Why Does My Heater Smell Like Something Is Burning?

Why Does My Heater Smell Like Something Is Burning?

Why Does My Heater Smell Like Something Is Burning?

If you haven’t already turned on your furnace, you will be sooner than later. And while most people love the comforts of fall—pumpkin spice everything, fuzzy blankets, warm coffee on a chilly morning— turning on your furnace for the first time of the new season might put a damper on your fall fun.

After months of disuse, new season furnace smells are pretty common, but that doesn’t mean you should shrug your shoulders and assume all is well. Although furnace odors are rarely dangerous, they can be—which means they’re always worth investigating. Downside? Your furnace doesn’t smell so great, and now you have to figure out what’s causing it. Upside? You get to play detective.

Here’s what those common furnace smells mean and what you can do about them:

  • Furnace Smells Like Burning Dust: This is the most common and (thankfully) least worrisome smell. While you’re not using your furnace in the summer months, dust settles everywhere. After that first ignition and first few cycles, the dust will burn off and create that familiar odor. No reason to panic! If it doesn’t stop after a few cycles, try changing or cleaning your filter.
  • Furnace Smells Like Burning Plastic: If it smells like a horse it’s probably a horse, right? First check all your vents and ducts for wayward plastic toys, plastic wrapping, or other debris—especially if you have little ones. You know better than anyone that your kids’ favorite toys end up in the most unlikely places! Checking for the obvious can save you lots of time and worry.
    However, a burning plastic smell can also mean overheating. Capacitors, plastic-coated wires, and fan belts are the usual culprits of that plastic smell. Make sure to turn off the furnace and take care of this one quickly, since burning plastic is toxic.
  • Furnace Smells Oily or Smoky: You’ll experience this if you have an oil furnace. This usually means the oil filter needs cleaning or replacing. It could also be a blocked chimney. Regardless, turn off your unit immediately and inspect the issue further.
  • Furnace Smells Metallic, Electrical, or Chemical: Usually, if your furnace is overheating, it will automatically shut off. But if there’s something wrong with the blower motor or heat exchanger, this safety feature won’t kick in. These overheated parts create a metallic, electrical, or chemical smell. Some people say this issue causes a smell like formaldehyde. (Oh, such fond memories of dissecting frogs in biology class.) Turn off the furnace and inspect it for damage.
  • Furnace Smells Like Burning Gunpowder: If you’re getting a distinct odor of gunpowder, you probably have a fried circuit board or fan motor. Turn off the furnace and call us for a safety inspection.
  • Furnace Smells Like Rotten Eggs: Natural gas is odorless, but your gas company adds sulfur to make gas leaks easier to find and correct. So, a rotten egg smell means you’re having an issue with your gas supply. Immediately get everyone out of your home (including you!) and then call your gas company or fire department.
  • Furnace Smells Musty or Mildewy: If you turn on your furnace and it smells like a damp basement or moist dirt, there are a couple potential causes. The first thing to check is your air filter and to replace or clean it as needed. Next, check your humidifier filter (if you have one) for mold. Clean with water and vinegar for an easy fix.

Need more help with your furnace in Austin?

If your furnace smell continues, gets worse, or you can’t find the cause, call your local fire department for a safety inspection. When it comes to furnace and fire safety, you’re always better safe than sorry. Then give us a call! We take pride in keeping you and your neighbors safe and comfortable in their homes.

HVAC contractor Austin, TX, can help you with fall HVAC maintenance. Hutto’s days are getting shorter as we are approaching the end of summer. And now is the time to schedule fall maintenance. It probably isn’t your favorite thing to schedule routine HVAC maintenance. However, HVAC maintenance is essential for heating systems to perform at their best, and fall is the perfect season for this. 

You may be wondering why fall is the best time for HVAC maintenance. Here are a few reasons: 

The Time Is Right for Repairs

Cooler months are ideal for scheduling HVAC system maintenance if you want your system to run at its best. Your system will have to work harder than necessary if you wait till spring when the temperature is already rising. Additionally, HVAC contractor Austin, TX, helps you prepare your HVAC system in advance for cold winter days.

Get Ready for Winter Season

It’s a good idea to conduct a maintenance check before winter, as the summer is coming to an end. Problems can arise anytime. However, a routine maintenance check allows any operational issues to be addressed ahead of time, rather than causing the system to fail in the middle of winter.

Grande Air Solutions can help your heating system get ready for winter with fall maintenance by repairing and cleaning its components. 

Prevent Toxic Gas Leakage

The maintenance of your HVAC system before winter will save you money while protecting your family from harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur from leaky ducts if they are not repaired immediately. The presence of carbon monoxide in your home poses a serious health threat if you do not have a functioning carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide can be lethal if it leaks from your ductwork or furnace, which is why it’s crucial to have them repaired before winter begins. 

