If your heater smells like it’s burning, it may need servicing. When the heat is first turned on, Easton, Pennsylvania, homeowners may notice a burning or electrical odor. In most cases, there’s no cause for concern, but an odd odor at other times can be a symptom of a larger problem.

A Common Cause of Heating System Odors

Dust can accumulate in your furnace during its off-season, as the system sits idle. When you fire up the heater for its first cycle, the dust begins to burn off, resulting in an unpleasant odor. It may smell like your heater is burning. The scent usually goes away quickly, but can linger, potentially pointing to a bigger problem. We recommend professional evaluation if a burning odor persists or recurs.

Dirty Filters Can Cause Problems

Regularly replacing furnace filters helps keep your heating and cooling system functioning properly. A burning or electrical odor can be a sign your blower motor is working too hard, or fighting a clogged filter. You should install a fresh filter before each heating season and at regular intervals throughout the year.

Blocked Vents Trap Heated Air

As your heating system pushes warm air to your living space, blocked vents can slow the flow. The bottleneck sometimes results in an odor of burning rubber or plastic coming out of your heat vents. Correct the issue by opening additional vents or removing obstructions.

Should I Call a Professional?

Changing furnace filters and keeping vents clear are DIY measures that help eliminate odors. But like other machines, heating components are subject to wear and tear. A persistent burning odor may be a sign your heater needs servicing. A worn motor, failed circuit board, and cracked heat-exchanger can all contribute to heater odors. HVAC professionals have the tools, experience, and know-how to properly diagnose these and other conditions.

If your heater smells like it’s burning, call Sullivan Heating and Cooling at (610) 810-3992. We’ll promptly diagnose the problem and perform any needed repairs.

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