Does your heater smell like it's burning?

Does Your Heater Smell Like It’s Burning When It Turns On?

As it gets cooler, we start firing up our furnaces and heat pumps for the first time in a while. If you’ve lived in Childersburg throughout any winter season, you’ve likely experienced turning on your heater for the first time each season, only to begin smelling something burning. Since you’re probably used to it, you may not think much of it, and typically it is harmless. Although, there is a chance it could be a sign of a greater issue where professionals may need to be called in.

Normal Dust Burn-Off

One reason you may smell burning coming from your heater is because it’s burning dust. When your heater isn’t being used during the warmer months of the year, dust will naturally settle in cracks and crevices of your system. The smell should dissipate rather quickly once the system is running – about 10-20 minutes. If it lingers, check to see if your air filter needs to be replaced. A dirty or clogged air filter can be dangerous when running your heating system. If you feel uncomfortable or if the smell just isn’t going away, you can always call the HVAC professionals at Sleeping Giant to come out and inspect your system.

Not So Normal Smells 

While burning smells are typically harmless as discussed above, there are some odors that should not be coming from your furnace when you start up the heat. If anything electrical or plastic is on fire, the burning smell will be overwhelming. In this situation, there is obviously an issue that needs professional attention. Turn off your System and call Sleeping Giant Heating & Cooling. 

Our factory-trained technicians will check the system’s wiring and investigate if there are any forgein objects within the ductwork. If there is a sulfur smell, you should turn off your system and leave your home immediately, as there could be a potential gas leak. In this situation, it’s best to call your local emergency services. 

Preventative Maintenance

To prevent any of these issues from arising before those cold winter nights, have your system professionally inspected and tuned-up by signing up for a preventative maintenance plan with Sleeping Giant Heating & Cooling. Signing up is as easy as visiting the maintenance page on our website and filling out the required information. 

Nobody wants a smelly surprise the first time they turn on their heater for the winter, especially if it’s freezing cold outside! To view more of what our maintenance plans offer, visit our website at

Need to Replace Your Furnace or Heat Pump?

If you’re experiencing a different issue with your heating system, give us a call. All of our technicians are factory-trained and certified to inspect your home and make the best recommendations to fit your specific needs. We proudly offer American Standard Heat Pumps and Furnaces to residents of Childersburg and the surrounding areas. 

Learn More

If you have any questions or concerns, call Sleeping Giant at (256) 378-6556. We are your locally owned American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Customer Care Dealer in Childersburg, AL, and we can help you find the source of any HVAC issues in your home. 

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