As the winter months draw closer, you are likely to turn on your furnace for the first time this season. But, when you first turn it on, you might notice that your furnace smells like it is burning. This smell might be especially concerning if you aren’t sure what the cause is.
There are many potential causes of this burning smell, and our team at Genuine Comfort wants you to know them all so you can adequately address this problem. If your furnace smells like it is burning and you aren’t sure what is causing it, continue reading to learn what is causing it, how to address this, and when you should reach out to a professional for help.
1. It Has Accumulated Dust
When you turn your furnace on for the first time in the fall or winter, it isn’t uncommon for it to smell like it is burning. When your furnace smells like it is burning when it is switched on for the first time after the summer, don’t be too alarmed. As it sits unused, it isn’t uncommon for your furnace to collect a layer of dust. This burns off as the furnace burns, which will result in this burning smell. This burning smell should dissipate as the dust is burnt off and isn’t anything to be especially concerned with. However, if this smell doesn’t dissipate, there may be a different cause.
2. Your Air Filters Are Dirty
If your furnace smells like it is burning, this may be a sign that your air filters are dirty. Determining if this is the cause of the smell should be relatively easy. Your air filters should be replaced about every 90 days. If it hasn’t been replaced in a while, that is likely to reason why your furnace smells like it is burning. If you have replaced the filter recently, there is a chance that it has accumulated dust and debris more quickly, and it needs to be replaced again. Take a peek and double-check that the filter is dust and debris-free before being too concerned.
3. The Circuit Board Is Broken
Not all of the burning smells that come from your furnace will smell exactly the same. If your furnace smells like it is burning, but that smell is accompanied by a melting plastic or gunpowder smell, this may be a sign that your furnace is overheating or that the circuit board is fried. In this case, it is essential that you turn off your furnace as soon as possible to prevent any additional damage from occurring within your HVAC system. From there, it is best to reach out to an HVAC professional for any repairs.
4. It Sat Unused For A While
Much like when you switch your furnace on for the first time, it isn’t uncommon for your furnace to smell like it’s burning when it has sat unused for quite some time. If you moved into a house that sat vacant for months to years, it wouldn’t be surprising to find a layer of dirt, dust, and grime across the surface of your home’s HVAC system. When you move into a house that has sat vacant for a while, it might be a good idea to talk to an HVAC company about coming out for maintenance to ensure it is clean before it is switched on.
Other Smells To Watch Out For
If your furnace smells like it is burning, it is important to keep an eye on this. However, this isn’t the only smell that you are likely to notice from your HVAC system. Some of the other smells that you should watch out for include the following:
- Rotten Eggs: The smell of rotten eggs coming from your HVAC system is a serious problem and often indicates a gas leak. It is absolutely essential that you shut down the system to ensure you and your family don’t experience carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Mildew Or Must: A musty or mildew-rich smell coming from your HVAC system might be an indication of mold present in the system. You should turn this off and call a professional to come inspect the system to ensure this problem is properly addressed.
- Smokey Smell: A smokey smell coming from your HVAC system should be addressed immediately. It is best to turn off the system and double-check that there are no blockages that are affecting the exhaust vent.
Should You Be Alarmed If Your furnace smells like it is burning?
If your furnace smells like it is burning, this isn’t immediate cause for alarm. Many of the causes of this burning smell will slowly dissipate over time. However, a few of these smells, including the smell of burning plastic and the smokey or rotten egg smell, are cause to immediately turn off your system. These smells may impact the health and well-being of your family, while others may result in damage being done directly to your system. If you are unsure why your furnace smells like it is burning, you should reach out to an HVAC professional for help.
Call The Professionals For HVAC Maintenance
Whether your furnace smells like it is burning or you’re moving into a new home, you should reach out to a team of professionals for adequate maintenance. Our team at Genuine Comfort has years of experience, and our highly trained professionals are confident that they can help you with any HVAC problems you may be experiencing.
If you would like to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment or would like to speak to a member of our team about any other problems you may be experiencing, contact us today.