Clear Out Your Home Air 

You and your family will spend a lot more time indoors during the winter, which makes indoor air quality even more critical. You can ensure that your HVAC system is clean and debris-free this winter by scheduling maintenance with air conditioning repair Hutto service for the fall. 

HVAC Contractor Austin, TX, Services Can Save You Money

You can reduce energy bills while staying comfortable with a properly working HVAC system. When you take the help of ac repair Hutto, TX services, you won’t have to worry about costly repairs. 

If your filters need to be replaced or your coils need to be cleaned, fall is a great time to do it. That will increase efficiency and make your home more comfortable during the colder months. Putting off maintenance and repairs until winter will cost you more. So by scheduling routine maintenance with certified professionals of Grande Air Solutions, you’ll avoid costly repairs that regular tune-ups could have prevented.

Grande Air Solutions is Your Go-to Call for Fall HVAC Maintenance in Hutto 

Fall is all about enjoying the beautiful foliage, the coziness, and the fun of the season. And at Grande Air Solutions, we want to ensure you get the most out of it by maintaining the safety and comfort of your home. 

For the best performance of your heating and cooling systems, we provide regular HVAC maintenance and service. Our team performs a full analysis of your unit. Conducts an energy audit and tests your indoor air quality and temperature control systems. With our fall maintenance, you won’t have to worry about your HVAC units malfunctioning during the coldest months of the year. 

We are ready to prepare your home for cooler temperatures, so contact us today to schedule your HVAC maintenance. 

If you haven’t already turned on your furnace, you will be sooner than later. And while most people love the comforts of fall—pumpkin spice everything, fuzzy blankets, warm coffee on a chilly morning— turning on your furnace for the first time of the new season might put a damper on your fall fun.

After months of disuse, new season furnace smells are pretty common, but that doesn’t mean you should shrug your shoulders and assume all is well. Although furnace odors are rarely dangerous, they can be—which means they’re always worth investigating. Downside? Your furnace doesn’t smell so great, and now you have to figure out what’s causing it. Upside? You get to play detective.

Here’s what those common furnace smells mean and what you can do about them:

  • Furnace Smells Like Burning Dust: This is the most common and (thankfully) least worrisome smell. While you’re not using your furnace in the summer months, dust settles everywhere. After that first ignition and first few cycles, the dust will burn off and create that familiar odor. No reason to panic! If it doesn’t stop after a few cycles, try changing or cleaning your filter.
  • Furnace Smells Like Burning Plastic: If it smells like a horse it’s probably a horse, right? First check all your vents and ducts for wayward plastic toys, plastic wrapping, or other debris—especially if you have little ones. You know better than anyone that your kids’ favorite toys end up in the most unlikely places! Checking for the obvious can save you lots of time and worry.
    However, a burning plastic smell can also mean overheating. Capacitors, plastic-coated wires, and fan belts are the usual culprits of that plastic smell. Make sure to turn off the furnace and take care of this one quickly, since burning plastic is toxic.
  • Furnace Smells Oily or Smoky: You’ll experience this if you have an oil furnace. This usually means the oil filter needs cleaning or replacing. It could also be a blocked chimney. Regardless, turn off your unit immediately and inspect the issue further.
  • Furnace Smells Metallic, Electrical, or Chemical: Usually, if your furnace is overheating, it will automatically shut off. But if there’s something wrong with the blower motor or heat exchanger, this safety feature won’t kick in. These overheated parts create a metallic, electrical, or chemical smell. Some people say this issue causes a smell like formaldehyde. (Oh, such fond memories of dissecting frogs in biology class.) Turn off the furnace and inspect it for damage.
  • Furnace Smells Like Burning Gunpowder: If you’re getting a distinct odor of gunpowder, you probably have a fried circuit board or fan motor. Turn off the furnace and call us for a safety inspection.
  • Furnace Smells Like Rotten Eggs: Natural gas is odorless, but your gas company adds sulfur to make gas leaks easier to find and correct. So, a rotten egg smell means you’re having an issue with your gas supply. Immediately get everyone out of your home (including you!) and then call your gas company or fire department.
  • Furnace Smells Musty or Mildewy: If you turn on your furnace and it smells like a damp basement or moist dirt, there are a couple potential causes. The first thing to check is your air filter and to replace or clean it as needed. Next, check your humidifier filter (if you have one) for mold. Clean with water and vinegar for an easy fix.

Need more help with your furnace in Austin?

If your furnace smell continues, gets worse, or you can’t find the cause, call your local fire department for a safety inspection. When it comes to furnace and fire safety, you’re always better safe than sorry. Then give us a call! We take pride in keeping you and your neighbors safe and comfortable in their homes.