completely normal and should go away within several days. However, if the musty smell persists, try solving this problem by changing out the air filter. If the problem persists after switching the air filter, it indicates a serious problem with the furnace. In such a situation, you should immediately turn off the system and call our team at Allbritten.

2. Metallic smell

If you notice a metallic smell coming from the furnace, it might be due to a component inside the furnace overheating. In some cases, the smell will be similar to the burning of hot plastic, oil, or rubber. If you smell odors that suggest that something in the furnace is burning or overheating, you should immediately shut off the furnace and call Allbritten for an inspection.

3. The smell of rotten eggs

The odor of a rotten egg or sulfur is another cause for serious concern. Utility companies put odor-indicating substances in natural gas, which is normally odorless. So, if you notice a potent rotten egg smell in your home, it could indicate a gas leak. You need to immediately shut off the gas furnace and call Allbritten for an inspection of your system.

4. Pet smells

Sometimes, the smell of pet waste or hair will appear to emanate from the furnace registers. If you get a strong whiff whenever you turn on the furnace, it’s important that you inspect the floor level ventilator registers. Cleaning up the mess near the vent can solve the problem.

5. Sewage smell

In case you notice the smell of sewage water emanating from the vents, it may be that an open sewer line or a broken wastewater line may be located near the system. A quick inspection of the external vents can help identify the source of the smell. You may have to call a plumber to resolve the issue.

6. Moldy Smells

A smell of mold coming from the furnace indicates a potential mold infestation inside the ductwork. You should not take mold infestation lightly. A mold infestation can degrade the quality of indoor air. It can cause people to suffer from flu-like symptoms, accompanied by sneezing and coughing.
Through our duct cleaning service, the qualified furnace technicians at Allbritten will not only remove mold and mildew from the ducts but also take measures to ensure that it does not recur as well.

7. Chemicals

This is one of the most dangerous smells you could experience in your cozy home. If the scent is a distinct chemical odor and similar to that of formaldehyde, it is likely that there is a crack in the heat exchanger component of your furnace. The heat exchanger component works by cycling heat out of the combustion chamber and then into the plenum. If this component is broken, it drastically increases the risk of fire. It may also distribute carbon monoxide fumes throughout your house.

8. Smoke

If you experience a smokey smell coming from your furnace, immediately turn the furnace off and open a couple of windows. This may occur when the furnace chimney (also called a “flue pipe” or “exhaust vent”) is blocked. The furnace’s combustion exhaust has to go somewhere, so it is forced into the ductwork.

Be sure to assess your safety in a situation like this. For example, if the smell is faint then open a window to ventilate and call a professional to schedule a service. If the smell is sudden or strong, you may need to temporarily leave your home and wait for a professional to come and identify the source of the smoke.

Call Allbritten to have our team inspect your furnace

Abnormal smells coming from a furnace could be one of the signs of a failing or damaged system. Here are some of the other signs of a failing furnace or that a furnace needs repairs.

When you need furnace repair here in Fresno and the Central Valley, call the locally trusted professionals at Allbritten. Our experienced, expert techs can quickly diagnose furnace odors and get your system back to running safely and effectively.

A home maintenance budget and plan can help protect your cooling and heating systems

Here are three reasons to schedule an energy audit

You can save money, have a more comfortable home, and help your air conditioner last longer. It all starts when you schedule an energy audit with the pros at Allbritten.

In this blog, we’ll talk about home energy audits and what makes them such a smart investment for homeowners.

What is an energy audit?

Allbritten is a Home Performance company with BPI-certified technicians. Our 26-point home energy audit helps Fresno homeowners find points of inefficiency in their home, which we then help them address.

From a whole-home pressure test to an evaluation of your attic and attics with an infrared camera, we thoroughly and completely evaluate your home.

Here are the three reasons to schedule an energy audit

Knowledge is power. By knowing where your home is losing energy, you can take action. Let’s review just some of the reasons you should schedule an energy audit.

#1. Lower your energy bills

A professional energy audit from the BPI-certified professionals at Allbritten can help you identify areas where your home is losing energy—and you’re losing money.

From a poorly insulated attic to inefficient systems, an energy audit points you in the direction of savings. Our tech will present you with a detailed report explaining places for improvement.

