Heater Smells Like Burning? 4 Reasons and How to Address Them

Home > Blog > Heater Smells Like Burning? 4 Reasons and How to Address Them
Heater Smells Like Burning 4 Reasons and How to Address Them

Why Does My Heater Smell Like Burning?

Have you ever turned on your heater and noticed a strong burning smell? If so, you're not alone. Regardless of electric or gas furnaces, many homeowners experience this issue and wonder what could be causing it. In this blog post, we will explore the possible reasons why your heater smells like burning and what you can do to address the issue.

Dust and Debris Accumulation

One of the most common reasons why your heater may emit a burning smell is the accumulation of dust and debris. Over time, these particles can settle on the heating elements or inside the vents. When you turn on the heater, the heat causes the dust and debris to burn, resulting in a distinct odor. To resolve this issue, you can try cleaning the vents and heating elements regularly. Additionally, it's a good idea to change the air filters as they can also become clogged with dust and contribute to the burning smell.

Electrical Issues

Another possible cause of a burning smell from your heater is electrical issues. If the wiring inside the heater is faulty or damaged, it can lead to overheating and burning odors. In some cases, the burning smell may be accompanied by other signs of electrical problems, such as sparks or flickering lights. If you suspect an electrical issue, it is crucial to turn off the heater immediately and contact a professional technician to inspect and repair the unit.

Mechanical Problems

Mechanical problems within the heater can also result in a burning smell. For example, a worn-out motor or a malfunctioning fan can cause friction, leading to overheating and the smell of burning. If you notice any unusual noises, reduced airflow, or the burning smell persists despite cleaning, it's best to have a professional HVAC technician examine your heater. They will be able to diagnose and fix any mechanical issues to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your heating system.

Heater Smells Like Burning Plastic

There's another possible reason why your heater smells like burning (plastic, in particular). This can occur if there are plastic components within the heater that have come into contact with the heating elements or if there is a problem with the electrical wiring. The smell of burning plastic should be taken seriously as it can indicate a potential fire hazard. In such cases, it is crucial to turn off the heater immediately, unplug it from the power source, and contact a professional technician to assess and address the issue.

It is important to note that attempting to fix the issue yourself or ignoring the problem can lead to further damage or safety risks. Always prioritize your safety and consult a qualified professional for assistance.

Furnace Repair Services

If your heater smells like burning, it's essential not to ignore the issue. The burning smell could be a sign of various problems, which can be prevented and resolved by:

    • Seasonally cleaning your heater and vents, 
    • Regularly changing air filters,
    • Schedule an inspection by an HVAC technician

Remember, safety should always be a priority when dealing with heating systems, so never hesitate to seek professional help if needed. If you are concerned about the health of your HVAC system, reach out to our highly-trained HVAC technicians today! We would love to answer any questions you may have and help you have peace of mind during this winter season.

Copyright Barnard Heating and Cooling | Privacy Policy