A question we commonly hear from Pensacola residents is, “What is that burning smell coming from my heater?” If you’ve got some funky odors coming from your home’s central heating system, it could be due to one of these three causes.

1. Off-Season Dust Has Built Up

Dust is the most common cause of that burning smell coming from the heater. This is especially common when it’s the first time you’re firing up the heater after not using it for most of the year. It’s totally normal and is probably nothing to worry about as the dust is harmless and will burn off within the first hour or so of use.

In some older homes, especially those that have been unoccupied for long periods of time, the buildup of dust could be substantial. If the burning smell doesn’t go away within 24 hours of use, you may want to call for a professional heating and ductwork cleaning.

2. Electrical Wires Are Burning Out

In some rare cases, it’s possible that the problem is something much more serious than a layer of dust. There’s also the possibility that a component of your heating system has shorted out and will need to be repaired or replaced.

This could pose safety issues since there’s a risk of starting an electrical fire. If you smell burning plastic or if you see smoke coming out of the vents, shut the heater down immediately and call for professional assistance.

3. Something Died in There

A third possible reason why your heater smells bad is that there could be a dead animal somewhere in there. This is not uncommon with heating systems built underneath the floor where rodents and other pests have easy access.

Unfortunately, if there’s a dead rat slumped across your heating elements, that nasty smell isn’t going away anytime soon. Someone will need to get in there, remove the carcass and thoroughly clean off any residue.

If there’s a burning smell coming from your Pensacola, FL, home’s HVAC system that just won’t go away, contact Bluewater Heating & Air today to set up an inspection. We’ll come find the problem, get rid of that burning smell, and get your heater functioning properly for the rest of the season. You can also rely on us for your cooling needs!

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