Honeywell Air Purifier Burning Smell – What Could Be Wrong?

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In a world surrounded by dust and particles which are often unseen by the naked eye but sensed by the nose, air purifiers are a great help to filter them out. The Honeywell air purifier is one of the products that help keep the promise of clean air, but what happens when it emits a burning smell? Why could this be happening? Well, we did the research to provide the answer you need.

A burning smell from your air purifier is often a result of mechanical issues. The smell could be a product of placing the air purifier in an unventilated area which caused the air purifier to overheat. It could also mean a technical issue with its wiring or motor.

Aside from a burning smell, air purifiers may also produce different types of odors you must watch out for. If you are curious about why they create a burning smell and about what other smells they could emit, keep reading.

Portable air purifier on wooden floor in comfortable home, Honeywell Air Purifier Burning Smell - What Could Be Wrong?

What Causes A Burning Smell In A Honeywell Air Purifier?

Several issues could cause an air purifier to smell like it's burning. New air purifiers generate heat from collecting dust in their packaging, which is why they might emit this smell.

However, if the odor does not disappear after a few minutes or if your air purifier is not brand new to have this initial smell, immediately turn it off.

Honeywell - InSight HEPA air purifier

The cause for this burning smell may be product overheating due to lack of ventilation. But if the odor it creates is like burning fish, it's most likely to have faulty wiring or a damaged motor.

For technical concerns like this, it is best to not try fixing the air purifier yourself and have your local technician check it.

Other Smells Air Purifiers Produce

There are different reasons why an air purifier emits a specific smell. The product may release a smell commonly observed for air purifiers, or it may also be an issue with its filter, motor, or wiring.

Distinguishing what kind of odor your air purifier produces would help you determine whether you should have it fixed or not.

Sweet Smell

Carbon filters are commonly used on air purifiers to remove different odors in the air and emit a sweet smell if working well. When the appliance no longer produces this smell, it only indicates a need to change your carbon filter. 

Plastic Smell

It is common for air purifiers to smell like plastic at first as a result of their creation process. During the molding process of the body of the air purifier, some intense fumes may remain inside the product.

That is why when the air purifier is brand new, the leftover fumes from the molding process reemerge. After several uses, this plastic smell should fade. However, if the product continues to give off the same odor, a technician should check it because there may be plastic burning inside.

Wet Dog Smell

If the air filters in your air purifier have gotten wet, the mold, bacteria, or yeast collected by the air purifier would react to the moisture and cause a wet dog smell.

To prevent this, make sure your air purifier does not get wet. However, if your air filters unavoidably get damp and produce a wet dog smell, you should clean or change their filters as it is the best solution to remove the odor.

How to Clean Honeywell Air Purifier

Sometimes, all you need to do to get rid of the smell of your air purifier is clean it. To ensure that only fresh air comes out of the appliance, clean your Honeywell air purifier every three months.

However, during the times when dust or other air allergens are heavy in your area, you need to clean your air purifier more often. Here are easy steps you must do to clean your air purifier:

1. Turn your air purifier off

Make sure to turn off the air purifier before you start cleaning so you can later get its filters out.

2. Take off the filter

A woman's hand is changing the air purifier filter in the house

When removing the filter, check what type of filter your air purifier has. Honeywell air purifiers have two different kinds of filters: the permanent pre-filter and the replacement filter.

You will need to clean your permanent filter regularly as it does not require changing unless it's worn out. On the other hand, when a replacement filter is clogged, you can only replace it with a new one.

Though this might seem costly, it is less time-consuming than cleaning your filter. Make sure to check the condition of the filters after removing them to find out if it needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Click here to see this Honeywell replacement filter on Amazon.

3. Clean the exterior and interior areas

To clean the outer and inner areas of your air purifier, make sure to only use a dry or a damp fabric for wiping. You can also vacuum the outer and inner areas of the air purifier to get dust particles out from the vents.

4. Wash permanent pre-filters

Rinse the permanent pre-filter, then wash it with soft dish soap or a soap recommended by Honeywell. The soap used to clean the permanent pre-filter should not have any harsh chemicals. Afterward, the permanent filters should be completely dry before you install them back.

5. Replace worn-out replaceable filters

Only replace your replaceable filter once it has damage or if it gets worn out. Do not clean or wash this type of filter. Instead, change it with a new one to ensure clean and odorless air from your air purifier.

6. Clean HEPA Filter

Make sure to check if your Honeywell air purifier's HEPA filters are washable or non-washable first before cleaning them. Rinse washable HEPA filters with water gently.

For permanent HEPA filters which are non-washable, clean them with a vacuum as advised. While doing so, make sure that no sharp objects graze the filter. 

Read this post for more information on cleaning HEPA filters: 

Can You Wash And Reuse HEPA Filters?

Click here to see this Honeywell HEPA filter on Amazon.

7. Reinstall the filters 

After making sure that your filters are dry and clean, put them back on, then turn on the air purifier. If it still creates an unwanted smell after cleaning, your local technician should check your air purifier as it may have other issues.

How Often Should You Change Honeywell HEPA Filter?

Replace and clean the air filter

You should replace your HEPA filter once a year as recommended. But depending on the density of air pollutants in your room, you might need to clean it sooner.

If the HEPA filters are not in use, it is best to remove them and store them in a tightly sealed bag. You could then opt to install these filters again on your air purifier so long as they are untouched and clean.

For more information about the Honeywell HEPA filter, check out this post: 

How Often To Change Honeywell HEPA Filter?

Why Does Honeywell Air Purifier Keep Shutting Off?

There are different reasons why your Honeywell air purifier keeps shutting off. Finding out why will save you money, so here are some of the factors why:

  • Damaged outlet - problems with your outlet could be the cause why your air purifier is always turning off. You could try plugging your air purifier into a different outlet to determine if this is the issue or not. If the air purifier still does not turn on, another problem must be present in the product.
  • Clogged filters - regularly clean air purifiers because they cannot work well with dirty filters. 
  • Product overheating - overheated air purifiers might automatically turn off. Small air purifiers with a large density of air contaminants to clean often get too hot, resulting in the appliance shutting off.
  • Old air purifier - air purifiers that are too old might not work. You should buy a new one in cases like this.

If none of these reasons apply, your air purifier's manufacturer or a technician should check your product.

Should You Leave Air Purifier On All The Time?

Dog pug breed and air purifier in cozy white bed room for filter

It is better for you to leave your air purifier on, but you can also just leave it on for 12 hours a day. This is because turning it off will mean you will have to wait for it to finish circulating clean air once you switch it on again.

In Closing

Weird or smelly odors emitted by a Honeywell air purifier, such as a burning smell, often indicate a mechanical issue. The unusual smell may serve as a warning sign of problems in your air purifier's motor or wiring.

The smell could also signify a need for thorough product cleaning. Remember that you should clean your air purifiers regularly so that the air circulating in your room stays contaminant-free.

Before you go, here is another post you might want to check out:

Can You Use An Air Purifier And Humidifier Together?

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