Why Does My HVAC System Smell Like Smoke?

May 13, 2020

If your furnace or air conditioner smells like smoke, it doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is burning. However, it is a good idea to take note of the problem and call for assistance if it lingers. Let’s take a look at some possible reasons why this might be happening.

An Air Filter Is Clogged

As filters get older, they do a poor job collecting dust, pollen or other particles in the air surrounding your furnace or condenser unit. As these particles start to collect on fan motors and other parts, they have to work harder to produce hot or cold air or to send it throughout your home. The harder a motor is forced to run, the more friction it will create each time it spins. This will lead to friction and heat that can cause the burning smell coming from the basement or from the condenser outside.

Dust May Be Burning Away

It isn’t uncommon for dust to accumulate on or in a furnace while it sits idle during the spring and summer months. Therefore, if you think that you smell smoke the first time that you turn it on, it could actually be dust being harmlessly burned away. However, it may still be a good idea to contact High Country HVAC in Centerville to schedule a furnace inspection. We can also inspect your air conditioner if that is where the odor of smoke is coming from.

A Wire May Have Melted

As your HVAC system ages, there is a chance that an electrical short could occur. There is also a chance that plastic coverings or other materials used to protect a wire have broken off. In such a scenario, you’ll need to fix the problem quickly to prevent significant damage to a furnace or air conditioner.

In addition to fixing heating and cooling components, we can also perform indoor air quality assessments in a timely and friendly manner. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help!

company icon