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Why Does My Furnace Have A Burning Smell?

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Why Is My Furnace Producing A Burning Smell?

Have you started up your furnace for the first time this year only to find it is producing a burning type of smell? This can actually be a normal occurrence!

So the weather finally starts to cool down and it’s time to start up the furnace for the first time.

Yet, when you turn it on, it starts to smell like your house is on fire.

What is going on? Let’s look at some common scenarios below!

Dirty Evaporator Coil

During the year, it’s normal for your evaporator coil (the coil that sits on top of your furnace used to cool your home via your air conditioner) to become a bit dirty.

Despite changing your filter regularly, some dust may begin to accumulate on the coils.

When you fire up your furnace for the first time, the hot air then flows over these coils after being heated by your heat exchanger.

This hot air can begin to burn off some of this dust, hair and other particles that may have accumulated on your coil over the summer months.

Although you will notice this smell the first couple times your furnace runs, the smell should begin to dissipate rather quickly over time.

It is a good idea to have your evaporator coil cleaned at least once every couple years to prevent costly air conditioner repairs.

Dirt Air Filters

This one is simple enough.

Check your furnace filter to make sure that it is clean and ready to go for the fall.

If your furnace filter is overly dirty, it will affect the odor of the air in your home.

Not to mention, if your furnace filter is clogged, it can cause your furnace to begin to overheat and it will shut itself down as a safety measure.

Standard 1 inch furnace filters should be changed at least once every 30 days.

Thick media filters can last 3-12 months on average depending on your home life (pets ect.)

Electrical Malfunction

This can be a hazardous situation.

If you have checked your furnace filter and your furnace continues to smell funny each time you turn it on, you may have an electrical malfunction inside your furnace.

This is really something only an HVAC professional can diagnose and will require some type of furnace repair to fix.

It is important to not continually run your furnace if you believe this is the issue as more damage can occur over time.

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