An old furnace with the words, "Why Does My Furnace Have a Burnt Smell?"

With chilly weather around the corner, many are getting ready to turn on their furnace for the first time. But, if you switch it on and smell something burning, don’t be alarmed — it’s normal and dissipates within an hour or two. Curious as to what is causing this smell and when you should be alarmed? Your trusted HVAC technicians at Cote’s Mechanical have the answers! Read on to learn more!

Burning Off the Dust

No matter how clean of a home you have, dust particles settle on the internal components of your furnace. When you turn your furnace on for the first time, that dust and debris quickly burn off, resulting in the burnt smell we all recognize.

When to Be Concerned About the Smell

While a burnt smell is common when you first turn on your heater, it shouldn’t last for more than an hour. If it does, it could mean that there is a problem with your heater. In this case, contact your local HVAC technician to inspect.

Here are the smells that might indicate you have a serious issue with your heater:

Electrical or Plastic Burning Smell

If you turn your heater on and you smell plastic burning, then it could be the sign of an overheated motor, worn bearing, or an electrical issue. Contact your trusted HVAC technicians from Cote’s Mechanical, LLC immediately. They can help you safely find the source of the smell and fix the issue, allowing you to get back to enjoying the comfort of your home without the odor.

Moldy Smell

A moldy smell is the warning sign that your air filter is long overdue for a change. Check the air filter first and replace it as needed. If you still smell the moldy smell after you have disposed of the old filter, you may need to have an HVAC technician check your evaporator or ductwork. Organic matter may have been growing on/in these pieces of your HVAC unit. An HVAC technician can thoroughly clean these parts, relieving your house of the smell and preventing illnesses often associated with mold and mildew.

Rotten Eggs

If you have a gas furnace and you smell rotten eggs, you need to evacuate your home immediately and call a trusted HVAC technician. A rotten egg or sulfur smell is the warning sign of a gas leak, which is extremely dangerous to humans. Do not try to handle the problem yourself; allow a trained professional to locate and resolve the problem.

Routine Maintenance Can Help Avoid These Problems

Avoid the unpleasant smells and invest in routine maintenance from your trusted professionals at Cote’s Mechanical, LLC. Our team can give your furnace a tune-up, ensuring that you are warm all winter long. Contact Cote’s Mechanical today for more information on our services or to schedule your heater maintenance service!