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Why Does My Heater Smell Like It's Burning?

January 23, 2024 | Blog

Schedule Repair For A Burning Smell From Heater

When the chill of winter sets in Baton Rouge, turning on your heater for warmth and comfort is a common practice. However, if a burning smell comes from your system, this can be a cause for concern.

At Southern Air Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we understand how unsettling this issue can be. Let’s explore why your heater might produce a burning smell and when it’s time to call a professional for furnace repairs.

Common Causes For Burnt Furnace Odors

If you notice a strange, burnt smell from your heating system, take this issue seriously. Not every cause will require professional solutions, but some can present major concerns. It’s important to be able to identify the source of the odor so that you can treat the issue efficiently.

Normal Dust Burn-Off

After taking the spring and summer off, your heating system might produce a burning smell while it attempts to jump back into action. This occurs because the dust that has gathered on your system will burn off. The burnt smell should disappear after a couple of hours. However, if it persists, this could indicate a more serious issue than a simple dirty furnace.

Blocked Exhaust Vents

When exhaust vents are blocked, heat and exhaust gasses accumulate within the furnace system. This issue can lead to a burning smell and potentially dangerous conditions — including the risk of carbon monoxide buildup.

Common causes of blocked vents include bird nests, debris or snow and ice accumulation in exterior vents. It’s crucial to ensure that your unit’s exhaust vents are clear and unobstructed. Regular inspections, especially after severe weather or long periods of disuse, can help prevent blockages and ensure your furnace operates safely and efficiently.

Foreign Objects In Ducts Or Vents

Foreign objects — such as toys, nesting materials or debris — in the ducts or vents of your furnace can lead to a burning odor when the system is in use. These items can obstruct the normal airflow and begin to burn when exposed to high temperatures from your unit.

This problem not only releases a distinct burning smell but also poses a potential fire hazard. It can also significantly impair the efficiency of your heating system. If you suspect foreign objects are present in your heating system, turn off the unit and seek our professional assistance for a thorough inspection and removal.

When To Call For HVAC Repair

It’s crucial to understand when a burning smell is a sign of a minor issue or a serious problem. Here are some scenarios when you should call for a professional HVAC repair:

  • The burning smell persists for more than a few hours.
  • You notice an electrical or metallic odor.
  • The unit is making unusual noises.
  • There’s a decrease in heating efficiency.

At Southern Air Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, our team has your back throughout any furnace concerns you may have. We care about your comfort, so count on us for the service you need!

Protect Your Heater With Preventative Measures

To ensure the longevity and safety of your heating system, it’s important to take proactive steps in its maintenance. Minimize the risk of your heater producing a burning smell by following these tips:

  • Regularly replace or clean furnace filters.
  • Keep the area around your heating system clear of debris.
  • Be alert to any changes in the performance of your heater.
  • Schedule annual maintenance checks with Southern Air Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

Even with these preventative tips, a burning smell from your system is still possible. If you notice a problem, trust our team to prioritize your comfort and safety.

Choose Us To Be Your Baton Rouge Heating Company

If a burning smell from your heater is causing concern, reach out to your local specialists! Our Southern Air Heating, Cooling & Plumbing team is equipped to handle all your professional furnace repair needs.

Don’t let a burning smell compromise your comfort this winter. Contact us for a thorough inspection, reliable repairs and peace of mind!

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