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What That Burning Smell Coming from Your Heater Really is


The weather is finally cool enough to turn on your heater. Only when you do turn it on, the first thing you notice isn’t the heat. It’s that familiar burning smell that marks the start of every cold season. This is the point where some homeowners start to freak out, but that’s not necessary! Trust us; we know a thing or two about weird HVAC smells.

Typically, if you ever encounter an odd smell in your home, we suggest you call a technician at Willard immediately. The burning smell coming from your heating system the first time you turn it on is actually normal! There’s even a way you can prevent it.

Let’s take a look at your furnace to get a better idea of what’s going on.

The Inner Workings of Your Furnace

Air is pulled into your furnace through the return air, in which your air filter catches dust particles. The clean air is then pushed through the heat exchanger by the system’s blower. Once heated properly, the air is distributed throughout your home via the return air and ducts.

Your air filter is the first line of defense against dust and other allergens in the air. Still, when your heater isn’t in use, dust can settle on the interior components. When you turn your furnace on for the first time in the winter, your heat exchanger and burners literally burn off the dust that settled over the unit.

So, the smell you notice at the start of the season is the dust on your furnace burning off. If there isn’t too much dust, there isn’t a problem that it burns. If the smell lingers for a while, however, you should call Willard.

Preventing Excess Dust

As we mentioned, dust is more than likely to settle on your unit since the unit is in commission for about two-thirds of the year. Too much dust can hinder your heater’s efficiency, optimal performance, and component safety. You can ensure your heating system lasts as long as possible and remains dust-free with the following tips:

  1. Change your air filters: You should change your air filters every month or as directed on the packaging. Make sure you have a fresh air filter in the unit before you heat your home. Plus, a clean air filter improves the energy efficiency of your entire HVAC system.
  2. Get your ducts cleaned: Ducts can get just as dusty as your furnace and can be a major source of dust in your home. Willard AC provides thorough duct cleaning for the health of your home, family, and HVAC system.
  3. Schedule furnace tune-ups: Prevention is the best medicine. During preventative maintenance, our team will clean your furnace components and ensure everything is in tip-top shape. The best time to schedule a furnace tune-up is in the fall, with plenty of time before the cold weather hits.

We know it can be a burden to take care of a home. Willard AC can help prevent issues from the start with our dedicated team of techs. We offer exceptional furnace services, whether you need a repair or a tune-up. Let us know what comfort solutions you require today.

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