4 Reasons Behind the Burning Smell in Your Furnace


It can be quite alarming when you notice a burning smell in your home. You may end up checking the whole place to see if there’s a fire only to land in front of your furnace. When your furnace is the cause of the burning smell, you likely have an issue with your furnace that needs to be sorted out. 

While some issues may resolve on their own, others may need further attention. So, it’s important to properly diagnose the cause of the burning. To help you with that, we’ve listed down below some of the most common reasons your furnace smells like it’s burning.

1. Electrical Issues

Sometimes, a burning smell in your home can be due to electrical problems. And they’re not limited to the furnace as many other electrical appliances can have faulty wires and other similar issues. 

When the smell is caused by electrical issues, it will often smell like burning plastic. And if you smell this coming from your furnace, it’s crucial to turn it off immediately. 

Since electrical issues are serious and often dangerous, it’s best not to try to fix them yourself. Instead, you should hire a furnace repair service to take a look at the problem. Often, the burning plastic smell is caused by the furnace being too hot, thus melting some of the components. A professional will be able to identify which components have been damaged and replace them.

2. Dust

A lot of dust can settle inside the furnace. And what you’re smelling may be the dust burning. This scenario is most likely to happen when you first turn it on after the summer. If this is the case, the smell will only continue as the dust burns away, and there is no need to panic. However, if the smell persists for more than a day, you probably should contact furnace repair technicians to see what the problem is.

3. Oil Filter

If you notice a smell of burning oil coming from the furnace, the problem probably lies in the oil filter. To resolve the problem, you simply need to replace the filter. In general, oil filters must be replaced every three months. And if you have pets or smoke inside your home, you should replace the filter more frequently. If the filter has been there for too long, it will likely cause that burning oil smell. However, if replacing the filter still does not solve the problem, you would have to get furnace repair services.

4. Gas Leak

The smell coming from your furnace may seem like rotten eggs. If this is what you’re smelling, it is crucial to turn off the furnace immediately and contact a professional.

A rotten egg smell can indicate a gas leak, which is a very serious problem. So while waiting for the professionals to arrive, it’s best to open the windows and allow clean air to circulate. Having clean air in the furnace room will help reduce the risk of serious damages. Once you provide air circulation, it’s best to get out of your home in the meantime. 

Final Thoughts

Burning smells coming from your furnace may be a serious problem. But sometimes, the issue can be resolved on its own. Either way, it’s important to identify the cause of the smell to know what appropriate action to take next.

If there’s a problem with your furnace, you can count on Mainline Heating and Air to fix it. We do furnace repair in Alabaster, Birmingham, and more from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. We also offer quality products and are uniquely qualified to help you select the comfort system that best fits your home and your budget. Call us now to speak with someone about your heating needs!

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