There are many smells that remind us of winter. For some, it’s the smell of pine trees or a holiday dinner in the oven – for others, it’s that smell you notice when you first turn on the heat for the season. Many Florida homeowners become concerned because their heater smells like burning when it’s first turned on, but do you really need to worry? Find out why this odor occurs, if it’s safe, and if you can avoid it.
In Florida, heating systems sit dormant for much of the year. As furnaces and heating systems rest throughout the spring, summer, and fall, dust settles within the equipment as air continues to circulate throughout your forced air heating and cooling system.
When the first cold day comes and you want to fire up your furnace, this fine layer of dust will burn off furnace components after the system starts up. Your heater smells like burning when first turned on due to the smell of burning dust.
Generally, it’s completely normal that a heater has a burning smell when first turned on, and you don’t need to worry! In most cases, this odor dissipates in an hour or so. As long as the smell of burning doesn’t continue for more than a day, this odor is just a normal occurrence. If this odor continues for more that a day it may be time to schedule a maintenance visit.