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repeated burning smell

Hello, I know that it is common for the dust on the HtEx to burn and have the smell come from the vents the first couple of times the furnace (bryant) is fired up. However, this keeps happening. I had the furnace cleaned about a week ago and everything checked out. So why would the smell return every couple of days or so? I would appreciate any ideas. Thanks.

Re: repeated burning smell

As you mentioned it's common to smell that smell of dust being burned when the furnace is first fired up. If you are continuously smelling it a week or so later it could be a couple of things.

When you have the furnace serviced and cleaned it's a good time to clean the vents. Especially if they are located on the floors. From the last time the furnace was used till now there is a lot of dust that accumulates in these vents. If the furnace also supplies A/C this will increase this dust accumulation at the vents.

If you remove the cold air return grills you will probably notice a lot of dust bunnies accumulated there so you might want to vacuum these out. Since the cold air returns are the part of the ducting that the furnace is drawing air into it sucks in the dust at these points .... so if there are lots of bunnies this dust will be drawn into the furnace and burn. Depends on the filters used at the furnace will determine how much dust is passing through.
While you're at it clean out the heat vents as well. If they are located on the floor you'll be amazed what hidden treasures .... toys , coins, pet food, lost jewelery , that missing sock ,etc. ..... will be found there when the grills are removed.

If you have cold air supplied from the outside to the furnace it may be possible that dust is being drawn into the furnace from there. There might be construction or a gravel road or just windy outside stirring up dust.

The other thing .... depending on what the actual smell that you are smelling is ...... might be exhaust from the furnace. If you have a high efficient direct vent furnace the exhaust and fresh air intake piping maybe too close together on the outside. Which might cause the fresh air intake drawing in some of the exhaust back into the furnace.
Another source of exhaust smell might be leaky exhausting from the furnace ducting.
Try putting a CO detector in the general area of the furnace and see if it goes off. If this is the case you definitely want to have someone come out and repair this issue .

Hopefully this helps.:)

Sorry for the rambling .... haven't had my coffee yet.;)

C Ed Wright
Re: repeated burning smell

canuk touched on something crucial here: Make sure your flue & chimney are not obstructed! An old, deteriorating chimney can shed bits & pieces of its liner until the pile can block or impede the flow of exhaust out & up.

Not that I think that's it, but better safe than asphyxiated, I always say. It won't take much to look & see.

Re: repeated burning smell

I can't argue about this, you are absolutely right.

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