Heater Maintenance: Five Reasons Your Heater Has a Funny Smell

Do you notice a funny smell when the heater comes on? It could be a signal of several faults, some that pose a grave danger to your family. The furnace has an electrical system and also houses a combustion system. Some smells come from electrical faults, while others come from combustion. There could also be fatal gas leaks. You should contact your HVAC maintenance service ASAP when you notice any smell from the heater. Read on to learn about what these smells may indicate.

1. Burning Dusty Smell

Dust particles in the air get blown into the system and settle on various components. As a result, you will notice a dusty smell when you start the heater after a long time. It should disappear after a few minutes. However, if it lingers, you have a bigger problem of dust clogging the filters and in the ducts. Call the heating system maintenance service.  

2. Rotten Egg Smell  

Natural gas is an odorless gas, which makes it very dangerous in its natural state. Gas companies are required to add an element to make its presence known. This additive smells like rotten eggs.

A rotten egg smell in the air is a sign of a gas leak. You should switch off the heater, get everyone out of the house, and call your HVAC maintenance service. If the smell is too strong, call the fire department as well. 

3. Burning Plastic Smell 

A burning plastic smell is another signal that something is wrong with the system. It occurs when plastic parts in the system are melting or burning. The most common culprits are plastic-coated electrical components like capacitors and wires. Switch off the heater to avoid an electrical fire and call the HVAC system installation service. 

4. Oily or Smoky Smell 

An oily or smoky smell is caused by unburned oil. Inefficient combustion points to poor air intake or a faulty burner chamber. This problem can escalate fast because soot particles will clog the filters quickly and bring the system to a halt. Call a HVAC technician to fix the problem.

5. Musty Smell 

A musty smell is caused by a damp environment, which can be caused by a few reasons. One is a humidifier that is not working properly. Another reason could be a dirty filter. If there is a water leak, then the musty smell could be from mold growing in the ductwork or on the furnace itself. Contact your HVAC maintenance service to point out and fix the leak. 

Do you notice any of the above smells when your heater is on? Call the heating system maintenance service to diagnose and fix the fault ASAP, and keep your family safe.