Notice A Burning Smell When You Turn On Your Heating System?
As the weather starts to get colder and temperatures fall, heating systems are turned on for the first time after sitting idle for months. This is a common time for breakdown, which means Charleston heating contractors will be busy with repairs.
The first time the heating system is turned on, it’s not uncommon for customers to call about burning smells. The odor causes some concern about malfunctions. Most of the time the cause of the burning smell is likely minor, but it’s good to know what may be going on and what to do about it.
Dust Build-Up In Your Heating & Air System
As your heating system has sat idle for some time, it accumulates dust. This dust will build up on the components of the furnace and inside duct work. When the heater is turned on for the first time, the dust is burned away on parts that are super heated. This causes a burning smell that gets circulated through the ducts. Dust is a very common reason for burning smells, especially during the start of the heating season.
Burning Smells Well Into Heating Season
If your furnace has been running and you notice a burning smell, it could be the heat strip turning on. A heat strip turns on to supplement the heaters attempt at raising the heat level within the furnace. This happens when it gets really cold outside and you turn the thermostat up more than a few degrees to compensate.
Many homes are fitted with a heat pump system. Heat pumps usually have a heat strip inside the air handler. When the heat strip hasn’t been activated yet, it may burn off some dust the first time.
What To Do About Burning Smells
A little dust on the heating system isn’t a big problem. However, when it’s accumulated enough, it can cause strain on the furnace which weakens it. This is why a seasonal tune up, done prior to using the furnace again, is important. The heating system tune-up is when we test, clean, adjust, and lubricate, making it ready to perform well during the cold season. This is a preventative measure.
If the burning smell continues, there could be parts that need repair. There could also be debris that has come into contact with heated parts. An electrical short could be melting wires or insulation. This is why it’s important to take note of how your heating system is functioning. Knowing what may be serious and what is likely minor ensures you know when to call a Charleston heating contractor for help.