Is a Burning Smell Coming from Your Furnace a Spooky Sign? - Ballard Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning

Is a Burning Smell Coming from Your Furnace a Spooky Sign?

furnace burning smell

The last thing you want to happen when your furnace kicks on this Halloween is an unexpected, scary burning smell!

At the very least, we all know a weird smell means something’s up. Here’s a deeper dive into what might be behind those phantom odors:

Dust gremlins

Over the lazy summer days, your furnace might’ve become a sort of summer camp for dust, pet hair, and other small debris. When you first start your furnace in the chilly season, this collection can burn off, causing that unique “I’ve just fired up the furnace” smell. Regular cleaning is your best defense against these dusty invaders. Change out filters every few months and consider getting your ducts cleaned, or at least cleaning as far as you can yourself with a vacuum attachment. It not only helps with the smell but also improves air quality.

Pilot light troubles

For those with a gas furnace, there’s this tiny yet mighty flame called a pilot light. If it’s acting up, not burning correctly, or just plain out, it can result in unburnt gas, which can give off a distinctive burnt smell when you finally ignite it. Usually, this involves adjusting the pilot light. It might sound technical, but your furnace’s user manual should guide you through it. If unsure, it’s always safe to call in a pro.

Scary soot

Now, here’s where it gets a tad more serious. If parts of your furnace, like the heat exchanger, have cracks or damage, they can release soot and even dangerous gases like carbon monoxide into your home. That burnt smell might be a warning sign. If you even slightly suspect this, turn off your furnace and get a professional inspection. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Runaway flames

Spot flames near places they don’t belong? Like around the blower motor or other areas? That’s a sign of something potentially dangerous, possibly a gas leak. Turn off your furnace right away! Don’t try to fix this one on your own. Contact a professional heating contractor to give it a thorough check.

Ghosts in the wiring

That burning smell reminds you of toasted electronics or melting plastic? Uh-oh. This could indicate some electrical issues, maybe some faulty wiring or an overheating component. Electrical issues can escalate if not addressed. Best to call in an expert to take a look and ensure everything’s in top shape.

In conclusion, while we’d all love a fun ghost story (especially around Halloween), when it comes to your furnace, these spooky signals are a call for some attention and care. Regular maintenance, timely check-ups, and not ignoring the “little things” can ensure you enjoy a warm, cozy, and uneventful winter in your Inland Empire home. Contact us online or give us a call today: 909-297-1914

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