When it comes to general HVAC service questions, there are a few that come around more often than others. These common inquiries often include a question like “what’s that smell?” If there’s a strange smell coming from your home’s heating system, here are 2 potential causes:
The smell of burnt dust is really common when running your heating system or furnace. This happens most often when you first turn on the heat when the weather cools off in the fall or winter. It’s usually very normal and is, in fact, burning dust.
Dust collects on the equipment when not in use over the summer, so the heating system is burning it off as it heats up for the first time in the heating season. If it doesn’t dissipate, it could indicate a problem. Check your air filter and change it if it’s dirty. Additional maintenance could be required if it still doesn’t go away. Regular annual maintenance can prevent the dust from building up in the first place.
The smell of electrical burning, sometimes somewhat of a metallic smell, is pretty distinct. If you smell something like burning wires, it’s not a good sign and could be an indication that components inside your HVAC system are getting too hot.
Your HVAC should have an emergency shut-off in the case of overheating, so you may notice lots of cycling on and off of your system along with the smell. It’s recommended that you shut off your HVAC immediately and call for service.
It’s not ever a good thing when you smell something bad coming from your heating or cooling system. No matter how you describe it, if you smell something wrong, call a professional. For help with a smelly HVAC, or to answer any general HVAC service questions, contact a McCall’s Supply dealer near you.