We’re Open 24/7 (202) 796-7990
A family in the kitchen holding their baby in the air

Back To Blog

Why Does My Furnace Smell Like Something Is Burning?

Man removes the furnace filter cover to inspect

A burning odor is one of the most concerning furnace issues. Strong smells coming from your heating system are never something to take lightly. However, there are cases when a burning odor from your furnace may not require professional service.

The HVAC experts at United Air Temp want you to know the most common causes for a burning smell from your furnace so you can make the most informed decision for your indoor comfort and safety.

Request Service Get started by filling out a service request form or by giving us a call.
(202) 796-7990

Dust on Your Furnace

You may notice a slight burning smell when you turn your furnace on for the first time each fall. This is normal, as dust may have accumulated on your unit during the offseason. As your furnace heats up, debris within the unit may burn away, resulting in a burning odor.

This smell should only last a few minutes, slowly dissipating as your system burns away the residue. If, however, you notice that the burning odor persists for much longer, a greater issue may be at play. Request service from a skilled HVAC technician.

Dirty Furnace Filter

Another reason why your furnace may start to emanate a burning odor is if its air filter becomes clogged or dirty. When this happens, the system may heat dust, debris, pet dander, and other airborne pollutants trapped in the filter.

We recommend changing your furnace filter at the start of each heating season to prevent this issue. From there, change your filter regularly, usually once every 90 days.

Overheated Blower Motor

An overheated blower motor is a serious furnace problem. Not only will the unit start to smell, but an overheated blower motor can force the system to shut off completely due to the safety controls, leaving you without heating.

Other signs of an overheated blower motor include:

  • Strange noises
  • Weak airflow
  • A tripped circuit breaker
  • Smoking vents

You need to schedule 24/7 emergency heating repair when you suspect your blower motor is compromised.

Damaged Wiring

If your furnace smells like burning or melting plastic, it could mean that your system has defective or damaged wiring. This is a serious issue as it could lead to significant safety hazards, such as electrical fire.

When you recognize a burning plastic smell coming from your furnace, shut down the system immediately and schedule an emergency heating repair with your trusted HVAC professional.

Get Expert Furnace Repair & Maintenance From UAT

Have you noticed a persistent burning smell coming from your furnace? Neglecting this problem can pose a significant threat to your home’s safety and comfort.

At United Air Temp, our HVAC technicians help ensure your system operates safely. Scheduling annual furnace maintenance can prevent the burning smell in the first place.

We’re committed to quality craftsmanship and are confident in our ability to diagnose and fix the burning smell in your furnace quickly and efficiently.

Book furnace repair or maintenance in Washington, DC, or Northern Virginia by calling United Air Temp at (202) 796-7990 today!

Flag with over 90 years in business text
Leader in Home Comfort Since 1931Get Your Free Estimate

Sidebar

Why Choose Us Discover the United Difference
Trained Technicians
Upfront Pricing
Environmental Health & Safety
Value-Added Services
On-Time Scheduling
Commitment to Community
Quality Craftsmanship
Satisfaction Guaranteed
Trained Technicians
Upfront Pricing
Environmental Health & Safety
Value-Added Services
On-Time Scheduling
Commitment to Community
Quality Craftsmanship
Satisfaction Guaranteed
Save on Your Service Our Goal Is to Keep Your Home Comfortable
Save Up To $2,000When You Buy a Complete HVAC System with A/C and Furnace!
Expires 06/30/24 *Cannot be combined with any other offer. Not applicable for a heat pump system.
Limited Time Only!
*Disclaimer: Waived diagnostic charge available during normal service hours in the DC Metro service area for plumbing service calls only.
No Plumbing Diagnostic Fee - Savings of $98!
Expires 06/30/24 .
FREESurge Protector with Electrical Panel Upgrade
Expires 06/30/24
FREEsecond opinion – HVAC or Plumbing replacement
Expires 06/30/24
$25 OFFfor referrer and friend
Expires 06/30/24
$50diagnostic for first- time plumbing customer
Expires 06/30/24
$250 OFF tankless water heater replacement
Expires 06/30/24
FREEestimate on water heater replacement
Expires 06/30/24
FREEestimate on water treatment system
Expires 06/30/24
FREE estimate on HVAC system replacement
Expires 06/30/24
Call us for a FREE ESTIMATE to install a new ductless mini single zone system with white finished indoor air handler at a SPECIAL PRICE.
Expires 06/30/24
$50 Off Plumbing Repair
Expires 06/30/24
$500 off a complete new system
Expires 06/30/24
Expert Dryer Vent Cleaning. When combined with other services. $89.95
Expires 06/30/24
Free hot water tank cleaning & safety inspection with any HVAC repair!
Expires 06/30/24
Free hot water tank cleaning & safety inspection with any plumbing repair!
Expires 06/30/24
Flag with over 90 years in business text Over 90 tears in business banner
Satisfied Customers
Total Reviews
4.5 Google Rating
What Our Clients Are Saying
testimonial_image The tech was at my home less than 10 minutes and gone within 20 minutes due to having my A/C up and running. I really appreciate his response to my home and working with my son due to me being out of town, but we spoke on the phone.
testimonial_image The technician arrived promptly, wore a mask, was very courteous and professional. I am generally very satisfied with service by United Air Temp. In addition to good service (they repair well), it is easy to speak to a person, and promptly. Thank you.
testimonial_image Great service! I called because I was under the impression the AC was not working upstairs. Someone came on the same day, checked out the system, and ensured everything was working. He was polite, thorough, and friendly.
testimonial_image Tech was very attentive and professional. He went out his way to explain everything to me as he was doing it. I appreciated him keeping me informed.
testimonial_image The service technician was awesome! He spent the extra time necessary to ensure the leak in our system was fixed, the system fully recharged and everything was functioning as it should. He was extremely thorough and very professional. We are extremely pleased with the result!

United Air Temp was named the 2022 HVACR National Contractor of the Year.

Contractor of the Year-2022 Click Here to Learn More
Affiliations & Awards
Plumbing heating and cooling contractors association logo
NATE blue logo with yellow text
Energy Star blue square logo
Better Business Bureau blue logo
Green and black Rebuilding Together logo
Blue Feed the Fight logo with kitchen with web link
Habitat for Humanity green and blue logo