Why Does The Furnace Smell When You First Turn It On?

furnace service

If it’s long since you used your furnace, it’s common for it to give off a strange smell, often due to dust within the heat exchanger, ducts, and ignition system.

When you turn on your appliance after a long time, it’s common to experience the characteristic burning as dust within the system burns off. The smell is usually unpleasant, but it shouldn’t last more than an hour or cause a significant change in indoor air quality.

If the smell goes on for a long time, you have a reason to worry, as it might result from several other factors.

What else could cause the burning smell

According to furnace service providers, your furnace can make burning smells due to many other reasons that include:

Dirty furnace filters

Furnace filters determine the quality of air getting into the house. The filter clogs up as they trap fine particulates such as pet dander, dust, and airborne contaminants. When the filters fill up with debris, they allow dust and grime to recirculate through the system, creating a bad odor.

To avoid smells due to dirty filters, you should check the filters routinely and replace them when they get dirty.

It’s also wise to keep a few extra filters on hand for quick and simple replacement when the need arises.

If you are fond of forgetting to replace the filters, set up an event in your calendar and check on the filters every few weeks.

Burning wires

Is your furnace making plastic burning smells? This might be due to burning electrical connections within your HVAC system.

Whenever the insulation on the wire gets damaged due to improper voltage, physical trauma, or incorrect placement, they create a fault that burns off the protective insulation.

When you let this happen for a long time, there is the risk of the wire setting the entire house on fire.

If you experience burning smells, take the issue with a lot of seriousness and get in touch with an experienced professional to look into the problem and fix it.

Overworking blower motor

When your furnace filter is dirty, or the ventilation lines have clogged, you increase the chances of your furnace overheating.

The poor air movement can also be brought about by blocked air return ducts, which prevent the cold air from circulating into the system.

When this happens, heat can be trapped within the furnace and,, in the process, overheat the components such as the heat exchanger and blower motor.

Overheating furnaces can shut down as they often have limit switches that trip to protect the internal components.

As you can guess, when furnaces overheat, they emit a burning smell that you should be cautious about.

When you allow the furnace to continue overheating, plenty of heat accumulates in the appliance, putting the heat exchanger at the risk of cracking, which increases the risk of carbon monoxide leaking into the house.

If you notice your furnace overheating, check the air filter and replace it if it looks dirty. You also should check the vents in the house and confirm that they are open and unobstructed. The thermostat should also be set in an appropriate setting.

If the filters are clean, the vents are in perfect shape, but you can smell the burning smells, get in touch with an HVAC professional to troubleshoot the system.

Trapped toys

If the burning smells aren’t due to burning wires, chances are you have trapped toys in the vent. Some food or drink might have spilled near the vent, hence the smells.

If you inspect the vents, but don’t see any foreign objects, get in touch with a furnace repair service Long Island to help you find where the smells are coming from.

When hiring a furnace professional, ensure that they are experienced and have handled similar problems before. The last thing you should do is hire a technician who doesn’t know what they are doing and cause more problems than are present.

As a rule of thumb, don’t hire a professional based on their prices, as the least charging technicians often end up being the most expensive.

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