It will help if you tread with caution whenever you feel a burning smell from your furnace.
- Due to the long duration of disuse, furnaces tend to emit burning smells when lit for the first time.
You may want to use your furnace to heat your home immediately after the signs of winter show. In this hurry, many homeowners forget to counter-check whether there are items left inside the furnace. This is crucial when you are not living alone since you may not know if someone else stored items inside the furnace due to the long duration of disuse. In such a case, lighting the furnace blindly can be disastrous, especially if the material left inside is highly combustible. Make a point of checking and removing whatever may have been left inside the furnace. You should also not panic when you detect a light burning smell since this is only indicative of dust and dirt accumulated over time and should lift in a few minutes. Small ones that should be worrying and those that need immediate HVAC professional intervention, including electrical smells, signify a blown motor when the furnace overheats. This should not be an issue since the furnace will easily switch off. You should only be alarmed if it continues to heat even after this happens, as this is a serious malfunction. Your fan motor can also fry, causing a distinct odor that should be a cue for you to call the HVAC serviceman for more scrutiny. You may need an emergency HVAC inspection to clear everything before proceeding. Oil and smoky odors may also be prevalent if you are using an oil furnace. Replace the oil, and seek professional help from an HVAC contractor if nothing changes. Note that all HVAC smells are not necessarily dangerous.