Why Does My HVAC System Smell Like Smoke?

May 13, 2020

Your HVAC system in Jackson, MO, should not produce any odors when it heats or cools your house. If you start to notice a smoke odor during a heating or cooling cycle, this indicates a potential problem. Here are some reasons why your home’s HVAC system is emitting a smoky odor.

1. Overheated Motor

An overheated motor is a leading cause of smoke smells from HVAC systems. The motor could overheat because of a loss of lubricant, a layer of dirt, or debris getting in the way of the fan. On an intensely hot and humid day, the motor might not be able to keep up, and it could overheat. A lack of HVAC maintenance contributes to overheated motors.

2. Clogged Air Filter

A dirty air filter could cause a smoky smell. This is most likely to happen during the first time you use the heating or cooling system after not using it for a few weeks. Check the air filter, and if it’s dirty, replace it. Change the air filter after about 90 days of use.

3. Overheated Wiring

Overheated wiring could also cause a smoke odor in your HVAC system. Over time, wires can get loose. Their insulation may degrade. A live wire and a neutral or ground wire could come into contact. These issues require professional repairs.

4. Dust

If you have an electric furnace or heat pump running on backup heat, you might smell a smoky odor. This could be from dust buildup. The dust could be on the resistance wires or coils. There could also be dust in your home’s air ducts. As the heated air contacts the dust, it creates a burning smell. This indicates a need for system maintenance and cleaning.

At Obermanns, our experienced technicians will determine why your HVAC system has a smoky odor. We also offer heating and cooling system maintenance, installations, and replacements. Our HVAC repairs and plumbing services are designed to optimize your comfort. To learn more about the causes of smoke odors from HVAC systems, contact us at Obermanns today.

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