Why Does My Heat Smell Like It’s Burning?

Did you notice a burning smell when you turned on the heat for the first time since the early spring? Baggett Heating and Cooling is here to tell you why you may smell an unusual smell and whether or not it’s normal


If you smell something funny when you first turn on your heat for the season, don’t panic. Here are some normal and not so normal reasons that could be causing that smell.

Normal Odors

Burning Dust

  • Dust and dirt can settle inside your heating system and on internal components. When you turn on your unit and the dust burns off, you can smell a slight burning smell.
  • If it still smells after an hour or so, check your air filter as it may need to be replaced.

Not Normal Odors

Musty Smells

  • If a musty smell is coming from your heater, it could be a sign of mold or mildew in your heating system or ductwork.
  • If the smell doesn’t go away, try replacing your filters.
  • If that doesn’t help, contact Baggett to inspect and clean your ductwork.

Electrical Burning Smell

  • This smell could mean you have damaged electrical wiring or a serious electrical problem. 
  • If your unit is damaged or defective, the blower motor can overheat, which explains this smell.
  • If you notice an electrical burning smell, turn off your unit immediately and give us a call!

Rotten Eggs

  • If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur when gas appliances are on, leave immediately and call your gas company. They’ll inspect whether or not there is a gas leak and determine if it’s safe for you to reenter your home.

One of the most effective methods to keep your system working correctly is to schedule routine maintenance every 6 months with Baggett Heating & Cooling. Our technicians will check all the components of the unit, cleaning coils and drains to ensure blockage-free passage for fluids and air. This process is designed to keep your system running at optimal levels and can often predict and prevent breakdowns in between tune-ups. Learn more about routine maintenance and join Baggett’s Preferred Customer Maintenance Club.

Baggett Heating & Cooling has been serving the Clarksville/Montgomery County area for over 40 years. Contact us by phone, text, or email.