As the temperature starts to drop, a furnace becomes an absolute must-have for every commercial or residential property. While furnaces are reliable and efficient, they aren’t immune to problems, and sometimes they produce smells that can be alarming. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 reasons why your furnace might smell like it’s burning and what you can do to address the issue.
1. Dust Accumulation
If you notice a burning smell coming from your furnace, it could simply be dust accumulation. Over the warmer months, dust particles gather and form a thick layer around the furnace’s heat exchanger. When the furnace is first turned on, this accumulated dust gets heated up, resulting in an unpleasant odor that spreads throughout your home.
Regular cleaning and maintenance can prevent dust buildup and alleviate the burning smell. At the end of each summer, it’s a good idea to book a maintenance appointment with a professional HVAC technician to clean and inspect your furnace before the heating season begins. This way, you can ensure that your furnace is in good working condition and minimize the chances of unexpected smells.
2. Clogged Air Filters
Did you know that dirty or clogged air filters can reduce the efficiency of your furnace? Not only that, but it can also potentially cause overheating and emit an unpleasant burning smell.
Don’t worry, there’s a simple solution! By regularly replacing the air filters, you can ensure your furnace is running smoothly and efficiently. It can also extend the lifespan of your furnace and improve the air quality in your home. It’s recommended to replace air filters every one to three months, depending on the type of filter and level of usage.
3. Electrical Problems
If you detect a burning smell, it may be a sign of an electrical circuit issue, such as a short circuit or an overloaded circuit. If not addressed promptly, circuit issues can lead to more serious problems and dangerous situations. In this case, turn off your furnace immediately, and call a professional HVAC technician for assistance.
4. Blower Motor Issues
If you notice a malfunctioning blower motor, it may lead to your furnace overheating and emitting smoke, which can cause a strong burning smell throughout your property. Take action, and have a professional technician inspect and repair the issue. They can also provide helpful recommendations for regular maintenance to prevent any future problems.
5. Oil Furnace Issues
If you have an oil furnace, a burning odor may indicate a problem with the oil burner. This can occur when the burner fails to ignite the oil properly, resulting in incomplete combustion and the release of unburned fuel particles into the air. Apart from creating an unpleasant smell, it can pose safety concerns.
The first thing you should do is turn off the furnace. Don’t try to fix the problem yourself because it requires specialized knowledge and equipment. Contact a professional technician to diagnose and repair the issue.
6. Gas Furnace Issues
If you happen to detect a distinct burning smell emanating from your gas furnace, along with hissing or a faint gas odor, it could indicate possible gas leaks. For your safety, it’s crucial to promptly turn off both your furnace and electric supply, evacuate your property, and contact your gas company’s emergency line for assistance. Gas leaks pose significant risks and should never be addressed on your own.
In addition to gas leaks, burning smells from a gas furnace might also indicate dirty or clogged burners. Such issues may result in incomplete combustion and the release of unburned gas particles into the air. Fortunately, these concerns can be easily addressed by professional technicians through cleaning and maintenance services.
Always prioritize your safety and the well-being of your home. It’s better to err on the side of caution and seek immediate professional help.
7. Foreign Objects
Occasionally, small foreign objects can accidentally find their way into your furnace while it’s in operation. Other times, it may be rodents or insects that have nested inside your furnace or ductwork. These foreign objects can cause unpleasant odors, loud noises, and even blockages in the system.
If you suspect a foreign object in your furnace, don’t think that your furnace will burn it away. Instead, turn off your furnace and contact a professional technician for safe removal. Don’t remove the object yourself, as you may cause damage to the furnace or risk injury.
8. Improper Installation
Unfortunately, when your furnace isn’t installed correctly or fails to meet safety standards, it can lead to malfunctions and emit unusual odors.
To prevent this issue, it’s always recommended to hire a licensed and insured technician for your furnace installation. These professionals will make sure proper sizing and placement of your furnace, and there’s plenty of ventilation to prevent gas build-up. Additionally, they’ll ensure all safety measures are met to keep your home and family safe.
In the unlikely event of a furnace malfunction causing damage to your property, this is where a licensed technician’s insurance comes in handy. They’ll cover the costs of repairs or replacements, providing you with peace of mind and protection. At the same time, your insurance provider may deny coverage if the installation wasn’t done by a licensed professional. Instead of risking your safety and finances, always opt for professional furnace installation services.
9. Ductwork Issues
Properly functioning ductwork is crucial for the safe and efficient operation of your HVAC system. Damaged or improperly installed ducts can cause the furnace to overheat, leading to unpleasant burning odors and potential safety hazards.
In some cases, ductwork issues can be easily identified by checking for visible damage or leaks. However, there may also be underlying problems that require professional expertise to diagnose and repair.
10. Not Enough Ventilation
Ventilation is vital for the proper functioning of your furnace. Without sufficient ventilation, gases can build up and pose a serious safety risk. If you notice unusual odors coming from your vents, it could be a sign of inadequate ventilation.
Under such circumstances, turn off your furnace, and air out your home immediately. Once the problem is resolved, it’s important to have a professional check your ventilation system to prevent future issues.
Get Help From Professionals
If you notice any burning smells coming from your furnace, it’s important to take immediate action. Please don’t ignore the issue, hope it’ll go away, or try to investigate it yourself. Your safety always takes first place.
At Modern Heating and Plumbing, we understand the significance of providing high-quality heating services to our clients. As your local licensed and insured HVAC expert in Frederick, MD, we’re always here to assist you with any concerns related to your furnace. Feel free to reach out to us for professional furnace installation, repair, or maintenance services. Our skilled technicians will ensure that your system operates safely and efficiently throughout the year.
In addition to our furnace repair services, we also offer a comprehensive range of HVAC and plumbing services. Give us a call today, and let us help you maintain the comfort and safety of your home.