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Comfy Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. Blog

Why Does My Furnace Smell Like It’s Burning?

Furnace system about to be repaired.

You haven’t turned on your furnace in quite a while. It gets chilly, you finally crank it on, and your home fills with an awful burning smell. Is it normal, or should you be concerned? It depends on the scent and how long it lasts. This blog post will tell you whether or not you should be concerned, or if you need HVAC repair Dublin residents turn to time after time.

The Smell is Most Likely Your Furnace Burning Off Dust

The good news is that this burning smell you’re encountering could be a simple fix. When you turn a furnace on after a long period of disuse, heat fills your ductwork and burns off dust. Depending on how long you’ve gone without turning on your furnace, there could be quite a bit of it.

Typically, this takes a couple of hours to finish burning off. It means you have to deal with an unpleasant smell for a short while, but thankfully the odor will lessen and eventually disappear. Standard dust buildup doesn’t pose a safety hazard to your home or your family.

The Smell Hasn’t Gone Away After a Few Hours

If you notice that the smell hasn’t gotten any better after hours of operation, you may have a problem on your hands. Lasting burning odors in your furnace may mean that your air filter is really dusty and needs to be replaced. Sometimes airflow is the issue.

If it’s not the air filter, there could be a more serious problem with your wiring. A burning smell caused by your furnace’s electrical components is a big concern and should be serviced by a licensed professional as soon as possible.

There’s a Burning Plastic Smell Coming From Your Furnace

While it’s unlikely that a foreign object made its way into your ductwork, it shouldn’t be ruled out as a possibility. An odor of burning plastic could mean that one or more of your furnace parts have begun to fail. It’s difficult to know what the problem is without a proper inspection from a licensed HVAC specialist.

There’s an Odor Similar to Gunpowder

If your furnace produces an odor that resembles the scent of gunpowder you may have a major problem on your hands. This could be the result of a burned-out fan motor or fried circuits that are burning more from having your furnace on.

In this instance, you should shut down your furnace immediately and contact a professional. An odor similar to gunpowder could mean serious electrical damage and the potential risk of an electrical fire.

Schedule a Furnace Maintenance Call Today

If you’re still concerned about a burning smell coming from your furnace, it’s best to have a licensed professional take a look. While it’s likely that you just have dust buildup burning off from your furnace, you can never be too careful. Our HVAC technicians know what to look out for to keep your furnace running throughout the year.

Contact us today for furnace repair, installation, and maintenance to ensure your comfort never suffers.

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