Woman blocking nose from odor

You’re at home relaxing on the couch and watching television when you suddenly notice an alarming, burning scent like melting plastic in the air. You check every room in the house, but you can’t find the source of the smell anywhere. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is a burning odor in their home, especially not knowing where it’s coming from. A sudden burning aroma doesn’t always automatically mean it’s something endangering or life-threatening, according to Carrier, but you should always take note of it and try to identify the source as a precaution as soon as possible because it’s better to be safe than sorry and you don’t want a bigger issue on your hands to be ignored, especially when it’s your home.

Using an air freshener or scented candles is a good temporary solution, but it won’t permanently remove the smell, so there are clues you can look for to find the source of the burning smell and if it’s potentially harmful to you. When it comes to unknown burning scents in the home, keep in mind that your eyes, nose, and throat can become irritated, not to mention the harmful toxins that can be consumed and threaten your lungs and respiratory system, which can potentially cause nausea, dizziness, and even cancer, according to Home Air Advisor.

Stay informed, stay safe

Wall circuits and wires on fire

Because it can mean different things depending on the type of burning scent it is, there are a number of reasons why there might suddenly be a burning smell present in your home. The scent can show up as smoke, rubber, plastic, or even gunpowder, depending on where it’s coming from and how strong it is. According to Carrier, burning smells can be caused due to malfunctioning wiring, appliances, or something overheating. Burning smells can even arise from space heaters, furnaces, and air conditioners, according to Home Air Advisor.

This happens for a number of reasons due to dust buildup, being overheated, or flammable objects closely nearby. Household appliances such as a toaster, dishwasher, refrigerator, and dryer can also cause this odor if overheated. If you have incorrectly installed wires, overcharged circuits, blocked air filters, or damage to your wiring, this too can cause a burning smell. It’s important to take this seriously because outside of burning dust, all other burning odors are potentially dangerous to your health.