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Question: What is the burning smell when I turn my furnace on after the summer months?

September 2016 Ask the Team

Question: What is the burning smell when I turn my furnace on after the summer months.

Gary Burch Owner operator Gene Burch Plumbing & Air.

When the 1st chill hits in fall, it is common to have a burning odor from your forced air heating system, in most cases it is not a concern.

Dust in your system.

When your heating system has been in standby mode over the summer dust will have settled in the furnace and air distribution system ( ducting ) system. When the system calls for heat in the 1st few cycles, the dust will burn off from the burner in the furnace causing the unpleasant odor.     

  The dust in the ducting may also blow into home causing a dust or musty smell as well.

This it is not usually a health or safety concern.

Possible other causes.

If the odor continues for more than a few cycles it may be an issue that needs a qualified technician to perform a safety inspection. This ensures the systems functioning properly and is not a potential hazard to you or your home. Most manufacturers require a yearly inspection to insure safe system operation going into the heating season.

So if the system is running well after a couple of hours of operation with no smelly burning odor you are good to go. If not, call a qualified HVAC service company for your yearly safety check.

Have a safe and happy heating season Gary Burch

Tip of the Month:  With the warm temperatures we have enjoyed in September this year its easy to forget Fall is upon us, so don’t forget to protect your Air Conditioning unit with a proper cover to protect it from leaves and debris brought on by cooler temperatures. The Condenser must be kept clean to maximize the efficiency system.  

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