Why Is There A Burning Smell When I Turn My Heat On?

While it might not be that time yet here in Tampa Bay, Florida, there will be a day soon where you’ll turn on your heater for the first time this season. Notice something that smells like burning? Don’t worry, it’s fairly common! The HVAC pros at Super Heat & Air know what’s up! There are a few reasons for a burning smell, and most are completely harmless. Let’s talk about a few of the most common causes of that burning smell and how to fix them.

Clogged Air Filters

Clogged air filters harbor dust, pet hair, allergens, and other debris. Yuck! When the hot air from your heater passes through the filter, it can create that unpleasant burning smell. This one is a simple fix: replace the filter with a new one, and voila! The smell should be taken care of. If the burning smell persists, you should call one of our Super Heat & Air technicians for inspection or repair.


If this is the first time that you are switching on your heat from cool this season, it’s common to notice a burning odor when you turn the heat on for the first time. During the warm season when the AC is in use, dust can settle on the burners, heat exchangers, and other components in your heater which burns away when the heater is kicked on, thus the burning smell! In this case, the smell should generally clear up in a few minutes and isn’t usually an indicator of a problem with your HVAC system.

Related Reading: Things to Check Before Turning Your Heat On For The First Time

Wiring Issues

In rare situations, the burning smell coming from your vents could be a sign that there is an issue with your system’s electrical system. These kinds of problems aren’t common but can happen from time to time. So if the smell does not go away with the change of an air filter, or after a few minutes of turning the heat on, we recommend calling an HVAC professional. ( Especially if you smell anything like burning metal or plastic!) Make an appointment with us at Super Heat & Air, and within an hour, we will be there at your Tampa Bay home to inspect your heater and make any necessary repairs!

Tampa Heating Repairs

If you notice a burning odor when your heater kicks on this season, don’t be alarmed. It is often something that you shouldn’t be too concerned with! If the smell persists, or you notice dust or debris near your air vents, it’s time to call in the pros at Super Heat & Air!

Before you go, check out our Fall AC Maintenance Checklist from Super Heat & Air!

At Super Heat & Air, our HVAC experts provide dependable repairs, maintenance, installation, and replacement services in Tampa Bay, Florida. Call us today for an appointment and don’t forget about our Super Fast Guarantee!

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