#2. Make your home more comfortable

Energy loss and energy inefficiency isn’t just about your monthly bills. It can make your home feel uncomfortable and drafty. Efficiency and comfort go hand-in-hand, which is why an energy audit from Allbritten can find ways to improve your home’s comfort.

#3. Reduce wear-and-tear on your air conditioner

The more your air conditioner runs in the summer, the more wear-and-tear it endures. This continual running can result in the need for AC repair more often, and—ultimately—decrease the lifespan of your system.

A home energy audit can help you determine where (and how) your home is losing energy. By addressing these issues, you can relieve pressure on your air conditioner, which doesn’t have to run as long to cool your home in the summers here in Fresno.

Paired with an AC tune-up from our experienced techs here at Allbritten, your air conditioner will be in better shape, run more efficiently, and be less likely to break down.

Schedule an energy audit with Allbritten

If you’re ready to make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable, it’s time to contact Allbritten and schedule an energy audit. Give us a call at (559) 292-4919 to get started.

Why indoor air quality is so important

Here in Fresno, we’re all aware of some of the issues the Central Valley has with air pollution outside. As beautiful as this city can be, there can be a lot of dust and smog on some days. However, a mistake that many people make is thinking they’re safe from pollution while they’re inside of their homes. You can be, but usually not without some proactive steps to boost your indoor air quality, with the help of specialists, such as those at Allbritten.

Indoor Air Quality Testing

Sure, the room looks clean. But, how is the air in here?

How can my indoor air quality be so bad?

First, it’s not necessarily that the quality of the air in your home is as bad as the outdoor air. It’s more the magnitude of time you spend breathing each. Think about: even if you spend your working day outdoors—which probably isn’t the case—you spend most of your day inside your home: eating, relaxing, and sleeping the night through. If you work in an office building or attend school, that’s a large majority of the day spent inside. You’re breathing in that air for a longer amount of time.

Next, indoor air quality encompasses a lot of different things, ranging from the visible—pet hair and dust, which you can see accumulating in your home over time—to the out-of-sight—mold, for instance—to the invisible, which includes allergens, bacteria, radon, and secondhand smoke. The Environmental Protection Agency has a convenient breakdown of each of these elements. Some of these things may be in your home, some may not. The best, and really the only, way to be sure is to have your home’s air tested.

What can I do about this?

The first step, fittingly, is to call our team and ask us about an indoor air quality test. Some things, you may already know about. We mentioned dust earlier, but, if you’re sensitive to them, you’ll probably know if allergens are also in your home. However, others are harder to detect.

We have a number of different solutions for dealing with indoor air quality issues. Here are three of the most popular remedies:

  • Air Duct Cleaning: Allbritten and most experts recommend that you have your air ducts cleaned regularly, and certainly not less than once every year. Your air ducts are in constant use as an essential part of your home’s comfort system, but dust, pet hair, and other contaminants can pile up in the ducts, leading to a significant reduction in your indoor air quality. In contrast, clean air ducts with new or washed filters mean that you’re getting great air coming in to your home’s living spaces.
  • Air Purification: There’s a variety of systems for filtering the air coming into your home. The most common are filters themselves, which have a low price point but can be an efficient way to reduce the dust, pollutants, and pathogens coming into your home. More sophisticated, electronic filters can zap even more materials. Having trouble deciding what to do? Our technician will talk to you about what’s best for your home and indoor air quality.
  • Home Humidification: California isn’t exactly known for its humid weather, and many people enjoy the dry air outside. However, having a home that is too dry can have just as many consequences as one that is too humid. A dry home can cause an uptick in static electricity generation, peeling wallpaper, and cracks in drywall, especially in the winter. Plus, there’s health impacts: many people get cracked lips and bloody noses if conditions are too dry. A humidifier may help you live more comfortably in your home.
Indoor Air Quality and Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning can be one of the best ways to improve your indoor air quality.

What makes Allbritten the best choice?

We’re a trusted home cooling and heating company that has worked in Fresno and the Central Valley for more than 70 years. That means that we’ve been configuring indoor air quality solutions for longer than many other companies have been in business! We have indoor air quality specialists on staff, and our technicians have experience solving problems for our customers. Plus, we offer upfront pricing on everything, as well as a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

If you’re looking to improve your home’s indoor air quality, look no further than the company you’ve trusted with cooling and heating products for years: Allbritten. To get started with a test of your home’s air, give us a call!