What’s That Burning Furnace Smell?

By All-Temp Heating & Cooling

Date Published: October 8, 2019

Reasons Why The Furnace Smells Like It’s Burning

When the weather turns cold and you start up your furnace for the first time in the year, you may notice a burning smell in the air as the machine wakes up.

This burning smell is the result of settled dust and dirt burning off inside the parts on your system, however there are other causes that result in that burning smell. Apart from a potential fire hazard, that kind of dust buildup is an indicator of how much your system can stray from peak performance while it sits dormant and unused in the summer.

A furnace tune-up once a year will help your system to run at maximum efficiency. Just as importantly, a system that is well-maintained over the course of its lifetime will last longer before needing to be replaced.

4 Reasons Your Furnace Makes A Burning Smell

  • Burning Dust – The most common reason for your furnace to produce a burning smell is due to accumulated dust & debris. There is no reason to be alarmed if this is the case. If the smell persists after 10 – 15 minutes, you may want to contact an HVAC specialist to come take a look.
  • Clogged Air Filter – Changing your air filter can also help alleviate the burning smell. When the air filter is clogged, it forces the blower motor to work much harder, causing it to overheat. You can purchase your air filters directly on our website if needed!
  • Electrical Burning – Typically, your furnace will turn off if it begins to overheat. If it doesn’t, there may be a broken or malfunctioning safety feature. It is best to contact a professional HVAC company to properly diagnose the issue & provide a repair solution.
  • Burning Plastic – If you recognize the distinct smell of burning plastic coming from your vents while the furnace is running, this could be a sign that a foreign object has made it’s way into your heating system. This could be a variety of things, but as always, it’s best to have the team at All-Temp come identify what it is.

When To Contact A Pro For Furnace Repair

Sometimes, the initial burning smell you get after utilizing your furnace for a few weeks persists. This can be an indication of other common furnace issues that may need attention.

Contact a professional if you notice the following signs:

  • Loud noises coming from furnace
  • Banging or knocking sound coming from furnace
  • Burning smell persisting with every use
  • Furnace is blowing cool air

If you notice these signs (or other unusual performance issues) don’t be afraid! Our team of Stuanton furnace repair experts are here to help you out. Most of the time, these issues can be fixed in a single service visit.


Related Article: Why Is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?


Schedule Your Routine Maintenance Visit Today

At All-Temp Heating & Cooling, we offer comprehensive maintenance plans that can help improve the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system all year long! Routine maintenance of your furnace and air conditioning system can extend their lifespan, and help you save money. Our Staunton heating and cooling maintenance experts can help you establish a maintenance routine that enables you to get the most out of your AC and heater.

If you are interested in learning more about our maintenance plans, contact us today at (540) 712-8902.

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