How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Phil Your Own Question
Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 8702
Experience:  Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Type Your HVAC Question Here...
Phil is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a burning smell (the odor you can get the first

Customer Question

I have a burning smell (the odor you can get the first couple times your furnace runs each year) but it is only located in 2 rooms. Both rooms are located on the same wall of house. Does this sound normal or should I have someone look at it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.


Dust accumulates on the furnace heat exchanger and burns off the first time the furnace fires in the fall, that is a common problem. That generally only happens once a year however.

Let me know if that rings any bells on your end or not, we can go from there without any time limit,

Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.

If you do not get the smell in the rest of the house, it is possible that a bad wire connection is over heating in the wall, at one of the junction boxes, It is unlikely however that would be occurring intermittently though, however if it IS actually occurring, it is a *dangerous condition,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It has been persistent for the past couple hours, not in rest of home. Did not dissipate the smell after ventilating the room
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have called an electrician and am waiting on them to get here but just not sure if it is even an electrical issue 😐
Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.

There is a high probability that is an electrical issue, You should unplug all of the appliances in the rooms and turn off the lights, it the smell abates you are relatively safe, if the smell does not abate it could very easily be a dangerous electrical short condition

In that case, turn on the lights in the rooms, and plug in a vacuum cleaner or lamp, then go to the house main breaker box and turn off breakers until you loose power to the rooms in question, and leave that breaker or breakers OFF,

If the smell abates you are most likely very safe, if not, it IS an emergency,

In that case you might want to turn off the main breaker at the top of the house breaker panel.

Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for letting me work with you. When we are finished,if my answer has been polite, professional, and thorough,please locate the 'rate your expert button' and click one of the ratings .If you still need help let me know!.

Rating will not increase your charges, nor close the question, but is how I earn my living.

Be sure to stay in touch after rating my advice if still smell anything, we need to stay right on top of this.