What a Burning Smell From Your Heater Means

A burning smell coming from your furnace doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem. You should find the source of the problem, though, to make sure there isn’t something wrong. What type of burning smell it is can clue you in on what’s going on.

Burning Dust Smell

This smell often occurs when you first turn on your furnace for the year. It’s been sitting dormant for months, which means dust has collected inside. The dust will quickly burn off, and the smell will go away.

Burning Plastic Smell

This smell usually means a part has broken or worn out. It is likely the fan belt, capacitor, or plastic-coated wires inside the furnace. You should have a technician inspect your furnace and make repairs. Littleton Heating & Air Conditioning is based in Littleton, CO, and helps people who need their furnace repaired. We’ve been providing quality services since 1972.

Burning Electrical Smell

This smell can occur when the blower motor is overheated. The motor is supposed to shut off when this happens, but if the safety feature is damaged, that won’t happen. The motor can become dangerously hot, so shut down your furnace until it can be repaired.

Gunpowder Smell

If your furnace smells like gunfire, the problem is the fan motor or a fried circuit board. This is another situation where you need to immediately shut the furnace off and have it inspected by a professional.

Oil or Smoke Smell

This smell can occur with furnaces that use oil. If you smell oil or smoke, change the oil filter. Otherwise, the furnace can overheat and break down.

Littleton Heating & Air Conditioning is a licensed and insured company that performs installations, repairs, and maintenance for heaters and air conditioners. We can also help you with our duct cleaning, indoor air quality, water heater, boiler, generator, and solar services. Please call today to schedule an appointment with one of our NATE-certified technicians.

Meet the Author
Darek Buczysnki
Darek Buczysnki

Darek Buczysnki is the proud owner of Littleton Heating & Air Conditioning and has over 35 years of experience in the HVAC industry.