Why Does the Furnace Have a Burning Smell Sometimes?

November 27, 2019 11:38 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Your furnace is what warms up your home on cold days. It’s the heart of your home’s heating system, which means it doesn’t get used during the warmer months. With that in mind, you have probably noticed a musty smell when you turn it on for the first time in fall or winter. While this smell is typical of heating systems that haven’t been used for some time, other odors are not, such as burning smells and a sour scent.

Let’s find out why your furnace has a burning smell in Kalamazoo, MI. We’ll also review some common furnace odors connected to electrical issues reported by homeowners.

Signs of furnace issues

A tell-tale sign that your furnace is not functioning properly is the presence of electrical smells. Once again, it’s not unusual to turn on your heater for the first time after a long summer and pick up a short-lived musty smell. Odd electrical smells point to a number of possible problems, some more minor or more serious than others. Regardless, no matter how small, you need to call a professional to properly assess the situation and diagnose the problem.

There are a couple types of burning smells to be on the lookout for. Don’t ignore them, because they can be problematic. Identify them quickly so you can take swift action.

Electrical or metallic smell

You can’t help but take notice of electrical smells or metallic smells in your home—especially since they probably don’t occur all too often. Some examples include catching whiffs of what smells like burning wires or a metallic hotness.

When you detect electrical smells coming from your home’s furnace, this is often an indication of overheating internal components. Electrical smells coupled with a furnace that randomly shuts off is a sign that the fail-safe mechanism has kicked on. It stops the furnace from running as a way to protect itself from damage. Call a furnace technician as soon as possible so you can begin using your furnace again.

Mechanical smells coming from your furnace are also cause for concern. This smell may indicate that rubber or metal parts inside the unit are burning due to general wear or old age. These parts need to be replaced, but shouldn’t cost too much.

Burning dust

The smell of burning dust inside your furnace is a very common thing, but it’s not always something you should worry about. In most instances, a burning dusty smell coming from your furnace is normal. A prime example is turning on your heater for the first time this winter, only to be greeted by more than just warm air. This smell is likely the furnace burning away accumulated dirt and dust, and the smell should dissipate within a few hours.

Nevertheless, there are steps to take to ensure nothing is truly wrong with your furnace. First, change the air filter. If that doesn’t do it, consider having the ducts and furnace cleaned.

When you need an HVAC technician, contact All Brands Heating & Cooling in Kalamazoo, MI. Call soon to schedule a furnace service appointment!

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