heating technician talking to homeowner

Why Is There a Burning Smell Coming from My Heater?

January 10, 2021

A properly functioning furnace shouldn’t release any odors when it heats your home. If you notice a burning smell coming from your heater, it’s important to do a little investigating before you call for a furnace repair. Here are three reasons why your Helena, MT, home’s heater could be discharging a burning odor.

Dust on Interior Components

If you haven’t used your heating system in a while, the burning smell could be from dust burning off the interior components. If this is the case, the odor should go away after a couple of heating cycles, explains the Hays County Fire Marshal’s Office. If you still smell a burning odor after more than one day, you may need a furnace repair.

Dirty Filter

A clogged air filter doesn’t allow the blower to push the heated air through it and into your home’s ducts. The heat stays around the heat exchanger, and this can cause it to overheat. If you smell a combination of burning dust and an unusual metallic or formaldehyde type of odor, check the air filter. It’s a good idea to set a monthly reminder on your phone to check the filter. Don’t go longer than three months between air filter changes.

Electrical or Mechanical Problem

If you smell an odor of burning plastic, metal or electrical components, immediately turn off your heating system. It could have a wiring problem, overheated motor or worn bearing. It’s also possible that a child or pet pushed a plastic item into the ducts or vents, and the heat could cause it to release a burning smell. If you also see smoke or your carbon monoxide or smoke detector sounds, exit your home, and call for emergency heating repairs.

For more information about why a burning smell is coming from your heater, take a look at Superior Heating & Cooling, Inc.’s furnace repair services, or get in touch with our heating contractors today.

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