Residential and commercial carpet and tile cleaner serving Central Florida

(352) 508-4556

Why does it smell like smoke when turning the heater on in my home?

Why does it smell like smoke when turning the heater on in my home?

When temperatures begin to drop, we commonly get calls from customers about a burning smell when the heat is turned on for the first time. Usually, it is nothing to worry about, but it is good to know what the possible sources of any "smoke like" odors may be.

Dust in your central heating and air system
In areas with commonly mild temperatures, heating systems can go unused for several months. After sitting idle for long stretches of warm weather, elements of your heating system may accumulate a layer of dust. When you turn on your heater for the first time during the winter months, dust burns off and emits an odor that circulates through your ductwork and out of your vents. The air ducts themselves also commonly have dirt and dust in them if your system was unused for a stretch of time. These two issues are the most likely culprits behind the burning smell in your home at the start of the season.

Heat strips
Even after you are using your system frequently, if temperatures are unusually low or if you have adjusted your thermostat more than a few degrees to raise the temperature, you may still notice this burning odor. This issue is usually the heat strips activating in your air handler to supplement your system's increase in heat. Many heat pump systems include these heat strip-air handler combinations. If you have a system with heat strips that haven't activated for many months, some dust particles have built up that will burn off when the strips activate for the first time.

Other possibilities
If the burning smell coming from your heating system continues beyond your initial use at the onset of colder weather, the culprit could be faulty heater components. Another possibility is debris or objects that have come into contact with heating elements. The most serious hazard is electrical shorts in your heat pump, which can melt wires or insulators.

How to address it
While dust burning off during the first run of your system is likely the cause of a smoky or burning odor, if you continue to notice the smell, it is best to call a professional to diagnose the problem. You will also want to have regularly scheduled preventive maintenance to keep your system running problem free. Also, annual checkups will keep your heating and cooling equipment performing in top condition, which saves you money on energy costs and repair services.

For more air duct tips and services contact the professionals at Gator Clean. 

 

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What Your Neighbors Say About Gator Clean

Danielle and Kelly Did an awesome job on my carpet. Only men live here and the carpet was tarnished but they brought it back to life almost looks brand new. Great job guys.

Dewaine Lyals
May 26, 2020

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Review from Google

What a difference! Great job and super friendly!

Z.Marie Armstrong
April 28, 2020

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Review from Google

I feel so blessed to have found Gator Clean. Kelli and Danielle were very nice, professional, focused and punctual. It was obvious they knew what they were doing. Great job. Thank you. Carolyn Meadows

Carolyn Meadows
February 20, 2020

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Review from Google

Danielle and Kelly were so great! They had my dryer vent with over 12 years of garbage cleaned out in under an hour. What a fire hazard that could’ve been. My dryer was no longer drying my laundry because the vent was completely blocked. Don’t be like me, Clean out your vents every year people!!

Megan Morton
December 10, 2019

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Review from Google

One of the best duct cleaning companies I've ever worked with. As a mold remediation professional I've called on them to help my personal clients many times. They are always on time, fairly priced and very professional. Their reliability and consistent results, is unlike any other I've worked with. Highly recommended. Thank you Gator Clean!

Joseph Yablonsky
December 3, 2019

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Review from Google

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Gator Clean

Gator Clean is a residential and commercial carpet and tile cleaning company, serving Lake, Sumter, Marion and surrounding counties.

(352) 508-4556

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Monday-Friday 8am to 7pm
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