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4 Smells You Might Get When You Turn On Your Heat

When you turn your heater on for the first time as the weather gets chilly, you may notice an odd smell coming from it. If you’re wondering “Why does my heater smell?” you should know that there are four types of smells that are common and they aren’t all a cause for concern. Here are four smells you may notice when you first turn on your heat in the winter.

A Dusty or Burning Smell

If you notice a dusty smell coming from your heater, you don’t have to worry. When your heating system is inactive during the summer, dust and dirt tend to settle on the components of your HVAC unit. The smell you notice when you first turn on your heater is the dust burning away. It should go away within the first few days of using your heater. This is the most common smell people notice the first time they use their heaters each year.

A Mildew Smell

If your heater smells like dirty gym socks the first time you use it, you don’t have to be alarmed, but your unit does need attention. The smell is most likely caused by a buildup of bacteria on your heating coils. You probably won’t notice this smell if you have a furnace because they get hot enough to burn off any bacteria that settles on the coils. Heat pumps, however, don’t get as hot as furnaces and keep the temperature of the coils perfect for bacteria to grow. The solution to this issue is simple; just call one of the expert technicians at Pioneer Heating & Air to clean your heat pump coils.

A Burning Electrical Smell

If your heater smells like burning, it may have a malfunctioning motor or a frayed wire. Electrical problems could be dangerous as they can potentially cause fires, so it is important to have these problems resolved quickly. The sooner you get the issue fixed, the more likely it is that you can avoid a more expensive repair to your system. The problem may not be obvious to the untrained eye, so you should contact a professional immediately if you notice a burning smell when you turn on your heater.

Rotten Eggs

If your heater smells like rotten eggs or sulfur when you turn it on, you need to contact a professional immediately. This type of smell is usually associated with gas furnaces. It indicates that there is a gas leak in your home that could cause a deadly explosion or fire. Because gas furnaces work by feeding fuel through enclosed gas lines, they are often extremely effective at heating your home. If there is a leak in the gas lines, a single small spark given off by the furniture could be enough to set your home ablaze. This smell indicates that your home isn’t safe until the problem is resolved, so if you’re wondering “Why does my furnace smell like gas?”, evacuate the building immediately and contact Pioneer Heating & Air for immediate mitigation.

Because your heater likely stays inactive throughout the summer months, it is no surprise that it smells funny when you first turn it on. Proper maintenance throughout the year may help you avoid these issues, but if you notice any of these smells when you run your heater for the first time, let the expert technicians at Pioneer Heating & Air examine your system and fix the problem. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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