Does Your Furnace Smell Like Something Is Burning?

Your furnace works hard to keep you warm and comfortable all winter, but it can also be a dangerous appliance if there is an underlying issue. A burning smell coming from your furnace can be an alarming experience. If this happens to you, the best course of action is to call a professional right away.

Common Reasons for Burning Smells

While there’s no way of telling what is causing the burning smell for sure without an inspection, there are a few common reasons for burning smells coming from a furnace. 

Trapped Debris

Your furnace is not a closed system; it has vents and ducts that create openings for debris to enter the system. Leaves, pinecones, and even rocks can enter your furnace system without you knowing and cause a burning smell when you turn on your furnace.


You’d be surprised how sensitive furnaces can be to dust. Dust buildup collects on your furnace, and when you turn it on, the dust burns off, creating a burning odor. Burning dust can even smell like burnt plastic.

Under normal circumstances, the dust should burn off, and the smell should go away. If it doesn’t, call a professional right away.

Dirty Filters

If your furnace has dirty filters or if the air vents are clogged, it could lead to built-up dust or even cause mold and mildew to grow inside the system. 

Buildup from dirty filters or vents can cause a variety of smells, including musty smells and burning smells. In this case, the smell is not likely to go away, so it is best to call a professional to have your system thoroughly cleaned.

How Long Will the Burning Smell Last?

Depending on what is the root cause of the burning smell coming from your furnace, the smell could go away in a matter of minutes, hours, or days, or it may never go away. 

No matter what the situation, if you smell burning for any extended period of time, it’s best to call in a professional.

How to Get Rid of the Burning Smell

The best way to get rid of the burning smell coming from your furnace is to call an HVAC professional. An HVAC technician will be able to diagnose the problem and make sure it is fixed so that you know you won’t have to worry about the burning smell again.

Call Rowland Air for Furnace Inspections and Repair

If you are experiencing a burning smell coming from your furnace, call Rowland Air right away. Our expert technicians will be able to diagnose the problem, fix it, and get your furnace back to top condition right away.