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HVAC Maintenance Answers: Is a Burning Smell Normal When Turning on the Heat?


Keeping up on routine HVAC maintenance is essential to your home feeling comfortable. However, you may notice strange smells from your system periodically and wonder if this is a heating maintenance & repair problem. Here are some tips from your local HVAC and heat pump installation experts about this common cause for concern.

In most cases, it’s perfectly normal to notice a burning smell when your home’s heating system is activated. This scent is generally faint and results from dust that has settled in the HVAC system being burnt away. In most cases, this smell will dissipate about an hour after you activate your system.

There are a few things you can do to minimize this scent. Schedule routine maintenance for your HVAC system to keep it clean so there isn’t excessive dust to burn away. You should also have your filter changed regularly to minimize the amount of dust particles circulating through your home. This practice will improve the air quality while also reducing any unwanted odors.

Signs of a Potential Issue

While a faint smell from your HVAC system that dissipates fairly quickly isn’t generally a cause for concern, more persistent, distinctive smells could be warning signs of a problem. For example, a burning plastic smell could be a sign of a worn-out component in your HVAC system, such as the fan belt or capacitor.

Overheating the blower motor in your HVAC system could also cause an electrical burning scent. Changing your air filter could help alleviate this issue since restricted airflow could cause the motor to work too hard and overheat. If the issue persists, contact an HVAC specialist for assistance.

Heating Maintenance & Repair, Heat Pump Installation, and HVAC Installers Near Me

Have any concerns about your home’s HVAC system? Whatever the issue might be, our experienced technicians have the skills needed so you can enjoy a comfortable home. Contact Blaze Air today, and we’ll help you make the most out of your home.