With the temperature starting to cool down here in Texas, you may try and turn on your heater for the first time in what feels like a while. Immediately, you smell this strong burning scent that sets off alarms in your head that something must be on fire! Try not to immediately panic, here are some reasons why this might be happening.
One of the most common reasons for a burning smell is that dust has built up on your furnace. This is often seen when you live in warmer places where the furnace is off for months on end, like in Texas. When you turn on your furnace for the first time in months, the dust that has accumulated will start to burn off, causing that dreaded burning smell. The vents will send the smell throughout your home, but there is no need for alarm in this case. After a short period, the smell will go away. If it lingers, turn off the heater and be sure to contact an HVAC professional so they can assess the situation.
Debris/Object in Furnace
If you smell burning plastic or rubber, a foreign object (such as a kid’s toy) may have made its way into your heating unit. First, try and isolate which vent the smell is coming from. If there is something obstructing the vent, try moving it and see if that helps with the smell. If it does not fix the smell, be sure to contact your local HVAC professional to find the source, and be sure to turn off your system!
It can be easy to forget to change out your air filter, although it is recommended you change your filter every 1-2 months. If you wait too long to change it out, your air filter can get clogged. This will then cause your furnace to over-work in order to push more air through it. A combination of the furnace overheating and the extra dust burning from the filter can be the cause of the smell.
Damaged Electrical Wiring
If there is a burning electrical smell coming from your heater, that could be an indication you have a serious electrical issue. Instead of waiting on this, be sure to have an experienced technician check out your heater and address the problem. If you wait, this can put your whole system at risk of further damage and increase your risk of an electrical fire. If you are not having regular maintenance on your system, this increases the risk of an HVAC dysfunction. Be sure to schedule today to prevent any breakdown or malfunction in your system.
Still not sure what might be the cause of the burning? Simply call today and we can help with the answers you need.
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