Living in Southern California often means that you won’t need to turn on your home’s heater until later in the winter, and it usually won’t stay on for long. Just short stretches here and there. However, it’s important to pay attention to any signs that the heater is malfunctioning. One to watch out for is unusual odors coming from the room vents. Sometimes these smells indicate minor issues with dust that will soon go away… and at other times they are signs of major malfunctions that require professionals to repair.
Below are some of the bad smells you might detect from your heating system and what they can mean.
If you detect this the first time you turn on your heating system for the season, then it’s probably the smell of dust getting blown out of the ventilation system. This dust builds up inside the air ducts, and once the heater’s blower turns on, it gets sent out from the vents in high concentrations. The smell could also come from dust on the heat exchanger of a gas furnace, burning off as the exchanger heats up. In both cases, the odor should subside soon. If it continues, however, call for technicians to look into it.
This musty smell often warns that mold has gotten trapped inside the air filter (or the humidifier, if you have one). Make sure that you change out the filter or clean it each month, and then let it dry thoroughly before replacing it. Mold smells may also come from breaks in the ducts, which will require professional sealing.
The acrid scent of burning plastic or burning electrical parts might mean that a motor is overheating and could burn out. It can also warn of a cracked heat exchanger. These are serious issues that need to be addressed right away. Shut off the heater and call for an HVAC expert.
JW Heating and Air has the heating repair services you need in Whittier, CA.