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Why Does My Furnace Smell Like It’s Burning?

As we venture further into the winter months, Fresno has already seen some pretty cold days, and even colder nights. This week has been pretty mild as well, but we’re expected to see some chilly nights and days soon. So if you are just starting to turn on your furnace, it’s vital to be aware of particular smells that could mean trouble.

When turning on your furnace for the first time in the winter, a burning smell is actually more common than you may imagine. This smell could be a result of dust that has settled within the system after months of non-use or a clogged air filter that needs replacing. However it’s certainly not a smell that should be ignored, especially if the smell is not dissipating within 24 hours.

In fact, a burning smell could signal a more serious problem that requires an experienced heating professional to check out and repair. For example, if components within your heater are getting too hot, they could produce smells such as burning metal, oil, plastic, or rubber. Ignoring these types of smells could not only damage your system, but could also cause a safety hazard for you and your family.

So what should you do while you await repair? Turn off the furnace via the shutoff valve: this is typically a red valve or switch. In addition, in case the problem is burning oil, you should shut off the oil from the button or switch typically located on top of the oil supply line. Oil is actually the most common burning smell that comes from a furnace.

Another smell to be aware of is the “rotten egg” smell. Do not hesitate to take action if you ever notice this smell coming from your furnace. Utility companies and fuel providers place this odor in the gas on purpose to detect leaks, as natural gas is odorless. Your top priority in this case should be evacuating your home and calling emergency services.

Contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning today for honest solutions to your heating problems.