Generating heat is your furnace’s primary purpose, and it should direct that heat safely to the appropriate part of the house. If you notice a burning smell coming from your furnace in your Hampstead, North Carolina, home, it’s important to track down the cause. Diagnose unusual smells quickly to ensure your home is safe and well-maintained.

One-Time Dust Burn-Off

The most common cause of a burning smell from the furnace is burning dust at the beginning of the heating season. When the system sits unused for months at a time, dust accumulates in the combustion chamber.

If you schedule annual maintenance, your service technician can help clean some of this dust buildup. Without regular tuneups, there will undoubtedly be dust that has to burn off the first time you turn your furnace on. If you notice the smell only once at the beginning of the season, it’s not a cause for concern.

Electrical Issues

Issues with electrical components can create a certain hot and smoky smell. This has a distinct sharpness to it that you may be familiar with if you’ve smelled burning electrical components before. If you suspect electrical problems with your furnace, you should contact a professional service technician immediately.

System Malfunctions

A malfunctioning furnace can cause a burning smell for many reasons. If the blower stops, the furnace will overheat. A clogged oil filter will emit an unpleasant smell as well. If you notice a burning smell in the middle of the heating season or a persistent smell that doesn’t clear up quickly, call a professional immediately.

Poorly Placed Combustibles

The area around your furnace should be clear of boxes, blankets and any type of combustible storage. Make sure you’re not keeping household items close to the furnace. The heat can singe or even ignite these items, creating a dangerous source of that burning smell.

You should always address unusual smells promptly if you can’t find the cause. Call Gideon Heating & Air Conditioning at (910) 447-2905 for all your HVAC heating


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