Why Does Your Furnace Smell Likes It’s Burning?

Temperatures have dropped just enough to create a nip in the air, and you’re forced to turn on the heat.

Your home begins to warm, but wait, what is that burning smell?

First and foremost, it is essential to remain calm; turn the furnace off, and go to the area of your house where the unit is located.

Confirm that there isn’t a fire.

Once you decide that you and your family are not in immediate danger, you then can take a sigh of relief and start to wonder what could have caused that furnace smell.

Here are a few conditions that can generate this odor.

What’s Giving Off That Furnace Smell?

Combustion Chamber Dust

It is not uncommon to experience a burning smell when you turn on the furnace after it has sat idle for an extended amount of time.

When a heating unit isn’t in use, dust and dirt settle in the combustion chamber.

Once the chamber ignites, debris will sear off and produce a burning odor or scent of smoke.

From there, a blower pushes warm air through the ducts, which eventually gets delivered into your home.

If this is the source of a burning odor, the bad smell will dissipate quickly.

If needed, open a window or two to expedite this process.

Dirty Filter

Do you remember the last time you changed the furnace filter?

If not, this should be the first place to check.

Filters in a forced-air furnace serve a vital role in delivering warm air to the rooms in your home.

Their job is to remove particulates (such as dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and more) from the air before the unit gets warmed up.

When a filter is dirty or soiled, the airflow becomes compromised, and it does not blow freely through the fibers.

When this happens, there’s potential for the unit to overheat and start a fire.

But, if dirt is the only culprit, a clean filter should eliminate the occurrence of such furnace smell.

It is important to change filters every 30 days or follow directions on the specific filter’s packaging.

Changing the filter will help decrease odors and provide longevity to your furnace.

Blower Malfunction

A furnace blower’s function is to draw heat from the furnace and distribute it throughout your house.

It also maintains the unit’s internal temperature from getting too hot, and just like other mechanical devices, it has the potential to break down from time to time.

If the blower stops working, it could cause the furnace to overheat and give off a burning odor.

Contact a professional at Guardian Heating & Air Conditioning to provide a full evaluation of your HVAC system.

Call us at Guardian Heating & Air Conditioning now if you need heater repair for your home. Schedule a repair service with us by calling us at (303) 952-9047.

“Great experience, I have used Kurt multiple times for hvac services ranging from new install to whole house humidifier. He does top notch work and has great professionalism.
I highly recommend!!”
Paul P.


Download our FREE Home Efficiency Guide for Homeowners.




Current Heating and Air Specials




We proudly use products from the following manufacturers:


Centennial and Surrounding Areas


AC Repair, Air Conditioning Service, Furnace Repair, Indoor Air Quality, and Preventative Maintenance for your Home.

We offer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to Centennial & Surrounding Areas

Office  303-952-9047
Emergencies  303-503-1446