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Should it Smell When I Start up My Heater?

We’re at that time of year that while it’s not necessarily time to run our heaters all day, every day, our nighttime temperatures are certainly cooling off to the point that you’re likely going to start your heater up soon if you haven’t already.

If you have turned it on to test it out or take the chill out of the nighttime air, did you notice anything strange? Did you detect an odd odor coming from your furnace? If so, there are a number of reasons this might have occurred. Answering the question of whether or not it should smell when you start it up depends on a few different factors.

Dust Buildup

The most common, and the least concerning, explanation for a smelly furnace upon startup is that you have a buildup of dust on your electric heating coils or on the burners in your furnace. Over the course of the summer season, there’s plenty of time for dust and dirt to accumulate on these components, as your furnace is not in use. The smell is usually caused by this dust burning off and should dissipate after a couple hours of use.

When the Problem is More Serious

If the smell seems to resemble melting plastic, then you may have a more serious problem on your hands. This could very likely be the sign of an electrical issue that is causing the wiring within your system to get too hot. If this is the case, the integrity and condition of your furnace is at risk, and it’s a fire hazard. Be sure you have this addressed right away.

Foreign Object in Your Heater

One last possibility is that a child’s or pet’s toy made its way into your ducts. If something like this makes its way through the vent grills, then you might be able to pull it out on your own. However, if no object is immediately visible, then it’s time to call a professional to complete an extraction without risking damage to your system.

To schedule Cottonwood Heights, UT heating repair and to learn why our customers say
“I love my Design Comfort,” just reach out to us today!

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