Why Does My Heater Smell When I Turn It On?

In the Valley of the Sun, we don’t use our heater often. In fact, we only use it a couple of months out of the year. So, why does it smell when you turn it on for the first time in a long time? 

Luckily, it is usually nothing to be concerned about. Heater

Dust & Dirt

The smell your heater puts off once being turned on is most likely due to dust that was collected over the summer and when not used. When you turn your heater on, it burns the dust, causing an odor. This is harmless and it helps to open the windows to clear out the smell. Clogged or dirty air filters can also cause your heater to overwork and eventually overheat, which will cause an odor. To prevent this from happening, make it a habit to replace your air filters frequently, especially right before you turn on your heater for the first time. A foreign object in your HVAC system’s ductwork could also start to smell once it gets overheated. This could be a child’s dropped toy or an unnoticed spill. Remove your registers and visually inspect them to clean or remove any objects that don’t belong.

Serious Issues

There are times when the smell could be a sign of a serious issue. It could mean that your heater is damaged or worn out and needs to be replaced or repaired. Your heater could also be low oil or the heating element could be cracked. These could be dangerous, causing gas to be released into your home. Cracked heat exchangers can cause flames and fire and a bad gas valve or bad flame sensors can lead to gas build-up and cause an explosion. 

Preventative Maintenance with Rainforest Plumbing and Air

To properly prepare your heater, you should always call Rainforest Plumbing and Air to schedule a preventative maintenance check. During the check-up, our technicians and plumbers in Phoenix will inspect your heater to make sure there are no cracks or that repairs aren’t needed. We will also make sure your filter is clean and recommend any upgrades for a safe and efficient unit.