Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Odd Odors When Turning on Your Heater

Odd Odors When Turning on Your HeaterYou don’t expect your heating system to produce any kind of strange odors when it’s running normally, so it’s understandably worrisome if you notice an odd smell when you turn on the heater for the first time this year. To help you determine if there’s a cause for concern, here are some of the most common heating odors that occur and what they mean.

Cooking Dust

Dust particles are bound to settle inside your heater when it’s not in use, so it’s not unusual to get this kind of funny odor when the unit is first turned on for the season. After a few days of using the heating system, this collected dust normally burns away and the smell dissipates. If it doesn’t disappear, you may need to schedule a professional heating system cleaning.

Dirty Socks

If you get a stale, dirty-sock smell when the blower is running, it may be due to mold or bacterial growth on the air filter or indoor evaporator coil. Putting in a fresh air filter may be all that’s needed to get rid of the stench, but if it persists, have your HVAC pro visit to inspect and sanitize the coil.

Sulfur or Rotten Eggs

The scent of sulfur or rotten eggs originating anywhere near your furnace is a clear warning of a dangerous leak in the gas valve or lines. If you notice this distinctive odor, there’s a real risk of a fire or explosion, so call your HVAC contractor immediately, and for safety, turn off the system and get everyone out of the house until the leak source is found and fixed.

Burnt Wiring

If you smell an acrid scent of burnt wiring around your furnace or coming from the registers when you turn on the heater, it points to a problem with your HVAC system’s electrical components or motors. Contact your HVAC company right away, so a trained technician can locate the cause and make needed repairs to eliminate a fire hazard.

If you need expert help identifying and correcting odd heating odors in your Yuma home, contact us today at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.