November 19, 2019

When your heater turns on, does it make a burning smell that has you racing from room to room, searching for a fire? If so, you’re not alone — that burning odor is fairly common, and, in many cases, completely harmless. However, it can be indicative of an electrical problem or broken components. Here are a few of the most common causes of that burning smell and how to fix them.

Clogged Air Filter

A clogged air filter harbors lots of dust, pet hair, and other debris. When hot air passes through the filter, it can create an unpleasant burning smell. You can clear up the odor simply by replacing the filter with a new one. This is a simple DIY fix, but if the burning smell persists, you may need to call our technicians for inspection and repair.


It’s common to notice a burning odor when you switch your heating system on for the first time. During the warm seasons, dust can settle on the burners, heat exchangers and other heating components. When the heater kicks on, this dust will burn away and create that all-too-familiar acrid smell. Fortunately, the smell should clear up in just a few minutes and isn’t indicative of a problem with the heating system.

Wiring Issues

In rare situations, that burning smell is coming from your system’s electrical system. Problems with wiring aren’t common, but they do happen from time to time, so it’s important to get to the bottom of that smell. If you’ve recently changed the air filter and that burning smell persists, we recommend calling a professional – especially if the smell mingled with burning plastic. One of our McGowan's Heating & Air Conditioning technicians will arrive at your Jacksonville home to inspect the system and make quality repairs.

Jacksonville Heating Repairs

Noticing a burning odor when your heater kicks on can be alarming, but it’s often nothing to be too concerned about. Chances are your heating system just needs a little TLC to clear up the smell. Other times, your system needs professional service to get it running normally again. At McGowan's Heating & Air Conditioning, our HVAC experts provide dependable repairs, maintenance, installation, and replacement services in Jacksonville, FL. Call us today to schedule your service appointment.

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