AC Repair Tampa

6 Reasons for the Burning Smell from Your Heater

Did you notice a burning smell from your heater when you turned the system on? In some situations, a burning odor may be normal and no reason for concern. In other cases, you may want to contact an HVAC technician for help right away.

You can review the reasons for burning smells from your heating system right here. Learn more about heating services in Tampa by contacting Sun Air Services at (813) 694-8989.

#1: Dust Burn-Off

While you may feel concerned if you notice a burning smell from your heater, the smell could indicate that the system is working correctly. Dust and dirt can settle in your furnace over the summer months in Tampa.

When it gets cold, and you turn on your heater, the heating elements burn off this dust and dirt, leading to a faint burning smell. You may notice this smell for around an hour or so. If the odor lasts longer than an hour, consider calling an HVAC professional to get additional help.

#2: Clogged Air Filters

Air filters remove dust, debris, and other contaminants from your house. Eventually, these filters fill up and then develop clogs if you do not change them regularly. You may notice a burning smell if you run the furnace and you have a clogged filter.

You can assess this issue by checking your filter. If it appears clogged, change it for a fresh filter that fits your HVAC system. You may have resolved the problem if the burning, musty smell goes away after you have a new filter in the system.

#3: Items Too Close to the Heater

Sometimes, burning smells don't actually originate from your heater. Instead, you may smell an item burning due to its proximity to your heater or a register vent. Check for objects like:

  • Plastic toys
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Books or magazines

Remove any items that appear too close to your heating system. Taking this step can also help you reduce the risk of a fire.

#4: Overheated Blower Motor

Have you noticed an electrical burning smell coming from your heater? This kind of smell can indicate several more serious problems. Sometimes, an overheated blower motor can cause this smell. An overheated blower motor can cause your system to overheat if the system does not automatically shut off.

An electrical burning smell may also indicate other issues, including damage to electrical wires or cracks in your heat exchanger. In any of these cases, it's vital to shut down your system if it does not shut down automatically.

Learn why heating is not working or why you smell a burning odor by contacting Sun Air Services. Their trained HVAC technicians can assess the issue.

#5: Electrical Failure

An electrical failure can also lead to system odors. In this situation, you may smell something that reminds you of rubber or plastic burning. Electrical failures represent a serious issue that may lead to a fire if not handled properly.

You can protect your family in this situation by turning off your heating system and allowing a professional to assess the issue.

#6: Melting Plastic

You may also notice the smell of burning rubber or plastic if someone misplaced a toy or another foreign object in the heating system. Melting rubber can release dangerous fumes. It's best to shut off the system while you search for the toy or other item.

You can search for a foreign object to determine the cause of the odor. Thoroughly look through your:

  • Ductwork
  • Vents
  • Heating system

If you locate a misplaced item, remove it carefully and clean up any melted plastic or rubber that ended up in your heating system. If you cannot find a misplaced object, you may be dealing with an electric failure, as mentioned previously.

Get Help Handling a Burning Smell from Your Heater

Have you noticed a burning smell from your heater? You can address this issue directly by scheduling Sun Air Services' heating repair. Call (813) 694-8989 to set up a service appointment if you believe you have an electrical failure, an overheated blower motor, or another issue.


    • Great people from installers to techs. I am a contractor and Had 2 new units put in my personal home and they saved me a lot of money in energy costs! Very respected and will always use them for my ac needs. Any questions that I had they were there to answer them. All around great services.
      -Jason Carpenter
    • Great company with great prices! John Conway came out and was very informative and personable. He talked me through all of my many questions and went over and above to get the job done. I will be recommending to all of my friends in need!
      -Brandi Gullion
    • The service tech arrived quickly, was friendly, and solved our A/C issues. He did not push and pressure for services like other companies have done in the past. I will be using them again for our future A/C needs.
      -Eric Leasure
    Caret Down Orange
    Why Choose Us
    Same Day Service
    100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
    On-Time Arrival
    Upfront Pricing
    Financing Available
    Lennox Authorized Dealer
    Office Location
    7304 Causeway Blvd
    Tampa, FL 33619 
    FacebookGoogle Business MapYoutube
    We Accept
    © 2021 Sun Air Services . All Rights Reserved.