"Why do I have a burning smell when my heat comes on?"
It is because you have a heat pump. It has gone from March or April until now without running the heat strips and without running the heat.
What happens is dust builds up on those electric wires and once those are activated it burns it off. Therefore, you get that burning smell in the house. Usually it is nothing dangerous. Now if it was dangerous it would be too much for the wiring and trip the breaker and be a safety hazard.
If none of that is happening then it is probably just burning off the dust from not being used. When we come out to do a maintenance we activate the heat strips to get it out of the way so that first cold snap you won't have that problem. That is what that is so it is not a huge deal, it just smells like it is burning so you wonder if there is a fire and there isn't.
Your friend in comfort and energy savings,
Derek Cole is the General Manager of One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®, an independently owned and operated franchise based in Laurinburg, North Carolina since 1953 and named to the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in 2016. He has more than 15 years of experience in the HVAC industry and has created two You Tube broadcasts, The Comfort Experts and #AskDerekCole, filled with tips and tricks on saving energy and being comfortable. He was named the Top 40 under 40 in the HVAC industry by the News magazine and featured in Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise Player Spotlight. Derek has also been seen on CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg Business sharing about One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® and home comfort tips.