Why Does My Wood Stove Smell Like Burning Plastic?

Do you smell burning plastic when you light your wood stove? If so, you’re not alone. Many people who use wood stoves to heat their homes report this same problem. But what causes it?

Why Does My Wood Stove Smell Like Burning Plastic?

There are a few possible explanations for why your wood stove might smell like burning plastic. It may be due to creosote build up in the flue, paint from the stove or piping curing, burning wood with fungi or chemically-treated wood, or a piece of plastic too close to the stove.

In this blog post, we explore each of these possible explanations in more detail. We’ll also give you some tips on fixing the problem if it’s due to one of these causes. 

Why Does My Stove Smell Like Burning Plastic?

You’ve noticed a burning plastic smell coming from your wood stove, and it’s got you worried. Maybe you’ve even seen smoke or soot coming from the stove. Could it be a sign of a bigger problem?

The good news is that it’s probably not a sign of anything serious. Most likely, your stove just needs a little bit of cleaning. But to clean it properly, you need to know why the smell is happening in the first place.

Below are some of the most common causes of a burning plastic smell from a wood stove.

Creosote Build-Up

One potential explanation for why your wood stove might smell like burning plastic is creosote build-up in the flue.  Creosote forms when wood smoke condenses with water and other chemicals. Therefore, if you’re not diligent in cleaning your stove, creosote can accumulate and cause the smell, which can be toxic and dangerous. 

You see, this compound is not only a carcinogen but also a leading cause of chimney fires (it can burn your entire house down).

For this reason, it’s crucial to hire a professional to clean your wood stove and chimney at least once a year, no matter what you’re smelling.

Paint  from the Stove or the Piping is Curing

Another possible reason for the burning plastic smell is that the paint on your wood stove or its piping is curing. If you’ve recently had your wood stove or chimney painted, it’s not uncommon for fumes to waft through your home for a few days. 

The paint smell may also occur when the temperatures in your stove are exceptionally high. This is because some types of paint will only cure at temperatures your stove rarely reaches. Therefore, when there’s a scorching flame, you may notice the plastic smell even if the stove has been working without any hitches for years.

You can speed up the curing process using time and heat. The longer you heat the paint at a high temperature, the faster it will cure and stop emitting the smell. However, the duration will depend on:

  • Type of paint
  • Type of stove or pipe
  • How hot your fire gets

Keep heating the pipe or stove until the smell completely disappears. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the paint job, just in case any areas start to blister or peel.

Burning Chemically-Treated Wood or Wood with Fungi

The smell you’re noticing might not be from the paint at all but rather from burning chemically- treated wood or wood that has fungi. Unfortunately, if this is the case, there’s not much you can do to get rid of the smell except switch to a different type of fuel.

Suggested Reading: Why Is My Firewood Burning Blue And Green? Should I Worry?

Piece of Plastic Too Close to the Stove

It’s also possible that a piece of plastic is too close to the stove and is melting, causing the strange smell. Try moving any objects near the stove that could be melting and see if the smell goes away.

Source: Temperature Master

How Do I Stop My Wood Stove from Smelling?

The only way to stop your wood stove from smelling like burning plastic is to find the source of the smell and remove it. Once you’ve done that, the smell should go away on its own.

And if you haven’t been on schedule with cleaning your wood stove, now would be a good time to do that too. As we’ve mentioned, the build-up of soot and ash can also cause a burning plastic smell.

If you can’t figure out what’s causing the smell, call a professional to look at your wood stove. They’ll be able to help you identify the cause of the smell and fix it.

Why Does My Wood Stove Smell Like Burning Plastic?

Why Does It Smell Like Burnt Plastic in My House?

If you’ve analyzed your stove and determined that the smell is not coming from it, there are a few other things you can check. First, something in your house may be burning and causing the smell. This could be anything from an electrical wire to a piece of furniture.

Heaters and furnaces are a common source of burning plastic smells. If their parts are broken or worn out, they may start to smell like burning plastic. If you think this might be the source of your problem, it’s best to call a professional to take a look at them.

It’s also advisable to hire an electrician to inspect the wiring in your home if you suspect it might be the cause of the smell. Burning plastic smells can indicate that there’s a short circuit somewhere. This is a serious issue that can lead to fires, so it’s best to have it taken care of as soon as possible.

Source: Because Mom Says

Recommended Wood Stove Reading:
The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Using a Wood Stove for Efficient Home Heating

Wrapping Up

Smelling burnt plastic in your wood stove can be a sign of a serious problem. If you suspect that your stove is the source of the smell, it’s best to inspect the stove for possible causes we’ve discussed in this article.

And if you’ve fixed the problem but can’t still smell burnt plastic in your house, inspect your electrical appliances and HVAC systems for worn-out parts and burning signs. Also, consider hiring an electrician to inspect your wiring for any potential hazards. 

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