Heating Contractor in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky
A Tradition of Quality Service for Over 150 Years!

What’s that Smell From Turning on My Furnace for the First Time?

How to choose the right air filters in order to survive allergy season. Which type of air filters is best for improving indoor air quality?


You go to turn on your furnace after a long season of inactivity. Chances are, your first thought will be, “Whoa! What is that extremely musty smell?” first of all, don't fret.

The professionals at Rusk Heating and Cooling are well-versed in diagnosing a furnace problem just from the initial smell and they can tell you a number of things. First of all, if the smell is described best as burning rubber then it could either be a minor problem or a much more serious issue; if your furnace has the smell of smoke it could mean a blocked chimney; and if your furnace has the smell of burning dust that persists for more than an hour, you should look into getting a new air filter.

When it comes to air filters, the professionals at Rusk Heating and Cooling know that the ones that provide the best indoor air quality are the best for you. This is especially true if you struggle with allergies. However, some basic information will help you fully understand which air filter is best for all of your health needs.

First of all, in your quest to find the best air filter to help you combat your allergies you must realize that each and every air filter has a rating system attached to it. These ratings raise from 1 to 20, and a higher the rating the better the air filter to treat the air around you, thus helping you to breathe better.

After you understand this, you also need to know there are four different types of furnace filters. First, there is the flat panel fiberglass filter. This time usually only has a rating from 1 to 4 and is only Suited for protecting the furnace itself. Simply put, it will do nothing to help your allergy issues. Next up is the pleated media furnace filter. This filter has a rating from 5 to 13 typically, and 14 to 16 for high-efficiency model this does resist air for, but there are some that are better.

Finally, the HEPA filter is the best you can get, with a rating from 17 to 20. It catches up to 99.97% of all particles and is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency and OSHA. However, most individuals will need to have their furnace retrofitted for this type of filter. If you have allergy concerns contact our professionals today at Rusk. We are ready, willing and able to answer all of your questions about the best filter for your allergy issues.