Why Your Furnace Smells Like Burning

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Does your furnace smell like burning? The odor of burning can often be indicative of a more significant problem in the home—often a dangerous one. So when it starts coming from your heating system, a major component of your home’s operation, it can be more than a little alarming.

Heating system malfunctions are the second most common reason for home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. If your furnace smells like burning and you think you may be at risk of a safety issue, call Michael Bonsby HVAC right away at 301-990-7970. We offer same-day service in Maryland and Washington, DC when there’s an emergency!

The Main Causes of Furnace Smells

It’s important to be aware that furnace smells can be normal and aren’t always indicative of a problem. But if your furnace smells like burning and it has for an extended period of time, it can be a sign of an underlying problem. The nature of the smell depends on the cause, the most common of which include:

  • First use of the season. Did you notice the smell the first time you turned your unit on for the winter? Lack of use over the warmer months of the year can lead to a buildup of dust in your system’s combustion chamber that then causes burning smells when your unit is first turned on. This is the leading cause of unusual furnace smells, and they should go away on their own once your system has warmed up.
  • Dirty filters. A clogged filter is also one of the most common reasons for furnace odor. When your filters aren’t regularly cleaned and replaced, it can cause them to fill with dust that moves through your heating system and smells like burning. This is easily fixed! Have your local HVAC company complete annual maintenance and clean or replace your filters, as needed, and you should be all set.
  • Blower malfunction. Your furnace’s blower helps maintain the internal temperature of the system. So when it stops working as it should, the unit can overheat—and even lead to a house fire. If the smell doesn’t go away after initial use, and you’ve had maintenance completed and your filters checked, you may have a blower malfunction—call a technician immediately.

Call Now for Emergency Furnace Repairs in Maryland or Washington, DC

If your furnace smells like burning and you don’t know why or you think you do and you’re concerned, we can help. Michael Bonsby Heating & Air Conditioning provides 24-hour emergency furnace repairs and fast, same-day service. Call 301-990-7970 now, and we’ll help you ensure safe heat system operation for your home in Maryland or Washington, DC.

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