December 8th, 2016

3 Common Causes of a Burning Smell From Your Furnace

Smelly Burning Furnace

When the weather turns cold in Florida, a lot of fire departments receive many calls because people smell something burning in their homes. This often happens after someone turns on their heater for the very first time during the initial cold snap.

It’s not uncommon to be alarmed by this smell and it’s not unreasonable that you want to call someone who is professional, whether it’s an HVAC company or a fire company so that you know whether something’s wrong.

One thing to know is that many times it’s usually just because the heater’s been off for a long period. But there are some times when you should have it checked out since it could be trouble.

Below are some common reasons that you may be having that burning smell coming from your furnace.

#1: You’ve Turned It on Because It’s Cold

As we have already mentioned, it’s not uncommon to have a burning smell when the heater’s turned on after a hiatus. There may be dust in your system when it wasn’t used and could have been stirred when it was turned on. This dust will quickly burn off and that smell should soon dissipate.

#2: The Filter’s Clogged

If you have a dirty or clogged filter, that dust may go right through the furnace and cause the burning smell. You should check the filters and replace them as needed so that this is avoided. Another thing that you can do is to get reusable filters to save money. After the filter’s clean, you shouldn’t have a smell.

#3: There isn’t Proper Clearance

You shouldn’t put foreign materials near your vents or unit. When you are using your heater and there’s something too close to it, there’s a good chance that the item might become too hot and burn. Look for plastics, flammable materials and fabric that’s close to your unit, then remove the item. You should have your furnace regularly inspected by someone who is professional to make sure that it’s safe.

Other Possible Causes

If you’ve started smelling something burning, it’s important that you check the system immediately and try to find any possible causes. However if you smell a different smell, something like gas, make sure that you take action immediately and call someone to get assistance right away.

Preventing Problems

The majority of the things above can be prevented and shouldn’t make you worry. Before autumn, make an appointment with a professional to have the system inspected so that you know it’s going to work well during the winter months. Even though the dust that’s causing the odor can quickly burn off so that it’s gone eventually, it’s still very important that it’s checked since there may be residue left that harms your heater.

Remember that preventative maintenance’s the key to keeping your heater working well and it should be regularly done. This can help you with sleeping warmly and comfortably during the cold nights and not having to worry if you’re safe.

Need Help? Talk to An Expert!

Our goal is to help educate our HVAC customers in the Port Charlotte and Charlotte County, Florida area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC, Heating and Air Conditioning systems).

If you are contemplating having your air conditioning repaired, Contact Dales Heating and Air Conditioning by calling (941) 629-1712 or by filling out our secure Contact Form.