5 Possible Reasons of the Burnt Smell from Your Furnace

Your furnace is an essential part of your home’s infrastructure. Whether you give it much thought daily or not, your furnace is responsible for keeping your house warm. 

If anything is wrong with your furnace, it may begin to produce an odour similar to burning. You can tell what is wrong with your furnace based on the smell and whether or not you need to call a professional for help based on the scent. However, each of these smells is unique and will help you determine the cause of the issue with your furnace. 

Learn more about the burning smells that your furnace may produce and what they may mean for your home:

Electrical Components

Problems with electrical components are severe and may even be life-threatening. In the event of burning plastic, your furnace is most likely operating at really high temperatures, melting the rubber and metal components of the plastic.

Electrical problems are often accompanied by the scent of burning plastic or electrical components. If you notice this odour, switch off your furnace immediately and contact a professional to inspect your equipment.

Once your furnace has been fixed, it is recommended that you keep an eye on it for 1 to 2 days to ensure that there are no additional problems.

Gas Leak

Gas leaks, which are sometimes accompanied by a rotten egg odour, are a severe issue. Turn off your furnace as soon as you notice the smell of rotten eggs and contact a professional immediately.

After you’ve switched off your furnace, open the windows to allow fresh air to flow around your home. Because of the pure air, there will be less chance of any severe harm. After that, leave your house and contact the gas company to notify them of a possible gas leak. 


In and around our houses, we accumulate a great deal of dust. When this dust settles within your furnace, you may notice the scent of dust being burned inside the unit.

This is most likely to occur when you turn on your furnace for the first time after the summer months. If this is the case, there is no need to be alarmed. The dust that has collected will be burnt away. On the other hand, if the stench persists for more than a day, you should call a professional furnace expert for assistance.

Accumulation of Bacteria

When germs and bacteria build up in a space, it may be a frustrating experience. This scent, which is similar to burning dust, may be produced when you first switch on your furnace after a lengthy period of inactivity.

Replace the filter in your furnace to get rid of the odour completely. Contact a specialist if the scent does not go after a day of being exposed to it.

If your furnace filter is not the source of the problem, you are likely dealing with mould in your furnace. A lasting scent may also indicate that you have an issue with your ventilation system. It will be necessary to clean your air ducts in this situation.


No one spends more time in your home than you. As your furnace is an essential part of your home, it’s necessary to identify these issues when they arise to be taken care of. Catching these issues early could save you money down the road and extend the life of your furnace. 

If you are experiencing any of the burning smells above, our team of professionals can help you through quality furnace repair. At Legacy, specialize in construction and installation, ensuring that your HVAC systems are up and running. Reach out today!

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