Peculiar smell from new central AC system?
March 24, 2014 1:48 PM Subscribe
Ever since we had our new air conditioning system installed, we get a strong chemical smell throughout the house when the furnace runs. What’s causing this? Can we do something to make it stop? If not, how long do we wait for it to go away?
posted by McCoy Pauley to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
The AC system in our townhouse died at the end of last summer, and we put off getting it replaced until now. We had new inside and outside units installed last Tuesday, even though the actual cooling function can’t be tested yet since the weather’s too cold here in Northern Virginia. The furnace is still fine, so it hasn't been replaced.
Problem is, now every time the furnace runs to heat the house, we get a strong, unpleasant chemical smell coming out of the vents. I’d describe it as something like charred butterscotch. It’s giving my wife and me both a headache, and it’s been going on more or less unchanged for a week now.
We’ve had techs from the installation company out twice now, and they’ve both said that they’re not sure what it is, but they don’t think it’s toxic, and it should disappear with time. (How long, they couldn’t say). The second and more senior tech said that it’s normal to have unusual smells with a new HVAC system, and suggested that it smelled like the insulation which lines the new inside unit.
My theory is that the inside unit being heated by the furnace underneath it is causing some outgassing of volatiles left over from the manufacturing process, which is not the most comforting thought.
Has the hivemind encountered this sort of problem before? How long did it take to resolve itself, or was there a problem that had to be fixed? If it’s just a matter of waiting things out, then we will, but we want to be sure this is a problem that’s actually going to go away. Thanks, all!