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Why Does My Heater Smell Like It’s Burning?

January 25, 2022 | Blog

Have you ever turned on your heater and smelled something strange? Some smells are normal but others could mean it’s time to call a professional. Have no fear, because at Ball Heating and Air Conditioning, we are experts in all things HVAC!

Having served the Biloxi area for years, we’ve come in contact with every heater smell imaginable. Read below for our list of the most common heater odors and what they mean for your HVAC system.

Different HVAC-Related Odors

Burning Dust

If you’re turning on your heater for the first time this winter, the burning smell is most likely dust that has collected on the unit over time due to disuse. This is a common HVAC complaint and is not a cause for worry. Burning dust will emit a smoky odor and should resolve by the second day of use.

If the smoky odor doesn’t resolve by the second day, check your air filters to see if it’s time to change them. If you change your air filters and the smell persists, it’s time to call one of our technicians to come and check out your system.

Burning Plastic

If the burning smell from your heater is giving off a plastic odor, it could be an electrical problem. Wires inside your heater are wrapped in a plastic casing and when your heater malfunctions, the wire casings can melt.

Another culprit of a burning plastic smell could be a foreign object stuck in your ducts. Turn off your furnace and take off your registers to clean or remove an object that doesn’t belong. If you cannot locate an object inside your ducts, it’s time to call a professional immediately. If the plastic smell is the result of a mechanical failure, you might need a heater repair.

Rotten Eggs

If you’re smelling rotten eggs coming from your heater, this should definitely cause concern. The rotten egg smell is caused by a chemical called mercaptan which is added by gas companies to natural gas so that gas leaks are easy to detect.

If you suspect a gas leak in your home, it is very important to have all pets and members of the home leave the house immediately. Call your gas company to alert them of the leak and then call an HVAC professional at Ball and we’ll take care of you.

Electric/Chemical Smells

An electric or chemical smell could be a sign that your furnace is overheating. Most of the time when a system gets overheated, it will automatically shut off, but in some cases, it might not.

A cracked or broken heat exchanger is a serious issue and should be looked at by a professional immediately.

Smell of Mold

If your furnace smells dirty, musty or woodsy, you could have a mold problem on your hands. Mold is extremely common because it only requires moisture to grow, but this does not mean you want it taking over your furnace!

Mold can cause tons of health issues if left untreated, and needs to be dealt with immediately! If you suspect mold in your furnace, give us a call and have the real professionals care of it for you.

Is It Time For an HVAC Repair or Maintenance?

Rotten eggs, burning plastic and electrical smells could mean it’s time for an HVAC repair or maintenance. Preventative HVAC maintenance can be beneficial for many reasons, including:

  • Saving on your energy bill
  • Extending the life of your system
  • Staying covered under your warranty
  • Peace of mind

Contact The Pros

Whether you need maintenance, repair or just have a question about the smells coming from your heater, we’re here for you! Our team of licensed professionals is ready to answer all of your questions. Contact Ball Heating and Air Conditioning, your favorite Biloxi heating company!

Why Choose Ball Heating & Air?

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30% Utility Saving Guarantee
You will save a minimum of 30% on your heating and cooling costs or we will refund double-the-difference of your savings not realized during the first year.
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If we do not have your new system operating by the date promised, we will pay you $500 for your inconvenience.
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Peace of Mind Guarantee
All technicians in your home have an extensive background check performed and are randomly drug tested for your safety.

What Our Customers Are Saying

Professional and Courteous

Zach was very professional and Courteous. He fully explained all the checks he would be preforming before he started. He also advised me of any potential problems with my system and offered options for their resolution. He reviewed the invoice thoroughly with me when he was finished

Sam O.

Very Nice and Helpful

Zack came out today for our 6 month cleaning/inspection and was very nice and helpful. He gave a detailed explanation of everything he found and things we can upgrade for better service. We will be continuing to use Ball Heating & Air in the future!

Kaleigh E.

Incredibly Knowledgeable

Zack was incredibly knowledgeable and gave me information that explained a lot of what I was seeing occur in my house. Highly recommend, as the visit was informative and productive.

Shana B.