3 Possible Reasons Your Furnace Has a Burning Smell

One day, you’re sitting by your fireplace on a cold winter night with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa in your hand. At this moment, nothing can disturb your hard-earned relaxation session.

With the wind blowing, your favorite song playing, and the fire crackling, all that’s on your mind is how much you’re enjoying life and how much it can’t get any better than this. Thanks to your heater working as it should, the warmth you feel just makes the entire experience so much better in every way, shape, and form.

In the midst of your time to unwind, however, you begin to notice something that’s a bit worrisome (and eventually breaks up the relaxation you’re feeling). Although you can’t see or hear what’s going on, your nose is definitely detecting a problem that you’ll need to act on ASAP: your furnace is smelling like it’s burning. 

Why Does the Furnace Have a Burning Smell?

Just like any other essential part of your home or comfort appliance, the furnace in your home isn’t exempt from experiencing problems here and there. Yet, compared to other electrical items that you have in your home, any issue with this particular appliance shouldn’t be shrugged off because of how potentially dangerous things can get, especially if you’re dealing with a burning smell.

If your home’s furnace is giving off the distinct smell and you want to know why it’s doing so before you call in Air 1 LLC’s experts, here are a few potential reasons to look into: 

Bacteria Buildups

One of the most common reasons furnaces end up giving off a “burning” smell when you turn them on is because of bacteria, especially with units that aren’t cleaned regularly.

As a furnace grows older over time and becomes less maintained than it should be, it becomes susceptible to harboring mold in various areas, most particularly in its filter. The foremost measure anyone should take when dealing with this kind of problem is to immediately replace the filter in it. However, if the previously-mentioned quick fix doesn’t work in keeping the smell away, then you’ll need to call in an expert for heating repair ASAP! 


Another common reason furnaces end up smelling like they’re burning is that they become packed with dust.

It may not seem like much of a problem, but having dust settle inside a furnace can pose a severe inconvenience because the resulting smell when it’s burned can fill up a house. Through constant burning, you can most likely expect the smell of burnt dust to go away. But if it doesn’t clear up within the week, then it may be time to hire some help.

Gas Leaks

Compared to other causes of burning furnace smells, gas leaks are the main issue to watch out for because of how potentially dangerous they can be. Easily identified by their characteristic “rotten egg smell”, gas leak-related issues must be handled right away because they can cause flammable gas to fill an entire house, making it a fire hazard, in the process. Once the offending smell in question comes up, it’s vital to turn your furnace off, open your windows to let the air circulate out, and call your gas company for a heating repair! 


Dealing with a burning smell coming from your trusty furnace can undoubtedly be a cause for alarm. Yet, it always helps to know what’s going on so that you can carry immediate action out right away. Whether you’re dealing with a minor or major related issue, acting fast will help save your home and keep things comfortable at all times! 

Winter can be brutally cold, making heating more than just comfort. Heating keeps your home comfortable and livable, creating a haven from frigid outdoor weather conditions. We offer heating equipment from leading manufacturers and provide heating repair in Dover, NJ, that homeowners need to take care of their systems!