During the cold months of winter, you rely on your heater for personal safety, physical well-being and home comfort. If you notice a burning smell coming from your heating equipment, you could be justifiably concerned. Sometimes this is quite normal, but in other situations, it might be an indication of a very serious issue. Here are some of the primary reasons for a burning smell when you turn your heater on.
Dust and Debris Buildup
Dust and debris could have settled in the heat exchanger, burners and other parts in your heating system due to lack of maintenance. Dust also builds up in the furnace if you haven’t used it all year long. When the heater is turned on for the first time in the cold season, it burns the dust and debris off, and a burning smell passes through your air vents. It’s a little unpleasant, but it only lasts for a few minutes. Unless it persists or recurs, it’s no cause for alarm. You can avoid these burning smells by scheduling regular maintenance of the heating system.
All mechanical devices are subject to wear and tear, which lowers their efficiency and leads to problems such as broken components and overheating. In a faulty heater, the system may not shut itself off naturally, and that can stress the components. Worn-out components such as a capacitor or broken fan belt can also produce a burning plastic smell. In addition, the air filter should be regularly cleaned or changed. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow, and that can overheat the blower motor. That also causes a burning smell.
Damaged Electrical Wiring
You can also experience a burning plastic smell due to wiring insulation that is melting inside your heater. A problem with the electrical system can fry the insulation, causing the wiring to be exposed. This is quite serious due to the risk of fire. A qualified HVAC technician can help fix the problem and restore your home’s comfort.
If you’re located in Grand Island or the surrounding area, Kayl Heating & Air provides quality heating and cooling services you can rely on. Our NATE-certified technicians perform installations, repairs and maintenance, and they’re capable of handling all makes and models. We also deal with duct cleaning, humidification, geothermal units and energy recovery programs. Call us today for more information.