What It Means When Your Furnace Smells Like It’s Burning

Fixing Your Furnace

Unless you’re around a campfire, the smell of burning is rarely a good sign. It’s especially dangerous if it’s coming from the furnace within your Dalhart TX home. A burning odor can indicate a variety of problems with your heating system, some of which are cause for concern.

Burning Dust

If your furnace is turning on for the first time after a long period, the smell is most likely due to the burning off of accumulated dust on the unit. Dust can even collect within the ducts and on the heat exchanger, which causes a stronger odor. Wait about an hour or so to see if the smell goes away, and if it does, your unit should be fine. Routine maintenance can help limit this problem.

Oil Fire

Older units use oil to produce heat, and the smell of burning oil could mean you have a leak. Leaking oil is definitely concerning, especially because of its proximity to a heating element. Call our technicians at Winkelman Heating & Air Conditioning right away to schedule a service call.

Electrical or Plastic Burning Smell

The smells of electrical wires burning or plastic melting are different than the typical burning smell produced when something overheats. If you catch a whiff of an electrical burn, you could have a problem with the wiring or other electrical components. This is an issue that you should address immediately by bringing in an experienced HVAC technician.

The smell of burning plastic could mean something is trapped in the duct or register. Check the registers first to see if one of your children dropped a toy inside or spilled something that could cause the smell. If you can’t pinpoint the cause, give us a call, as you might have a problem with the heat exchanger or furnace motor.

When it smells like something is burning, it’s always worthwhile to have one of our professional technicians at Winkelman Heating & Air Conditioning check your heating system. Feel free to contact us at 806-553-4698.

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