There are certain calls that we get somewhat frequently during the winter months. Those about a burning odor coming from a furnace definitely qualify. We want to point out, however, that the fact that a problem is somewhat common does not mean that it is no big deal.
There are a few different reasons as to why your furnace may smell like burning. While some are really nothing to worry about, others could mean that dangerous conditions are possible. Consider the following information, and do not hesitate to call us if you smell burning coming from your furnace.
- Dust. When we mentioned certain causes that are nothing to worry about, this is certainly one we had in mind. During the off-season, it is possible for dust to build up on the burner or electrical heating element in the furnace. When the furnace first starts up for the season, it can burn this dust off. That can lead to the burning odor homeowners may smell. If the problem doesn’t go away pretty quickly upon first using the system, though, you may well be dealing with something more serious.
- Obstructions. Furnaces are forced air heating systems. That means that they use ductwork in order to distribute heated air throughout homes. That ductwork blows heated air into the rooms of a house through vents. These vents may be found low on walls, or even on the floor. It is possible for an obstruction to get into the vent, or for a child to force something into those vents. That could account for the burning odor.
- Electrical Issues. This is a big one. If you have electrical problems with your furnace, you may smell a burning odor as wiring insulation melts or parts overheat. If this is the case, the risk of fire is real. Let us evaluate your system to guarantee that it is working safely.