When you turn on the heating device in your home, including a heater, HVAC unit, furnace, boiler, or heat pump, you expect your home to be heated. What you do not expect is for a stench to accompany the heat. However, if something is amiss with your heating unit, a smell may accompany the heated air in your home. Here are a few of the scents that you may smell when you run your heater and what you can do to stop that scent.
The Scent of Rotten Eggs or Sulfur
One of the most concerning smells that you may notice when running your heating unit is the scent or rotten eggs or sulfur. If you use a gas-powered heating device, alarm bells should go off if you begin to smell this. The scent of rotten eggs or sulfur is associated with a gas leak. If you smell this scent in your home when your heating device is running, you should immediately go to your heating device and turn it off. Then turn off the gas supply to the unit. Do not run the unit again until you have a professional examine the unit and determine whether there is a gas leak or not.
A Burning Smell
Another scent that you may notice when you run your heating device is a burning scent. It may smell like smoke, plastic burning, or wires burning. In most cases, the cause of a burning scent coming from your heating device is caused by the motor overheating, wires overheating and burning, or a damaged heat exchanger. If you smell burning coming from your heating device, turn your heating device off and allow it to completely cool. If you smell the scent again when you run your unit, it is time to call in a professional.
A Dusty or Dirty Scent
The final scent that you may smell when you run your heating device is a dusty or dirty scent. Think about the scent of walking into a dusty attic or basement and that is what you may smell. When you first turn on your heating unit for the season, it is common to smell this as dirt and dust are blown off. However, if you smell this scent after the first use, you may have a dirty air filter or your unit may be in need of professional cleaning.
Your heating unit should heat your home without introducing any smells into your home. If you smell anything when your heating device is running, there is likely a problem with your unit. Contact your local contractor to inspect your unit and determine where the smell is coming from. They can then provide any other HVAC services that are needed to ensure your heater is felt, not smelled.