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Burning Furnace Smell

When the weather turns cold, nothing is more important than having a well-functioning furnace to heat a home. However, there are times when that is not the case.

Seattle, WA Furnace-Repair-ServicesWhile numerous things can go wrong with a furnace, one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging to it is when the furnace smells as if it’s burning.

If you notice this with your Seattle home furnace, it’s always a good idea to turn it off and immediately contact an HVAC company to schedule a service call. In the meantime, here are three reasons why your Seattle furnace may be experiencing a burning smell.

Motor Short Circuiting

Considered to be the most common reason why a burning smell comes from a furnace, a motor that short circuits is considered very dangerous and should be taken care of immediately.

Otherwise, there is the possibility the house could catch fire due to the furnace malfunctioning. In most cases, the windings on the motor short circuit while the motor is still running.

However, the motor will run at a slower speed and give off a smell as if plastic is burning inside the motor. If this happens, contact an HVAC technician promptly and turn off the furnace until the technician arrives.

Transformers Burned Out

When people upgrade their thermostats, this often requires changing the transformers in the furnace as well. However, transformers are very prone to short circuits and usually do so when a new thermostat is installed.

If this happens, a person will notice a burning smell that is extremely sweet. The furnace will no longer work normally if this happens, but the fan motor will probably continue to run at a much slower speed.

Lack of Proper Maintenance

Along with motors and transformers burning up, many times a furnace will smell as if it’s burning simply because of a lack of maintenance on the part of the homeowner.

If left unattended over time, such things as hair, dirt, pollen, dead human skin, and even dead animals such as mice or rats may find their way into the furnace’s heat exchanger, also known as the firebox.

Therefore, when the furnace is turned on, all of these things that have accumulated over time begin to heat up and give off a strong smell resembling dirty pollution. In most cases, this only happens when the furnace is turned on for the first time at the beginning of each season.

Is your furnace in smelling up your Seattle, WA home? Call Gene Johnson Plumbing & Heating today at 206.792.7495, and get that foul odor out of your home.

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