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Heater Smells That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Let’s set the scene: It’s a chilly day in Central Louisiana, and you turn on your heater for a little warmth in your home — but there’s a weird smell coming out of your vents! Where is the smell coming from? Will it go away on its own? How do you know if it’s serious or not?

Southern Air has all the information you need to make quick work of strange heater smells. While some odors are normal, others need to be tended to by a professional right away. Keep these odors in mind as you use your heater this season, and never be afraid to call on us!

Burning Smell From Heater (Is It Safe?)

One of the most common odors that come from your heater is a burning smell. The best way to distinguish between harmless and harmful burning smells is timing.

The Beginning of Winter

Throughout the year, Louisianans rarely use our heaters. If this is the first time you’re turning on your heater for the winter season, the burning smell is likely temporary. Dust that has collected throughout the months of disuse will suddenly be burned off by the heater turning on. This smell should fade fairly quickly.

Any Other Time (After Several Uses)

If your heater randomly starts emitting a burning or smoky smell in the middle of use, an expert needs to check it out. There are electrical components that can short out, motors that can burn out and other plastic components that could be actually melting. To avoid further damage, shut down the system until you can schedule furnace repairs.

Heater Smells Musty (Or Moldy — Yuck!)

One of the most recognizable odors is that of sour water or mold. If you notice this musty smell from your vents, you probably have an issue with collected water or mold growth. Mold can thrive anywhere there is moisture. This means inside the heater unit and even throughout the air ducts. If you suspect mold is growing in your home or air system, it’s important to address it. Long-term exposure to mold can have serious effects on your health. Have a professional recommend the best solution.

Rotten Egg Smell

Specifically for homes with gas heaters or appliances, it’s important to know what rotten egg odors really mean. While the natural gas that fuels your heater is inherently odorless, manufacturers insert a chemical into it that smells pungent — like rotten eggs. This way, gas leaks don’t go undetected and prove fatal. If you smell a strong scent of rotten eggs, shut down your heater and leave the area immediately. You may need to contact emergency services to ensure the gas is not harmful to you or others.

Chemical Fumes or Exhaust

Your furnace or heater NEVER uses fuel that produces exhaust. If you smell chemical fumes or exhaust in your home, it’s not normal. You should proceed with caution and shut down the system entirely until a professional can inspect it. Leaking refrigerant, melting plastic and other dangerous damage can occur that can harm you.

Trust Your Nose! And Southern Air.

The last thing we want you to do is to ignore a strange smell and live to regret it. That’s why Southern Air encourages you to seek heater repair services that will ensure you are safe and confident in your home’s safety. Contact us today for premier heater repairs!

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