Have you heard the old saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”? Nothing holds more true for a furnace than that in most cases. If you turn it on and smell smoke, chances are that there is something burning in there.


Inspecting a furnace is not a DIY job. The professionals at Arctic Breeze know that different burning odours can indicate different issues. It may well be a filter that needs changing or a bigger hazard. Have them inspect your furnace, not just when it’s acting up but also for regular maintenance to avoid bigger problems later.

4 Main Reasons Behind the Burning Smell in Your Furnace


In the winter, your furnace is the most valuable appliance that saves you from the cold. Take good care of it as it does of you. If you have children or ailing seniors in the house, you cannot afford to have it malfunctioning at any cost. Any odd electrical smell is a cause for worry and inspection. Use the guide below to learn about the steps you could take in that event.

Metallic Odour

Electric or metallic smells are a bit like burning wires. If they come from your furnace, you know it may be too hot. Sometimes the unit might shut off as a protective mechanism to prevent a fire hazard. It may also indicate that the furnace is ageing and the rubber or metal components are beginning to wear out. Repair or replacement of worn out parts may not cost you much. Meanwhile, as soon as you smell wires burning, shut off the unit at once, even if it’s cold outside. Call us for repairs. Observe the unit for a day or two to make sure the smell doesn’t come back after it is fixed.

Rotten Eggs Odour

The smell of rotten eggs or a sulphurous smell indicates a gas leak. This can be more dangerous than you imagine. A gas leak has the potential to cause an explosion or fire in your home. Turn it off immediately and throw open the windows to let the gas escape and allow fresh air in. Make sure every member of your family leaves the home and call the gas company. The gas needs to be turned off before the furnace is fixed to ensure complete safety.

Burning Dust Odour

This is a common problem that most homeowners experience especially in the early days of winter. Dust accumulates in the unit after a long period of inactivity. It really isn’t anything much to worry about. When you turn on the furnace over the first few days, the heat burns away the dirt and dust and the smell dissipates after a few hours. You have reason to worry if the smell does not go. First check if the air filter is clean and replaced. If not, do so at once. A clean filter reduces dust, prevents allergies dust-related allergies, keep the unit clean and the air in your home fresh. It will also help your furnace operate more efficiently. A clogged filter heats up the furnace, emits the burning smell and consumes more energy to heat the house leading to higher electricity bills.

Call a Technician

If the smell persists, call our technician at once. The problem could be more serious. It may need deeper inspection and cleaning. The more you delay calling a technician, the more the problem could aggravate, increasing repair costs with it. You may even need to replace the entire furnace. If that is the issue, do so at once and schedule regular maintenance to avoid such problems later. A regular maintenance plans also helps bring down your electric bills and you save money on expensive repairs later.

Arctic Breeze – HVAC Services in the Pickering Region


We are a family business that treats our clients like they are a member of our own family. If at any time you smell smoke while operating your furnace, turn it off and call us immediately.