Your heater may need maintenance if it smells like burning. It could be something as small as a dirty filter or a serious problem like an electrical failure. Whatever you do, you should not ignore it. However, you should try to find the source of the burning smell to avoid costly repairs.
5 Reasons Your Heater Smells Like Burning
Here are five reasons your heater smells like it’s burning and what you can do about it:
1. Heater Smells Like Burning Plastic
What should you do if you smell burning plastic in your home? If you notice the odor of something burning, you may have a serious problem on your hands. It is possible that a foreign object could be in your HVAC system’s ductwork. This could be something such as an unnoticed spill or a small object. In this case, you should turn your heater off and remove your registers to clean or remove any objects that do not belong.
2. Heater Smells Like Burning Rubber
When a heater smells like burning rubber, it may be dangerous to inhale the smell. You will want to call an electrician out to your home right away. Some reasons your heater smells like burning rubber might include a foreign object or an item trapped in the system, an electrical fault burning something in your heater, or even a malfunction on one of your parts.
3. Heater Smells Like Smoke
What should you do if your heater or furnace smells like smoke? If you conclude the smell is coming from your heater, you’ll want to call an HVAC technician immediately. If you have an oil furnace and smell the oil or smoke, this could mean a serious problem with your furnace. A blocked chimney can also cause a smokey smell. In both of these cases, you’ll need to call a professional HVAC person to address the problem.
4. Heater Smells Like Burning Dust
Your heater may smell like burning dust due to dust and dirt collecting in your air ducts, even when the heater isn’t on. When you turn your heater on for the first time every year, the collected dust must burn off.
Do not be concerned if this is the first time you’re turning on your heater for the year, as the smell should go away in a few hours. If the smell persists past a few hours, check your air filters. A dirty air filter can cause a dusty, burning smell.
It may be possible that the heating elements are dirty. Sometimes you can reach these and clean them yourself. But other times, you will need a professional. This is because some elements are difficult to get to due to their location behind the rest of the system.
5. Heater Smells Musty
A musty odor coming from your heater could mean mold. This could be because the humidifier filter (if one is there) is trapped in your system’s ductwork.
You should inspect the filter once a year and replace or clean it as deemed fit. You can make a solution with equal parts of water and vinegar. From there, soak the filter in the solution and gently clean it with a damp cloth.
If that doesn’t work, you may want to consult with a licensed duct cleaning technician. They can clean up any growth, show you photographs of the growth, diagnose it, and provide a solution to the problem.
Cleaning the mold isn’t enough to fix the problem. You need to fix the conditions that allowed it to grow in the first place. If not, you will just be paying to clean the ducts again later.
How to Prevent Burning Smells
There are many ways to prevent burning smells from your heater. However, the best way would be to keep up with routine maintenance. You can do so by having an annual HVAC inspection. Additionally, you can replace the air filters every three months and keep an eye on any other types of problems.
Contacting Complete Air Mechanical for Any HVAC Service Needed
Whether your heater smells like mold, dirt, or burning plastic Complete Air Mechanical is here to help. Schedule an appointment online with us today, and we’ll diagnose the cause of the burning smell from your heater.