Why Does My AC Smell Burnt?

If you are wondering why does my AC smell burnt, you need to pay more detailed attention to other signs. Never underestimate the burning smell because it can signify something ugly or alarming. You don’t want to brush off the smell and end up with a house fire, do you?

What should you do when you smell such a thing? Does every burning smell mean danger? Find out more of what to do here.

The Facts about Burning Smell

Although a burning smell may mean you have a serious condition, it doesn’t mean you are dealing with a fire indication or a dangerous situation. Well, not yet. The smell may mean you are dealing with an air conditioner problem, which can be harmless.

When you turn the heat on, you may smell something burning. It usually happens for the first time (of heating season) or after you haven’t used the device for several months. This can be normal because the furnace burns off the dust settling within the ducts.

Read also: Can I Turn on Heat to Defrost AC?

However, such a smell will quickly dissipate. But then again, this may be a sign that you need to have your HVAC system and ducts cleaned professionally.

why does my ac smell burnt

However, if your window AC is burning smell or the smell still lingers after quite a while, you need to have your unit checked out. Don’t assume. The best way is to ask for help from a professional technician and have the issue resolved most professionally ever.

Read also: What To Do If Your Window Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

Causes and What to Do If AC Smells Like Burning?

There are some reasons why my AC smell burnt. Find out the reasons and also the possible solutions.

  • Worn out Bearings

AC systems have 2 fans, and motors run them. Those motors’ metal bearings will generate high-pitched noises when they wear out. The worn-out bearings will strain the motors, causing them to overheat. When the overheating issue happens, you have a burning smell.

How to deal with it? A professional technician can solve this by providing lubricants for the motor bearings. However, if the bearings (or even the motor) are damaged, the technician may have to replace them.

The filter commonly traps lint, pet hair, dust, and other contaminants found in your home’s air. The idea is to improve the quality of the air. This is why the air filter must be changed regularly. The poorer the air quality, the more often you must change it. If the filter is clogged with debris, it would restrict the airflow.

When the airflow is restricted, the blower motor must work harder. The motor may overheat. Again, an overheating motor can lead to a burning smell. The way to deal with it is to change the filter.

This is a job that you can do on your own. However, if the smell persists even after changing the filter, there is another problem. This issue requires professional attention.

  • Damaged Capacitor

If you smell burning plastic, especially coming from the outdoor condensing unit, it’s a sure thing you have a damaged capacitor issue. It will go bad when the capacitor experiences a combination of power surges, overheating motors, and deterioration. If this is what you experience, then you need professional assistance. Don’t take this matter alone because it’s a serious issue.

  • Electrical Problems

Your unit has insulators and electrical wires that are covered by plastic coating. However, when worn connections, faulty breakers, or electrical shorts are worn, the coating can melt, generating a burning plastic smell. Don’t take this matter lightly because it’s dangerous. Turn your unit off and contact a professional technician right away.

Final Words

Never lightly underestimate the matter of burning smell because it can lead to more serious and bigger issues. Now that you know the reasons why does my AC smell burnt, you can take the next steps carefully.

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AirconMag is an experienced author and Air Conditioner expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of AC unit, including installation, maintenance, and repair