Does Your Heat Smell Like Burning Gas, Electrical, Plastic, Dirt, or Mold?

An HVAC technician looking at the inside of a furnace/HVAC unit

You don’t have to be a hound dog to pick up on a foul scent in your house. But there are a thousand potential sources, some much more dangerous than others. The question comes in knowing where to look and what to do about it. Well, at Jake’s Heating and Cooling, we know a little about what causes certain smells, what the dangers are, and what to do about them. If the furnace comes on and your heat smells like burning gas, electricity, plastic, dirt, or mold, check out our nifty guide below.

If your heat smells like...

  • Gas

    STOP what you’re doing. We put a fair amount of love into our blogs, but you shouldn’t be reading one at this moment. When your heat smells like burning gas, shut down the furnace, leave, and call a trusted HVAC service company. If you live in the Grand Strand area, Jake’s Heating and Cooling offers 24/7 service for such a time as this. If you live in an area without quality or available services, call your gas company.

  • Electrical

    Because there are so many potential causes for when your heat smells like burning electrical components, you’ll likely need to call in a professional. There are several common culprits in the HVAC system alone. Because a few items are dangerous or easily damaged by heat and the failure of other components, call an HVAC company.

  • Plastic

    Like electrical components, plastic is everywhere in your home, so identifying the source of the smell can be a trick. Plastic is in every switch, wire, plug, connection, conduit, electronic device, and a million other items and materials in a home. Most commonly if your heat smells like burning plastic, it’s going to be something in the HVAC system. Many times some object has made its way into the ductwork. We know just what to do.

  • Dirt

    Typically this is nothing to worry about. Certainly for the first use after a long period of inactivity, the furnace is burning dust and dirt that has accumulated in the system since its last use. The good news is the smell is short lived and seldom indicates a larger problem. Changing the air filter may fix some of the smell. Another option is to have the system cleaned periodically.

  • Mold

    Check the air filter. A good air filter can go a long way toward keeping mold and mildew out of your lungs and impeding the spread of spores. Then find the source and fix the problem. The effects of mold and mildew are not usually immediate, but are often dangerous and damaging long term.

At Jake’s Heating and Cooling, our many years of experience and accumulated wisdom through successful practice have prepared us for whatever smell, or any other problem, you may have with your HVAC system. We provide 24/7 service so that when our customers need us, we’re there. Be sure to contact us the next time you need repair, installation, emergency service, consultation, or seasonal or periodic maintenance. Give us a chance to show you why we’ve received many awards and why so many of our customers are loyal!

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 If you have any questions about your HVAC system or need maintenance done, be sure to contact our professionals!