Is It Normal to Smell Gas Near a Furnace?

March 9, 2021

A leak in the furnace’s heat exchanger is the primary cause of gas smells near the furnace. It can be dangerous because it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, fire hazards, and explosions. However, there are situations where you don’t need to get worried about a faint furnace gas. You may need a professional to inspect the furnace and the heat exchanger to determine the cause of the gas smell.

Safety Precautions

The first thing to do after smelling gas smells around the house or hear hissing sounds is to turn off the furnace. Ensure that you get everyone out of the house and immediately call your local gas company. Gas smells around your furnace could be signs of gas leaks. Here are some scenarios that may cause a gas smell around the furnace in your home.


You may smell a strange smell when the heat kicks on if you haven’t started the HVAC unit for a while. The smell might be like a gas burning or rotten eggs. Dust settles in and accumulates within the HVAC unit, and when you turn on the furnace, the dust burns off. The smell should fade away within a short time. You can prevent that through regular HVAC professional cleaning.

Exhaust Pipe

You might notice gas smells when the gas from the furnace exhaust pipe that expels to the outside is blowing back through the door or window. It is normal to smell a gas smell in the furnace exhaust pipe because that is how the HVAC unit eliminates used gas from the system. You can stop the smell by closing the door or window when the wind blows in a specific direction. If the smell doesn’t go away, it would be wise to contact a professional to inspect the furnace.

Preventative Maintenance with the Experts

Have you recently maintained your furnace? If not, then it’s time to schedule annual maintenance with the pros before your furnace starts developing gas leaks. We have qualified and experienced professionals to assist with the maintenance. We can also help with indoor air quality, duct cleaning, environmental assessments, and ductless systems. East Peoria residents can contact our team at Accurate Heating & Cooling to inspect your furnace for gas leaks.