Why Does My HVAC System Smell Like Smoke?

May 13, 2020
Seeing or smelling smoke from your home’s HVAC system can be alarming. An odor of smoke could develop for several reasons, and not all of them are emergencies. Here are three reasons why your home’s heating and cooling system could smell like smoke and which actions you should take.

Why Does My HVAC System Smell Like Smoke?

Dirty Filter or Vents

A dusty air filter could create a smoke type of smell. Dust on the electrical heating elements may also cause a short-term smoke odor the first time you use the emergency heat for the season. If you just bought your home and are using the heat or air conditioning for the first time, tobacco residue in the air vents could create an odor of smoke in your living spaces. Duct cleaning and changing the air filters may help.

Overheated Motor or Fan

An overheated HVAC motor or fan could create a smoke smell in your home. A lack of maintenance or debris in the housing may cause the motor or fan to overheat. On a particularly hot day, the HVAC system could also overheat. For air conditioners and heat pumps, look at the outdoor unit and see if it is smoking. If you see smoke, this is an emergency. Turn off the HVAC system. Walk outside of your home. If the smoke smell is stronger by the HVAC unit, call for repairs. Everyone should evacuate your home if there is smoke coming from the outdoor condenser unit.

Overheated Electrical Connections

A problem with the wiring in your HVAC system, thermostat or somewhere in your home could also cause an odor of smoke. Turn the power off to the HVAC system. You may also need to check your circuit breaker and look for tripped circuits. Call us for emergency repairs.

Our qualified technicians can identify why your HVAC system smells like smoke and can make any needed emergency repairs. We also offer plumbing services, indoor air quality solutions and heating and cooling repairs, maintenance and installations. Call us at Dogtown Heating, Air & Plumbing in Paxton, IL, to learn more about why your HVAC system is emitting strange odors.

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