Why Does My Furnace Smell Like It’s Burning?

Last updated on January 11, 2023

It’s cold outside, so you turn up the heat in your home. As you warm up the house and get cozy, you start to smell something burning…is it your furnace? 

If so, why does my furnace smell like it’s burning and what can I do about it? There are many reasons why this could happen—from clogged air filters to loose wires or motor problems. But don’t worry; with a little investigation (and maybe some help from an HVAC technician), we can figure out the cause of that burning smell coming from your furnace. 

Join us for this blog post as we explore why your furnace may be smelly, how to diagnose its issue, and steps on how to fix whatever problem is causing that burn-like odor in your home!

By the way, if you need help with the furnace repair process, you should reach out to a professional HVAC technician as soon as possible.

Table of Contents

Why Does Your Furnace Unit Smell Like It’s Burning?

home furnace

Here are some of the most common reasons why your furnace may be emitting a burn-like scent:

Reason #1 — The furnace may be overheating

If the furnace is overheating, it may be due to a clogged filter, dirty burners, or a problem with the blower motor. If the furnace is overheating, it’s important to turn it off and call a qualified technician to service the unit.

Reason #2 — Your furnace may be burning dust

If the furnace smells like it’s burning dust, it may be because the unit hasn’t been used in a while and the dust has built up on the burners. To fix this problem, the burners need to be cleaned. This is a relatively easy task that can be done by a qualified HVAC technician.

Reason #3 — The furnace may be leaking oil

If the furnace smells like it’s leaking oil, it may be because there is an oil leak in the unit. This is a serious problem that should be fixed by a qualified technician as soon as possible.

Reason #4 — The furnace may have an electrical problem

If the furnace smells like it has an electrical problem, it may be because there is a loose wire or another type of electrical issue within the unit. This is a serious problem that should be fixed by a qualified technician as soon as possible.

Reason #5 — Your furnace may have a gas leak

If the furnace smells like it has a gas leak, it may be because there is a gas leak in the unit. This is a serious problem that should not be ignored and should be fixed by a qualified technician as soon as possible

What Should You Do If Your Furnace Unit Smells Like It’s Burning?

If your furnace smells like it is burning, the first thing to do is turn it off! 

Not only can this be a potential fire hazard if left unattended, but the smell of burning usually indicates that something needs to be repaired or replaced. If you’ve noticed any issues with your furnace before, such as strange noises or uneven heating, now would be a great time to call a professional for an inspection and/or repair. 

This can help ensure that your heating system is reliable and running safely throughout the cold winter months. It’s better to address the issue sooner rather than later in order to minimize risk to you and your family.

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Furnace Repaired or Replaced?

Dealing with a broken furnace can be quite expensive and stressful. But, how much does it cost? 

As with anything else, prices for furnace repair or replacement vary depending on the job. Generally, you can expect to pay around $300-500 for a standard repair and anywhere from $2,500-3,500 for a complete replacement. This is why it’s important to stay on top of annual maintenance checks and not wait until something major goes awry before taking action!

Can I Do Anything to Prevent My Furnace From Smelling Like It’s Burning in the Future?

Believe it or not, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent your furnace from giving off a burning smell in the future. 

One of the best things you can do is make sure to change your air filter regularly. Check the air filter at least once every three months and replace it if necessary. 

You should also make sure that flammable items such as paper, clothing, and combustible liquids are kept away from your furnace so that they do not catch fire or create smoke. 

Additionally, an annual maintenance checkup from a licensed service technician can help identify any potential issues before they become serious, so be sure to get one each year. Taking these steps will help keep your furnace safe, efficient, and odor-free for years to come!

The Takeaway

If your furnace smells like it’s burning, it could be a sign of a serious problem. Faulty furnaces can lead to a number of extensive and expensive issues. If you have any concerns about the safety of your furnace, please contact a professional HVAC company for more information.