October 31, 2019

You turn on the furnace and in a few minutes you smell the distinctive odor of smoke. And, as the saying goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

It’s definitely a cause for alarm whenever you smell smoke in your home, and when the odor is associated with your furnace, you need to investigate immediately. That burning smell coming from your furnace may be something as minor as a filter that needs to be changed, or a more dire fire hazard. Different burning odors can indicate different problems, and to be sure, you should contact your Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions to inspect your unit before you turn your furnace back on for the season.

What’s Causing that Burning Smell in Your Furnace?

There are a number of things that can cause a burning smell in your furnace, including:

  • Dirty Filter – Every homeowner should know to begin each season with a fresh, clean filter. A clean filter will help cut down on dust in your home, preventing allergies from flaring up, keeping your home surfaces clean, and the air in your home from becoming stale-smelling, or musty. Additionally, a clean furnace filter helps your unit work more efficiently, keeping your utility costs a bit lower. A clogged filter will keep air from flowing freely, causing your furnace to run hot, emitting a burning odor and creating a fire hazard. If you notice a burning smell coming from your furnace, make sure your filter is fresh and clean. If not, replace it immediately.
  • Dust in the Furnace Unit – After months of not being used, dust can accumulate inside your unit. If you’ve performed a visual inspection yourself, you can’t always find this source of the burning odor. Although the dust will eventually burn off, it can leave behind a residue, which can catch fire. Seasonal inspections and maintenance by Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions will keep the inner-workings of your furnace free from dust, debris and fire hazards.
  • Combustibles – In most homes in the Baltimore area, the furnace is located in the basement, garage, or anteroom. Basements and furnace rooms are typically used to store household items when not in use. Many items-kids’ toys, sports equipment, seasonal decorations-can edge closer to the pilot light of your furnace, creating the opportunity for fire. Keep all combustible material away from your furnace to prevent a house fire. Always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Problems with Electrical Components – If the “smoke smell” has a distinctly electrical odor, contact Air Plumbing & Heating immediately. This could indicate a serious issue with your motor, heat-exchanger, or several other components of your heating system.
  • Clogged Oil Filter –An oil furnace can release a distinct oily odor when there are issues with a clogged oil filter. Contact Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions any time your oil furnace emits a burning odor.

Anytime you smell smoke when using your furnace, turn it off immediately. Inspect the area around your furnace to ensure there’s no fire. If the smoke continues or becomes more pronounced after your furnace is shut off, get everyone out of the house and contact your fire department.

Furnace Repair in Baltimore, MD

Upon inspection, if you find nothing unusual, but the odor is still present when you engage your furnace, you’ll need to have your heating system inspected. Count on the Baltimore furnace repair experts at Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions for your furnace inspection, service, and maintenance. Homeowners in the greater Baltimore area have trusted Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions for all their HVAC needs for over thirty years. Smoke, and other unusual odors coming from your furnace mean something could be seriously wrong.

Contact Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions today and breathe easier.

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