Your furnace takes care of you and your family. There aren’t too many items in the modern household that do as much good as furnaces and household heating systems, and they allow homeowners to stay warm and comfortable, no matter what’s going on outside. But like anything else with moving parts, furnaces can have their issues. Some of these issues are better left to professional HVAC professionals, while some can be taken care by you.

If you have noticed a burning smell from your ducts or other parts of your HVAC system, you may have an issue. So, what should you do about it, and why is it happening?

My Heat Smells Like Burning When I Turn It On, What Do I Do?

Smelling something burning in your house is never a good thing to smell. So, what does it mean if your furnace and heating make your house smell like something bad is happening?

How Long Has It Been Since You Last Turned Your Heater On?

If this is the first time you turn the heat on after spring or summer, or if you haven’t used your furnace for several days, the burning smell that is assaulting your nostrils is likely dust and debris being burned away both in your furnace. It is also burning away debris and dirt in your ductwork and other portions of your home’s heating system. It is normal, and the smell should subside after a couple of cycles of your home’s heating system.

If the smell persists after your furnace has been through a few cycles, you are likely dealing with more than dust.

A burning smell that’s not dust could be a sign of a dirty air filter as well. When a filter is, clogged dust will find its way into your furnace, causing a burning smell to permeate the home. Double-check that you have a clean filter.

If the smell persists, even after the normal dust has been burnt off and your filter is clean, you are likely dealing with an issue that a professional need to look at, such as oil leaking from the furnace or clogged furnace vents. If you have been through basic troubleshooting steps and the smell persists, call a certified HVAC company immediately.

A burning smell from your HVAC is likely dust being burnt off, or caused by a dirty air filter. If you have checked both these issues and the problem persists, call an HVAC service immediately to avoid problems that could harm you and your family or your furnace. An HVAC will be able to diagnose and fix the issue with an expert hand.