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What's That Burning Smell Coming From My Heating System?

Posted by Bonnie Bornstein Fertel on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 @ 12:43 PM

Your heating system may give off a burning smell or odor when it's first turned on.The weather is unpredictable in the late fall in New Jersey. But we're confident that winter is coming...and soon!


Heating season has begun, although perhaps some people haven't yet turned their heat on just yet. We'd like to share some tips and facts that you should be aware of. 

You may have opted for warm sweaters, a comfortable afghan or the heat of a fireplace. But sooner or later you will want to turn on your trusted heating system to warm your family, pets and home. 






Last night the temperature dropped precipitously to 16 degrees! That winter chill is definitely in the air...And perhaps you turned on the heat for the very first time!

As the winter chill plants itself firmly outside your home, it's time to raise your thermostat and turn on the boiler or furnace for some warmth. Many NJ homeowners have contacted their local heating service company for their annual heating system tune-up and know that their system is functioning properly. However, there are a few things homeowners should know about their heating systems.

  • As clean as your home may be, a layer of dust could have accumulated on certain components of your heating system. 
    • When your system is turned on for the first time, the dust will burn off and create an odor, that smells like something is burning.
    • This dust can be found within the duct system in a forced air ducted system or on the elements within baseboard radiation from a hot water heating system. HOWEVER...
  • If you notice a burning odor after the first day or so that your system is in use at the start of the season, a component of the heating system could be failing. It's wise, then, to contact your heating service company to schedule a repair
  • Inspect the area surrounding your furnace or boiler for household items or other debris that may have fallen too close to the unit.
    • And, while you're at it...remove any paint or flammable items!
  • You could have a dead animal (squirrel? mouse? bird?) that has found its way into your chimney
  • Potentially, a far more serious situation may be present. A faulty part, bad blower motor, cracked heat exchanged or an electrical short could be the problem. Electrical wiring can cause a fire. If this is a concern, we suggest you contact your heating repair company immediately.
  • BE WISE...Schedule annual maintenance before the season is underway.
  • You'll be confident that there are no major issues waiting for a late evening surprise, and have one less stress to worry about.
Stay Warm!
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Topics: Heating Maintenance Tips, Burning Odor from Heating System

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