My Heater Smells, Should I Worry?

My Heater Smells Should I Worry

My Heater Smells, Should I Worry?

Perhaps you have been putting off turning on the heat for the past few weeks, whether it is sheer stubbornness, or an effort to save on energy costs. However, now the outside temperatures have dropped, and it is inevitable. But you notice something doesn’t seem right, and you may be wondering about mysterious heater smells and if you should worry. We have some simple explanations about when to be concerned.

Burning Dust Smell

There are a few reasons it may smell like dust burning when you first turn on your heat.

Dusty Elements

After your heating system has been dormant all summer dust and other debris collect on the heating elements. Therefore, once you switch on the heat you may smell this dust burning off. This smell is normal, especially at the beginning of the season.

Clogged Filters

Dirty, clogged filters may cause an overworked heater motor, thus producing a burning smell. It is imperative to change your filters regularly, and especially at the start of each new season. If you do not change them, your motor can eventually burn out.

Damaged Furnace

If the burning smell continues after thirty minutes, or even after you have changed your filters, there may be a more severe problem with your furnace. A neglected HVAC system experiences increased, and often undetected wear and tear. Avoid complications and schedule a maintenance appointment either at the beginning of the season or as soon as you notice any slight issue. Don’t wait for a system failure!

Rotten Egg Smell

A strong odor of rotten eggs, or sulfur, or a swampy smell is cause for alarm. It may indicate a gas leak. Immediately turn off your heating system, evacuate your home, and contact your utility company and fire department for assistance.

Burning Plastic or Metallic Smell

If your components or electrical elements inside your furnace are overheating, they produce smells like metallic, burning oil, hot plastic or rubber. If you detect these scents, turn off the system and contact an HVAC professional right away. And, in the meantime, until help arrives, carefully monitor your furnace for any further issues.

Have you notice funny heater smells? If you have any concerns at all contact MBS Mechanical. Our team of experienced HVAC professionals are available whether you have an emergency or need routine maintenance. Don’t get left in the cold this winter because of a system failure. Schedule an appointment today!


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cool prices warm service call now MBS Mechanical is a family owned and operated HVAC company, formed in January 2000. Our focus is on giving our customers prompt, reliable, honest and price-competitive service. Our service philosophies are simple; "treat our customers the same way we expect to be treated" and "if it's not broken, don't fix it".