Why Does My HVAC System Smell Like Smoke?

When you suddenly smell smoke coming out of your vents, it isn’t necessarily a sign something is seriously wrong. There are several reasons ranging from routine maintenance to a situation where you need to call a technician. Here are the common reasons you’re smelling smoke.

Dust Is Burning Off

If you haven’t used your furnace or heat pump in a while, your HVAC system will have collected dust. It’s normal to smell smoke when you first use your furnace or heat pump after months of them not being used. The smell should go away within a few minutes.

Clogged Air Filter

Your air filters may become clogged if you haven’t cleaned or replaced them recently. The filters collect dust and dirt. This causes your HVAC system to work harder, putting extra pressure on motors, fans and other moving parts. You should check the filters and clean or replace them if they’re dirty.

Materials in Your Vents

Things that have gotten into your vents may cause a smoke smell. If the smoke smells like plastic or rubber burning, figure out which vent has the strongest smell. Remove the vent and look to see if you can pinpoint the issue.

Motor Is Overheating

An overheating motor can cause a burning smell. The bearings in the motor need to be lubricated once a year. Furnaces and air conditioners need to each be tuned-up once a year by a technician to keep them in good operating condition. Beckham & Jones Heating & Air Conditioning of Huntsville, TX, provides annual maintenance services.

Capacitor Is Broken

AC units have a capacitor that powers the motor. If the capacitor breaks, the motor can overheat. This will cause a burning smell. Capacitors can break due to wear and tear, overheated circuitry or other issues.

Beckham & Jones Heating & Air Conditioning installs, repairs and maintains furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners. We also provide indoor air quality products, such as air purifiers and ventilators. Contact us today to find out more!