November 15, 2023
HVAC tips in Kennesaw, GA

Now that the weather is getting colder in Kennesaw, GA, some of you might be turning on your heat for the first time in months. You might also notice a strange burning smell when you turn on your heat. This can be alarming if you’re not expecting it, but we can explain what this smell most likely is so you can turn up your thermostat this winter without worry.

What Is That Burning Smell?

The burning smell that is coming from your vents and your furnace is most likely dust that has settled within your HVAC system. This dust can collect in your air ducts and on your furnace components when your furnace sits unused, just like anything else in your house. When a dusty heating system is turned on for the first time in months, it burns that dust away, resulting in a burning smell throughout your house.

Is the Smell Normal?

As alarming as the smell of burning dust can be, it’s most likely normal. Once the dust in your system has burned away, the smell should go away. This usually takes less than an hour, if the smell is prolonged and hasn’t dissipated within a day contact Controlled Climate Services to perform an inspection of your HVAC.

Can the Burning Smell Be Avoided?

While a burning smell that goes away in a matter of minutes is normal and harmless, we understand that some of our customers want to avoid it. You most likely won’t be able to avoid the smell altogether, but you can take steps to reduce it. The first is to contact Controlled Climate Services and have us perform a tune-up before you turn on the heat for the winter. In fact, it’s best to have at least one tune-up every year, preferably in the fall before you really need your furnace.

The second thing you can do to reduce any unwanted burning smells is to change your HVAC filter regularly. Despite some claims that filters can last for several months, it’s best to change your own filter every 30 days. If not, at least check it to make sure it’s relatively clean, especially if you live with a lot of people or you have pets. The filter catches dust and other particles that would otherwise circulate through your ducts. If your filter is dirty, the dust that it’s supposed to trap will continue to circulate until it settles within your ducts.

Are There Furnace Smells That Aren’t Normal?

Yes, there are furnace smells that aren’t normal and could indicate that something is very wrong with your HVAC system. One of these smells is burning plastic. This is different from the dusty smell akin to burning hair that you would usually smell, and it likely won’t go away by itself. This could mean that you have electrical problems somewhere in your heating system, or that components such as your blower motor or fan belt are wearing out. If this goes unchecked, your entire heating system could break down and leave you with a large repair bill in the middle of winter.

Another smell that you should absolutely never ignore when it comes from your heating system is a rotten egg smell. This is a sign of a natural gas leak. Natural gas normally doesn’t have a smell, but certain additives are added to it to give it a smell so you will know if there is a leak. This can happen if you have a cracked heat exchanger or if you have a leak somewhere in your main gas line. In any case, this is a serious issue that needs to be fixed right away. Get out of your house, call 911 as soon as you’re safe, and contact Controlled Climate Services to fix the problem as soon as you can.

Contact Controlled Climate Services in Kennesaw for Your HVAC Needs

If you’re concerned about a strange smell from your furnace or you simply need an HVAC check-up, Controlled Climate Services will be glad to assist you. Controlled Climate Services has served homeowners and businesses in North Georgia since 1990, and we specialize in furnace and air conditioner maintenance and repair. We also offer 24/7 emergency services, indoor air quality services, and much more.

For more information about what we have to offer, contact Controlled Climate Services in Kennesaw today.

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