Furnace Smell Like Burning Plastic? Learn Why & What To Do

Why Does My Furnace Smell Like Burning Plastic: Solved

A woman holding her nose because she smells something bad

Walking into your home and being hit with the unsettling smell of burning plastic is not just unpleasant; it can be alarming, especially if it’s coming from your furnace. To get rid of the odor for good and make sure your furnace isn’t on the verge of a potential breakdown, you’ll need to know what’s causing the smell in the first place.

In this blog, you’ll learn the common culprits for why your furnace might smell like burning plastic and what you can do about it.

Reasons for the Burning Plastic Smell

Several reasons can cause the smell of burning plastic from your furnace. Some of the most common ones include:

Plastic Items Near the Furnace

Sometimes, the simplest explanation is the right one. Plastic items that are stored too close to your furnace can melt or burn due to the heat. This is especially common in basements or storage areas, where items are often placed without much thought.

Electrical Issues

Furnaces contain various electrical components that can malfunction. If there’s a short circuit or an electrical fault, wires or plastic casings can overheat and emit a burning smell. This serious issue can lead to fires if not addressed quickly.

Overheating Blower Motor

The blower motor in your furnace is essential for circulating warm air throughout your home. However, it can overheat, causing the insulation on the wiring to melt and producing a burning plastic odor. This can happen due to dust buildup, mechanical failure, or excessive wear and tear.

Malfunctioning Parts

Certain components within the furnace, such as the fan belt, can wear out or malfunction, causing them to overheat and emit a burning plastic smell. For instance, a worn-out fan belt can become misaligned, generating friction and heat buildup.

What You Can Do About the Smell

If you notice a burning plastic smell coming from your furnace, it’s essential to act fast, but always keep safety in mind. Start by turning off your furnace to prevent any potential fire hazards. Inspect the area around your furnace for any plastic items that could be melting and remove them immediately.

Check your furnace filter and replace it if it’s dirty or clogged, which can cause overheating. If you feel comfortable, you can also look for visible signs of damage, such as frayed wires or worn-out components. However, unless you’re experienced with electrical wiring, attempting to fix electrical issues yourself is not recommended. Your best and safest option is to call a professional HVAC technician who can diagnose, repair, and perform routine furnace maintenance.

Schedule Furnace Repair With the Blue Frost Team Today

Burning plastic smells coming from your furnace can be a frightening experience. At Blue Frost, your comfort and safety are our business​. Our team of experienced technicians provides prompt, safe, and long-lasting furnace repair solutions to get your furnace back up and running so you don’t have to deal with it alone. As a client, you get reliable access to 24/7 emergency services, getting the help you need right when needed.

Contact the Blue Frost team today to schedule your furnace repair.

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