What is that smell? Turning on the furnace for the first time in the fall - Heating Specialties

What is that smell? Turning on the furnace for the first time in the fall

Furnace smell

As the cool air takes over South Jersey, you may close the windows and switch on your furnace. The first thing you notice is a burning smell. Is that normal? Don’t worry – if there is something that needs a closer look, we’re ready to help! Heating Specialties of South Jersey lives up to its name as the heating experts, and we’ll help you determine if the smell is normal or if you have something over which to worry.

Is a burning smell normal?

It is not unusual to notice a burning smell the first time you turn on your furnace after it has taken a long summer’s nap. Even the cleanest homes accumulate dust, and that layer of dust can settle on your heat exchanger, ignition system, and ductwork. When you turn on the furnace for the first time in the fall, you may smell burning as the heat meets the dust. Fortunately, the smell will dissipate quickly.

What else can cause a burning smell?

A burning smell may be tied to more than just dust on your furnace. If the smell doesn’t go away quickly, consider these causes:

A dirty furnace filter can cause a burning smell when the heat turns on. When was the last time you replaced your air filter? If you think about it, it’s probably time for a new one.

If you have poor air movement within your ductwork or a dirty air filter that blocks airflow, heat may become trapped around the furnace. This can cause your furnace components to overheat and emit a burning smell. An overworked blower motor may also cause a burning smell. If you still notice a burning smell after a day, turn off the furnace and call Heating Specialties at (866) 923-2653.

Some smells may suggest something more serious

A brief burning smell is normal. But other smells are warning signs that something more serious may lurk inside your furnace. Keep an eye (nose?) out for these smells that call for further investigation:

A damp, musty smell may mean you have excess moisture in your home. Moisture can collect around the heat exchanger. Add in bacteria or mold, and you have the potential for foul air. Sometimes the stink will burn off as the furnace blows hot air through the system. Sometimes you can combat the musty smell with a new air filter. But sometimes, you need professional cleaning and inspection, and that’s where Heating Specialties can help.

Burning wires are never a good smell. Over time the insulation around a wire can become damaged. Without protective insulation, these wires become a fire risk. A professional HVAC technician should be called to inspect the wires and replace them as needed.

Avoiding the smell

Would you rather not worry about funny smells when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall? Schedule a heating maintenance call and let a trained HVAC technician give your furnace a thorough inspection and cleaning. Call the Heating Specialties team today at (866) 923-2653 or reach out online. You deserve to live without worry in a comfortable home. That’s why Heating Specialties is here for you in South Jersey.

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