• residential Service

      commercial service

Why Does My Heater Smell Like Burning?

burning smell coming from heater

Does your heater smell like burning plastic, rubber, or wires? If so, you’ll need to find the cause and fix it if necessary. A burning smell coming from your heater can be caused by damaged HVAC parts, electrical problems, or even foreign objects.

Does Your Heater Smell Like Burning? Troubleshoot the Problem

Some odors do require immediate intervention when you notice a heater smell like burning. We’ll help differentiate what these smells could mean so you know the right action to take.

Heater Smells Like Burning Plastic or Rubber

When a heater smells like burning rubber or plastic it’s an indicator for immediate intervention. While these fumes could be dangerous to inhale, they can also signify a problem that can damage your furnace if allowed to continue.

Possible causes when your heater smells like burning plastic or rubber:

  • Foreign object trapped in the heating system
  • Electrical fault burning the plastic coating on wires
  • Part malfunction, such as the capacitor or fan belt

If you can’t locate or safely remove a trapped object we suggest turning the heater off and calling a professional heating service. When your home heater smells like burning plastic, a heating expert should assess for electrical failure or any part malfunction.

heater smell like burning
Photo Credit: Global News

Heater Smells Like Burning Wires

The smell of burning wires from your heater is another odor that could be dangerous to inhale or signify a larger heating problem.

Possible causes when your heater smells like burning wires:

  • Overheated blower motor: Though your heating system automatically shuts off if it overheats, the heater can reach dangerous temperatures and cause a burning order if this protective measure malfunctions.
  • Burning electrical wires: The wires in your heating system may indeed be burning or frayed due to damage or defect.
  • Cracked heat exchanger: This heater component is what’s responsible for actually heating the air. If the various tubes or coils of the exchanger become cracked they can leak harmful gasses that emit a burning smell.

Since a clogged air filter can cause your blower motor to work harder and overheat, changing the filter may eliminate the smell. However, if your air filter isn’t clogged or changing it doesn’t lessen the odor, turn the heat off and call a professional service immediately.  A bad blower motor, burning wires, or a cracked heat exchanger are potentially dangerous situations that require rapid intervention.

Heater Smells Like Burning Dust

If your heater smells like burning dust, it could indeed be just that. If your heater hasn’t been used in a while, dust can accumulate on components such as the heat exchanger or burner. As this dust burns off, it creates an odor that passes through the air vents of your home.

In most cases, the smell of burning dust should disappear as the heater continues to operate. However, if the smell persists, a professional assessment may be in order.

While a heater smell like burning dust doesn’t always have a serious cause, other burning smells do require immediate action. At Dependable Heating and Air, safety is our first priority. A team member is available every hour of the day or night to respond to any heating need.

Troubleshoot Error Codes

carrier furnace error codes
Heating

What Do Carrier Furnace Yellow Light Codes Mean? Your Ultimate Guide to Error Codes

When the light on your Carrier furnace is yellow and flashing, it’s like your furnace ...
Goodman Air Conditioner Codes
Air Conditioner

Goodman Air Conditioner Codes: Troubleshooting Common Goodman AC Failures

Your Goodman AC may flash codes if it detects a failure. Understanding the Goodman Air ...
Maintenance

How to fix the American Standard HVAC 3 Flash Error Code

Wondering how to troubleshoot the American Standard HVAC 3 Flash Error Code? We cover the 3, 2, & 22 flash error codes.
Save On HVAC Maintenance​
Ready to save on annual maintenance & utility bills? Enroll in our Annual HVAC Maintenance Plan today!
SAVE $40

Hot (& Cold) Topics

smart thermostat pros and cons
Air Conditioner

Smart Thermostat Pros and Cons: Navigating the Modern Home Climate Control

As we embrace the era of smart home technology, the debate around the smart thermostat ...
house not heating evenly
Heating

Is Your House Not Heating Evenly? Try These Tips for Heat in Every Room

Is it feeling like the Arctic in your bedroom, but a tropical paradise in the ...
air conditioner smells
Air Conditioner

6 Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Smells and How to Stop the Odor

Facing odd smells when you turn on your AC? Discover the causes and learn preventative tips to keep your home smelling fresh all summer long! ...
how to improve home air quality
Air Conditioner

How to Improve Home Air Quality and Breathe Easy

Is your home feeling stuffy or triggering allergies? Dive into these preventative tips to ensure you're breathing the cleanest air possible. A healthier, fresher home ...
How to Prevent Mold in HVAC Systems
Air Conditioner

The Ultimate Guide on How to Prevent Mold in HVAC Systems

Today, we’re diving into a topic that may seem small but can be very important ...

Stay in the know

Get repair tips, maintenance advice, and other useful content when you subscribe to our newsletter.

Local Area Info

atlanta water attractions free
Local

Best Places to Cool Off in Atlanta: Atlanta Water Attractions

It’s called “Hotlanta” for a reason. Whether you live here or you’re planning on visiting, ...
air purifier prevent covid-19
Air Conditioner

Can an Air Purifier Prevent Coronavirus?

When waging the war against coronavirus, having multiple tactics in our arsenal seems to be ...
can i get BBQ delivered
Local

5 Best BBQ Delivery Atlanta Restaurants

For a true BBQ fan, few cities offer more authentic options than Atlanta. But while ...