Why Does My Heater Smell Like It’s Burning?

If you’re turning your furnace on for the first time this fall and it smells like it’s burning, don’t panic! Mac has some answers for you.

What’s causing the smell?

  • Most likely the burning smell is caused by dust buildup that has been collecting on your furnace or heating system over the summer months.
  • The smell will usually subside after a few minutes.
  • If the smell does NOT go away, then you should contact an HVAC company, like Mac, immediately.

What else could it be?

  • During the time your heating system wasn’t in use, it’s possible that some object accidentally fell into the device or ductwork.
  • If you’re smelling something in only one room of your house, check the registers to see if you can spot anything that may have fallen into the ductwork.

Change your air filters

  • If your heating system has dirty filters or air vents, then the buildup could cause mold or mildew to grow inside the system or ductwork. This can result in an unpleasant musty smell when you turn your heat on.
  • Clean or replace filters and see if that alleviates the smell.
  • If the odor is not eliminated, then call an HVAC professional to inspect your unit and ductwork.

What about a burning electrical smell?

  • If the smell coming from your heater is a burning electrical smell, it could indicate a serious problem.
  • Damaged electrical wiring can be caused by general wear and tear over time.
  • If you think this is the problem, then turn off your unit immediately.
  • This problem should be addressed by a licensed HVAC professional, like Mac.

The best solution

  • Make sure your HVAC unit is serviced by a professional before every season change.

To learn more about heating systems and energy savings, click here.
Be prepared with a check-up from Mac and if you find yourself with HVAC problems, be sure to contact Mac here or call us at (931) 552-5555.