Winter is coming (dun dun dunnnnn), and that means that soon, you’ll be inundated with Christmas music in every Target, CVS, and Home Depot you enter. It also means that you’ll be relying on your Tampa heating system a lot more than normal. It’s been pretty cold this November, so we wouldn’t be surprised if your heater has already gotten some action. When you turn your heating system on, you might notice an unpleasant smell coming from it, potentially a worrisome one. A lot of customers call us when they notice that their Tampa AC system suddenly smells like it’s burning. While this might be cause for concern, it also might be harmless! Read on to find out the culprit behind that mysterious smell.

Four Reasons Your AC Smells Like It’s Burning

1.Dust is burning off.

Because we don’t frequently use our heating systems here in Tampa, FL, they typically build up a layer of dust or debris during the warmer seasons. This is especially true if you haven’t had your system serviced recently. When you turn your heating system on for the first time, that layer of dust will burn off, creating a smokey smell. That smell will typically last a day or two, and that is completely normal. However, if the smell continues, you should put in a call to your trusted air conditioning company. A check-up from Air Express is only $69, which is a great option if you’re not sure what’s wrong with your heating and cooling system!

2. The capacitor is broken, causing your motor to overheat.

The motor in your AC system is powered by a capacitor, which stores electrical charge. If your capacitor is broken or not working correctly, the motor can overheat, causing a burning electrical smell. Capacitors can break after power surges, lack of maintenance, or just general old age. This means that your capacitor needs replacement, and you should hire an AC company to replace it for you. In the meantime, make sure you turn off your air conditioning system! Leaving it on can be hazardous to the system and your home.

3. Electrical wiring is burning.

There are plastic components associated with the wiring in your heating and cooling system. If these components start to burn, they will emit a smell similar to rotten eggs. If you notice this foul . smell when you turn your Tampa heating system on, make sure to turn it off and call your AC company. Electrical wiring is one thing you definitely do not want to mess with as a homeowner!

4.You haven’t changed your filter in a while.

We all forget to change our filters. While we recommend that you change your filters every month, we understand that it’s easy to slip up. However, if you can’t remember the last time you changed your filter, you should change it… ASAP. Clogged filters restrict airflow, which causes every aspect of your system to overwork. And overworked components can easily translate to that burning smell you’re noticing. You wouldn’t go for a run and try to breathe through a straw– so don’t make your AC system suffer with dirty filters! If you’re sick of remembering to change your filter, we recommend a more advanced filtration system, which is both more effective (98% effective!) and super easy to maintain. Read more about electronic air cleaners here!

There are a number of reasons you might think your air conditioner is burning. Some of them are completely harmless, while some are more sinister. The bottom line? If you think something is wrong, there’s no harm in having someone check it out. Peace of mind is worth the time and money it will take to ensure that your air conditioning system is fine– and if something isn’t quite right, it’s always better to address it sooner than later! Don’t be like the dog in the meme. We want you to be warm… but not too warm!

Call Ahoy! Cooling & Heating for same-day service throughout the Tampa Bay area. And read more about our Tampa heating services here!

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