Honeywell Humidifier Burning Smell? Possible Causes

If you notice a funny Honeywell humidifier burning smell, it is time to dig deeper and find out what could be the cause of that.

Of course, you will not experience this kind of problem with the Honeywell HCM Germ-free humidifier alone.

It can happen with any humidifier. For instance, there have been cases of people complaining about Vicks warm mist humidifier burning smell.

So, should you panic or ignore the smell and carry on as if nothing is happening?

You should check it out. Humidifiers can have different types of smells especially since they move water around a lot.

Humidifiers can also cause a musty smell in your house. However, it is the Vicks, Everlasting Comfort or Honeywell humidifier burning smell that you should really worry about.

Honeywell humidifier burning smell – Troubleshooting

The first thing that you need to do is to determine what kind of smell is coming from the humidifier. If your Honeywell humidifier smells musty, you could mistake that for burning.

My Honeywell humidifier smells musty

You do not want a humidifier that produces a musty smell, do you? Such a smell occurs because of mold in the humidifier.

Once you get rid of the mold by cleaning the humidifier with vinegar, the musty smell will go away.

Mold is also a sinister indoor allergen. Thus, if you do not get rid of it, it might cause humidifier sickness symptoms among your family members.

My humidifier smells like it’s burning

Depending on your warm mist or cool mist humidifier, it may be that you have to unplug it from the power to stop working. This is mostly common with small humidifiers that do not have automatic on/off features.

If this is the case, the humidifier might start producing a burning smell if it continues running without water.

Humidifier is overheating

You have to determine where exactly the humidifier burning smell is coming from. If it is coming from the electric cord, the cord could be faulty. You can determine this by smelling the cord itself.

If the burning smell is coming from the humidifier base, it could be that the appliance became too hot. They usually do that if they overheat.

In extreme cases, an overheating humidifier can also cause fire if it is left plugged in for too long. However, it can never explode.

Humidifier has electrical burning smell

Burning smells are not the same. For instance, electrical burning smells like fish. If this is the kind of Honeywell humidifier burning smell that you are experiencing, it means the electrical components of the humidifier could have burned up.

Image of Humidifier has electrical burning smell

The first culprit is usually a blower motor overheating. It happens when there is a lot of dirt build up in the blower motor.

If the heat exchanger in the humidifier cracks, it could cause a burning smell. Actually, such means that the humidifier is burning!

If the heat exchanger of your whole house humidifier cracks, you will experience a strong and nasty smell in your house.

It could also cause carbon dioxide and other gases to leak into your house and potentially endanger the life of your family.

Another cause of a humidifier burning smell is faulty wiring. This has to be a factory defect.

If your humidifier is still under warranty, you can have it replaced. If it is not, perhaps you can find a repair shop whether they can rectify the wiring.

Honeywell Humidifier Burning Smell – What To Do

If the humidifier smells and you determine that to be a burning smell, you need to act. First, unplug it from power immediately. That way, if it has run out of water and it is overheating, it can start cooling down.

Image of my humidifier smells like it's burning

If the humidifier smells like mildew, the cause of that is most likely mold buildup in the filters. Thus, you need to clean the humidifier filters with vinegar. You could also replace the filters with new ones.

If the humidifier smells like fish, that is mostly associated with burning in the electrical components. Therefore, you need to turn off the humidifier immediately and unplug it from power. Do not use it again until a technician looks at the wiring and okays it.

Some people also complain that their humidifier smells like a wet dog. This sulfur smell comes from the humidifier because of mold or mildew. If you notice this, you just need to clean the humidifier thoroughly.

Sometimes, the dehumidifier can just smell if it is new. However, this should be a chemical or plastic smell and it should go away after a few days of use.

Wrapping Up

If you notice Honeywell humidifier burning smell, you now know what to do about it. If you are not sure whether this is the smell of burning, switch off the unit.

To be on the safe side, it is best to buy a humidifier that has a humidistat and an automatic on/off feature. That way, if it runs out of water, it will turn itself off automatically.

If you are looking for a good, foolproof humidifier for your home use, you might want to try the Honeywell HWM-705B Portable Humidifier on

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