What’s That Burning Smell?

December 17, 2020 9:21 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Many people report burning smells when they turn on the furnace for the first time after a long hiatus. Burning smells result from dust burn-off, and are usually not a call for heating repair. When your furnace isn’t running, dirt and dust accumulate in your furnace, only to dissipate quickly when you turn it back on. That said, some smells can indicate the need for future furnace repair in Bridgeport, CT. Here are four of them:

  • Metallic or plastic burning: These odors are usually electrical. If you detect them, follow your nose and find the source. If that takes you to your furnace, it likely has an overheated motor, worn bearing or a wiring and electrical issue. Call your HVAC technician as soon as possible, as your furnace may be nearing failure. However, if your nose takes you to a heating register or vent, there is likely a plastic toy or other foreign object in the duct. If you cannot see the item well enough to reach down and retrieve it, then this may be another job for an HVAC technician.
  • Mold or must: If your home suddenly smells like a locker room, check your furnace filter first. It may be overly dirty and sharing odors with the rest of your home. Replace or clean the filter and see if the smells go away within an hour. It is also possible for HVAC systems to grow mold or bacteria in ductwork or coils. Do not attempt to clean these on your own—call an HVAC technician to give your system a professional cleaning.
  • Persistent burning smell: When you first detect the burning smell, it should disappear within an hour. But if it’s ongoing, you need to investigate further. The most likely cause is a dirty furnace filter. Clean or replace it and see if the problem resolves. If the smell remains, then it’s likely time for a professional furnace cleaning. Just as with other furnace issues, if you cannot see the problem and address it immediately, call an HVAC technician. Messing around with too many furnace parts risks voiding your warranty and leaves you vulnerable to electric shock and other injuries.
  • Rotten eggs or sulfur: This odor is the most dangerous. It indicates that your furnace currently has a natural gas leak. Leave your home, along with children and pets, and call your gas company. Gas leaks must be handled by a trained professional. Do not return to your home until technicians determine it’s safe again. If any of your household members report headaches, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain or other flu-like symptoms, take them to the emergency room. They may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Is your furnace bringing odor into your home? If your furnace filter is clean, then it’s likely time for heating repairs. BLM Refrigeration Heating & Air Conditioning is your furnace repair specialist in Bridgeport, CT. Call us today to schedule a visit and get to the bottom of your furnace smells. We look forward to assisting you!

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