Top Reasons for a Burning Smell When You Turn on the Heater

December 20, 2021
Homeowner Turning Off Furnace in Philadelphia, PA to Improve Energy Efficiency in the Summer

With cold temperatures ahead, you’ll soon be kicking on your furnace for the first time this season. If you notice a slight burning smell, don’t panic. In most cases, there’s no real danger. However, it’s a good idea to call in a professional HVAC technician if you’re unsure or if you suspect a problem you can’t address on your own. Here are some top reasons there may be a burning smell when you turn on your heater.

It’s Just Dust

In all likelihood, that tell-tale stench is due to a buildup of dust on the outside of your furnace. It burns away as the surface heats up, causing a noticeable odor. It shouldn’t last long and is nothing that should concern you.

You Should Clean Your Filter and Vents

It could be that you simply need to replace your filter with a clean one. This should be checked on a regular basis, about once every two months. You might need to clean your vents as well if there’s an accumulation of dust there.

Something Fell Into the Vent

Do you notice the smell coming from one room in particular? If this is the case, you probably dropped something in the vent. Take a look or remove the cover and feel inside with your hand. If you don’t find anything, you may want to hire an HVAC technician to help locate the source of the odor.

Problematic Electrical Wiring Could Be to Blame

If the burning odor has an electrical scent, you could have a more serious problem. Worn-out electrical wiring could lead to overheating of the motor or a cracked heat exchanger. Definitely reach out to our professional heating company to have things checked out.

Leave It to Us

If this information hasn’t eased your mind and you’re worried about the burning smell, get in touch with Peters Associates in Philadelphia. We service the heating, cooling and air quality needs of Bucks and Montgomery Counties, as well as the surrounding areas.

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