Why Does My Heater Smell Like It’s Burning?

Burning smells in your Cuyahoga County home can be incredibly alarming, especially when the smell is originating from something as crucial as your furnace or heat pump. So, what do you do when you come across an odd smell from your heating system?

Well, it depends on the nature of the smell. To help you figure out how to best deal with burning smells from your furnace, check out this insider information from the HVAC pros at Blind & Sons.

Dusty Odors from a Furnace or Heat Pump

If you notice a burning smell from the furnace after you’ve just kicked your unit on for the first time during the winter season, don’t immediately panic. When a heating system sits idle for months at a time, dust can accumulate on the heat exchanger, burners, and heating elements. When the unit is first turned on, this dust will burn off and will produce a funny smell for a short while.

This problem can be somewhat avoided by scheduling annual furnace tune-ups because a big part of the service involves a thorough cleaning of the unit.

Please note that this smell should only last a few minutes at most. If a burning smell persists for longer, contact a furnace or heat pump repair technician for immediate service!

Prolonged Burning Odors

If you’re noticing a sort of electrical, burning rubber smell for prolonged periods of time, or if the odor comes and goes sporadically, start by checking your furnace filter. If your filter is old and clogged up it can restrict air flow to the furnace system. This causes the furnace to overheat, which can generate a pretty nasty smell. If the filter is fine, or if the smell continues to crop up after a filter change, it’s time for furnace repair service.

Dealing with a burning smell from the heating system in your Cleveland home? Call Blind & Sons at (330) 753-7711 or contact us online for expert help and emergency heating repair services!

Acrid, Burning Wire Smells

The pungent smell of burning plastic or electrical components can be a bit hard to trace, as it can come from a wide range of electrical problems, which may or may not be a direct problem with the heating system itself. The important thing to know is that if you ever catch a whiff of burning electrical wiring or components, it needs to be handled immediately.

When dealing with a burnt wiring stench, it’s typically advised that you first try to safely identify the source of the smell and, then, immediately shut off power at the source. If you cannot figure out the source of the smell or if you are unsure about the best way to shut off power at the source, call a professional right away.

Rotten Egg Odors from a Gas Furnace or Gas Boiler

The smell of gas is often likened to the odor of “rotten eggs” due to the pungent sulfurous smell it emits. This odor comes from a chemical called mercaptan, which your gas provider adds to gas so gas leaks can be readily detected (because gas naturally has no odor at all).

If you ever smell gas coming from your gas boiler or your furnace, discontinue the use of the heating system until it can be serviced by a furnace repair professional. While gas is a great resource for heating homes, it’s highly combustible and can be extremely dangerous if mishandled. So, don’t want to mess around with it at all.

Blind & Sons Is the #1 Choice for Heating System Repairs in & Around Cleveland, OH

Are you dealing with funky furnace odors or unusual smells in your heating system ducts? Call the heating repair team that homeowners in Northeast Ohio have been trusting for decades! Whether you need heating system repair or a furnace replacement, we’re the family-owned HVAC company you can trust in and around the Cleveland area.

Call (330) 753-7711 or contact us online to schedule service now!

Our fully licensed, certified, and bonded technicians can handle all of your heating system needs and get the job done right the first time!

Schedule Service


“The team of R.T., S.M and N.B did an amazing job. They literally worked their butts off, and their attention to detail was truly above the bar. I will...” Jim. F.
“For the very positive, service person (A.G.) was excellent: locating the exact location of the plumbing leak within an upstairs bathroom wall, cutting...” J. M.
“These folks stay true to this day. From being easy work with, their professionalism to the quality of work that is put in. Blind & Sons will remai...” Corey A.
Buy A High Efficiency Furnace Get An A/C 50% OFF
Expires 06/30/24
$89 A/C Tune-Up Plus FREE CO Detector
Expires 06/30/24
50% OFF Plumbing Service Call with Repair Plus a Free 26-Point Plumbing Inspection
Expires 06/30/24
50% OFF Electrical Service Call With Repair Plus Free 29-Point Electrical Safety Inspection
Expires 06/30/24
FREE Second Opinion Quote Limited Time Only
Expires 06/30/24
Serving Our
Northeast Ohio
We are committed to bringing our
community fast, affordable home
comfort solutions.