Why Is There A Strange Metallic Smell In My House?

Home safety is a crucial matter and with so many appliances installed in modern-day homes, every homeowner should be wary of any potential danger.

Fortunately, there are telltale signs like a metallic smell in the house that can alert you in case something isn’t functioning well or needs a replacement.

 A metallic smell doesn’t always signal danger. Sometimes it is a malfunction that needs maintenance.

What causes a metallic smell in a house?

Metallic odor at home

The cause of a metallic smell inside your house can be due to the following reasons:

  • Malfunctioning of a blower as a result of overheating or damaged wires in the furnace.
  • Excess minerals in your piped or well water.
  • Rusty kitchen pipes or sink.
  • A new furnace.

1. A spoilt furnace blower motor

When you turn on the furnace, you always expect it to circulate fresh air in your house.

A blower motor can cause metallic smells because of the following reasons:

  • A blower motor is responsible for pushing air through the dashboard vents depending on the climate settings. Therefore, in case it spoils, you’ll notice immediately. The motor can overheat, filling the air with a metallic smell.
  • Since the furnace blower and the motor are made of steel, during high temperatures the steel emits strong metallic smells.
  • The lifespan of a furnace blower is about 15 years but you may notice issues with its performance early. Either the motor or blower can wear out over time making the parts rub on one another. This friction causes metallic smells.

In these instances, you can replace or repair your furnace blower motor. Once repaired, the metallic smell will disappear.

2. Wiring

The wiring of a furnace is essential to its performance.

If there’s a problem with the wiring, the first indicator will be a metallic smell filling the air in the house. Wires can damage as a result of being loose or worn from poor installation.

You can tell the cause of the metallic smell is from wiring if the smell starts immediately after a power outage.

Wiring damages on the furnace can also be due to electrical short which is noticeable by a metallic smell.

In case of a metallic smell from a furnace, use a thermostat to turn off the furnace then look for an HVAC technician to check the system.

3. Mineral Water

Water containing high levels of minerals carries a metallic smell that spreads all over the house.

When the minerals come into contact with the acidity in water, it creates a strong metallic smell. 

The best way to get rid of the metallic smell of mineral water is by adding a water softener.

A water softener filters the minerals from water, making the metallic smell reduce. Water from wells also contains iron that creates a metallic taste in a house. 

An increase in the concentrations of copper and zinc in water causes a metallic taste in water. The smell is from tanks, pipes, or metal fittings used for plumbing.

When water stays in the pipes for a long time, it also smells metallic.

4. Rusty Pipes

Sometimes people can mistake the smell of rusty pipes for that of mineral water.

Rusty pipes are common in old houses with outdated plumbing systems and they emit a metallic taste.

5. Kitchen Sink

Kitchen sinks made from stainless steel mostly smell metallic. Although it’s not noticeable immediately, metal sinks cause metallic odors over time. 

Wear and tear on sinks can result from washing dishes or a constant flow of water. If there’s a metallic smell around the sinks, check them for rust. 

6. A new furnace

A new furnace has a coating that protects it from rust. When a furnace is run for the first time, the coating releases a metallic smell.

The smell should disappear after a few days as it continues to run. If it doesn’t disappear, it could be a result of electrical issues.

How to avoid a metallic smell from your HVAC

Metallic smell in house air conditioner

The best way to get rid of a strange metallic smell in house is through regular maintenance using a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) expert.

Furnace maintenance should be done once or twice a year. A technician will clean the furnace and inspect it for any electrical issues.

You can as well do regular maintenance on your own by changing your filters once every three months. This will ensure your HVAC unit runs smoothly and free it of any unwanted odors. 

Before switching on your furnace every season, ensure you follow the following maintenance tips:

  • Check for any worn-out piping.
  • Replace the air filters as per the manufacturer’s manual.
  • Ensure that the combustion chamber is clean.
  • Check if all the bits are tight and working.

FAQs

1. How do you remove the metallic smell from water?

To remove the metallic smell from your water supply, use a water filtration system. If the smell is severe, the system has to be flushed.

2. What other smells can a furnace produce?

During the start of winter, a furnace emits a dusty smell. It’s normal and lasts for a few days.

Sometimes furnaces can cause some rotten egg smell.

This is mainly a result of gas leaking, so you have to shut the gas furnace off and seek professional help.

A mold-like smell can come out of the furnace because of mold infestation in the ductwork.

3. How do normal furnaces smell?

A properly maintained furnace isn’t supposed to smell weird. It has a faint odor that lasts for a short te when you first run it.

This smell isn’t noticeable and lasts for a short while.

Final Thoughts

Metallic smells in your home are indicative of several issues which shouldn’t be ignored.

Safety measures should be taken for the safety of the family and of the appliances.

It’s important to understand between the issues you can fix on your own or those that need professional help. 

If the smell persists, it’s an indication that it’s beyond your ability. Regular inspections and maintenance are necessary for keeping your home appliances safe and working properly.