If you notice strange odors from the heating system, do not dismiss them as usual. These can be signs of serious problems that need immediate attention. They can signal an imminent fire or mold outbreak, not to mention the inconvenience of living in a house that is just a little too cold or too hot. There are several scents that warn of the need for heating services:
1. It Smells Like Burning
It is not uncommon for heaters to smell burning due to heated dust. However, if you suddenly smell something strong and protracted, it's not just the smell of burning fuel, but it could be a problem with your heating system. In the presence of smoke, there are far more sources of concern. Turn off the heating and call a technician.
2. It Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If the heater smells like rotten eggs, you should check for gas leaks if you are using gas. The odor is caused by mercaptan, a chemical substance added to natural gas as a safety measure. If there is a leak from the ventilation holes or gaps in the heating system, it will smell. In an emergency, evacuate from the scene and contact the heating service.
3. It Smells Like Burning Plastic
Call a service expert if you smell burning plastic coming from your heater. This odor indicates that your central heating system's motor or other components are overheating. It could mean a bigger problem than just overheated parts inside your heater like a bad circuit board or power supply within the unit. The smell usually comes from overheated plastic covers. Call heating services because this portends a fire risk.
4. It Smells Musty
The musty odor coming out of the heater vents can be a sign of mold. The more you delay your efforts to tackle musty odors and odors from heater vents, the worse they will be and the higher the cost of repairs.
Mold can spread quickly through the ventilation openings in the house as the air in the ducts spreads the mold spores to all rooms. If you see any signs of mold on the vents, call a technician immediately.
5. It Smells of Smoke
Smoke problems are common in oil and gas furnaces. This issue occurs when the flue is blocked. Smoke redirects towards the vents. Contact a heating expert to diagnose the failure quickly.
It is important to avoid unpleasant odors in your home, as the main purpose of the heater is to warm the house and provide comfort in cold weather. If you notice any odors, contact heating services as soon as possible for professional heater repair.