Why Is There a Smell When I First Start My Heater?

October 13, 2021
Heater Troubleshooting in Urbana, IL

When you first turn your furnace on for the year, there’s a good chance you’ll notice the smell of something burning. Is this something to be concerned about? It’s usually normal, but there are some burning smells that indicate a serious problem.

Why There’s a Burning Smell

Your furnace has likely sat unused for months when you first turn it on for the year. During this time, the air has continued to circulate through your ductwork and heater. This causes dust to settle on your heater’s parts.

When you first fire up your furnace, it heats up, and the dust burns. It will smell like something burned in your home, but it’s just dust. If the smell goes away within a day, then it’s just a normal occurrence and nothing to worry about.

Can You Prevent This Smell?

You can reduce or prevent the smell of burning dust by having your heater tuned-up by an HVAC technician in the fall. As part of this service, they will clean the interior of your heater, which removes dust.

You can also reduce the odor by changing the air filter. A new filter will capture dust particles and prevent them from entering your furnace. Doing this doesn’t replace getting a tune-up, but it helps.

Dogtown Heating, Air & Plumbing in Paxton, IL tunes-up heaters. We offer a valuable maintenance agreement so that your heater is taken care of winter after winter.

What Burning Smells Aren’t Normal?

The smell of burnt plastic indicates a problem. It could be a worn-out fan belt, melting wiring insulation, an electrical fault, or an overheated blower motor. You should have an HVAC technician take a look at your heating system to determine the problem.

At Dogtown Heating, Air & Plumbing, we repair, replace and maintain heaters. We have the same services for air conditioners. Our company is also a full-service plumbing company that handles drain cleaning, water heaters, garbage disposals, and more. Other services include indoor air quality, mini-split systems, and boilers. Call today to schedule an appointment.

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