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October 25, 2018
Air Conditioning


Regular maintenance can help prolong the life of your heater. However maintenance isn’t always critical for heaters to perform optimally and that’s because they are designed to go on operating safely and virtually soundless for years on end. If you heater smells like rotten eggs whenever you turn it on, something could be seriously wrong. Here are a few heater odors you can’t ignore, as well as odors that are completely normal (and not a cause for concern).

1. Rotten Egg OdorAir Conditioning

One obvious way to tell your heater is faulty is when it starts producing an offensive spoil egg kind of smell. Most utility companies and gas providers put some odor causing compounds inside your heater’s otherwise odorless gas as an alarm system. That means if you start perceiving an offensive odor, you could have a gas leak which can turn into a fire accident. You need to act very fast once you notice this.

  • First pack your valuables and move out of your home.
  • After relocating, call fire service or your utility company to find out what could be wrong.

2. Overheating, Metallic Or Electrical Odors

Most of the sound, though little, coming from your furnace is caused by the fan meant to keep it cool. If the fan starts malfunctioning, the heater will produce a pungent odor – similar to burning rubber or hot metal. So if you notice this smell, take this steps;

  • Check the heater to make sure there’s no fire, then switch off it off, and unplug it directly from the wall
  • Contact HVAC to report. If it’s a minor problem, they’ll do a routine maintenance
  • After they’re done, still keep an eye on your heater. Be sensitive to note if odd smells are still coming from the heater.

3. Slight Dusty Smell

Most people only turn on their heaters during winter. Which is normal – slightly cold weather can usually be endured during spring and summer. Plus you get to lower your utility bill when you only turn your furnace during winter. As a result dust often accumulates. So during the next winter, when you finally turn the heater on, it will have a slight dusty smell.

  • Once the heater has been turned on, give the heater some time, the dust should get blown away within the first hour or so.
  • You can change the heater’s air filter before hand to prevent dusty air. This is probably the best thing to do for people with respiratory problems.
  • Contact your HVAC if the smell continues even after the first two steps above.

Other odors to keep your nose out for include chemical smells – like at the doctor’s, that could indicate carbon monoxide leakage. Also watch out for musty smells, which signal bacterial and mildew growth, which are hazardous to the respiratory system and your overall health in general. Always be on the look out for unusual heater behavior – e.g when your heater smells like rotten eggs. And don’t hesitate to contact your local HVAC regarding even the slightest worry. At the very least, they’ll listen to you and educate you better.