Your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning System) system is one of the most critical components of your home, place of business, and car. Finding issues with your system is always troublesome, but particularly when you smell burning plastic. There are a number of different causes of the smell of burning plastic from your HVAC System, some serious and others more routine. Here are some of the major causes of a burning smell in your unit as well as what is typically done to treat it.
Causes of Burning Smell in Unit
There can be many different causes of a burning smell coming from an heating unit. Here are some of the more common ones:
– Dust: When you power up your heating system for the first time in a season, all of the dust that made its way into your heating system and air ducts is suddenly being incinerated. This, of course, gives off a burning smell. This burning smell is what you are breathing in. The burning plastic smell will only last this one time so if it reoccurs then you know the issue may be more serious. However, if you see smoke coming out of the vents there may be something larger in your system that you will need to have removed, whether it be a piece of flammable debris or an dead animal of some kind (most lives ones would escape on their own once the heat turns on).
– Broken Motor: An broken motor in your air conditioning unit may be the cause of the burning plastic smell you are experienced. To isolate this problem from others you should try to treat the problem. Get some oil and use it to lubricate the bearings inside the motor. This can prevent the motor from overheating by removing one of the major sources of heat in a motor; the friction, which causes this issue. If the broken motor has been causing these off odors you are better off calling a professional technician to treat the system and replace the motor.
– Dirty Air Filter: Heating and air conditioning systems use air filters to trap small debris in your system. If you don’t replace your air filters the gunk on it can, you guessed it, burn and leave an awful burning plastic smell coming out of your air ducts. If this is the case, replace your air filters and see if this solves the problem. If so, then you were able to avoid more serious work on your system.
– Electrical System Issue: A burning smell in your system could be telling you that something is very seriously wrong with your HVAC electrical system. That smell can be a burnt wire that has the potential to burn your entire home down. Be cognizant of the risk of this issue and call in a professional technician or electrician to address this problem.
There are many different causes for a burning plastic smell being emitted from your systems. Be cognizant of the smell and try to address it first on your own and then with the help of a specialist technician.