Burning Smells Coming from Furnace and Ducts

*Sniff*...What's that smell?

Please note: we do not repair or replace furnace components. If you are concerned about your heating system’s operation, please contact A1 Heating, our trusted referral partner for installation and repair services

Smells like burning…

For people who have lived in Alberta for a while, there’s a special smell that signals the coming of fall. It’s not leaves or dirt or rain or snow – it’s the dusty burning smell you get sometime in late August or early September, when your furnace turns on for the first time in a few months and the dust that has settled on your heat exchanger burns off.

This is the smell that for many people also signals the need to book a furnace & duct cleaning.

What is a “normal” season change smell?

  1. It is a light dusty burning smell
  2. The smell should be temporary – it should only happen for a short while after your furnace kicks in for the season, and should not persist after the first day.
  3. The smell should be quite mild
  4. The smell should not smell like burning plastic or melting metal
  5. There should not be any smoke
  6. It might not necessarily mean you need a cleaning – most homes need a cleaning every 2-3 years. If you have had your furnace cleaned more recently but get this smell, it might just be a signal that there’s a small amount of dust burning.

If you have a burning smell coming from your heating system that does not fit this description, you should urgently seek professional assistance. If there is smoke, or a gas smell, you should get to safety and call emergency services.


Normal seasonal cleaning needed? Book now or give us a call at 780-444-3828


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Alberta Furnace Cleaning Reviews

I had my ducts and vents cleaned in March 2021 and I was impressed by how thoughtful Richie was. As he cleaned the ducts, he made sure to not leave a mess when he went from room to room. When it came to the dryer duct, Richie even cleaned up the giant dust bunny that he pulled out, and this was outside! I would definitely be back for my next duct and vent cleaning with Alberta Furnace Cleaning! Thank you to both Xianglong and Richie!

- Sophia Mah

Equipment was new and well maintained. Staff were pleasant to deal with and explained what they were doing. They efficiently dealt with their business. Cleaned up after themselves. No concerns at all.

- Barry Maron

They came early and did an amazing job cleaning all of our vents, making our dryer vent clean as a whistle and making our home safe and clean again! I had my 10 month old at home at time and they were so kind about making sure he was okay with the noise. Cannot thank them enough for their work! Get your services done by them everytime!

- Karen Sarsiat

Called around 11am and they were able to come out same day! Very prompt, friendly and got the job done quickly. They were upfront and clear about their prices. Would definitely use their services again.

- Patricia Smith