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Heating Season Problems: What’s That Smell?

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We’ve all been there—the chill of fall begins to make us shiver so we start turning on our heaters for the year. The excitement fills you as you get ready to feel nice and cozy, only to smell a certain strange odor in the air as your heater turns on. What the heck is that smell?

Well, we’re not actually in your living room so we can’t specifically tell you about your smell, but we can talk about the general smells that heaters make. Some of them are natural smells that signal your heating system is turning on for the first time in the year. Others signal that you need help with HVAC in Grand Rapids, MI. Keep reading as we discuss the different smells a heater can make and talk a bit more in detail about what you’re experiencing.

The First Heat of the Season

When you turn your heater on for the first time this season, you might get some strange scent to come wafting through your air. Some people describe it as burnt dust or hair, but it usually only lasts for a little bit while your heater gets its bearings. Let us explain why this smell occurs.

When a heater sits there all spring and summer long, it gathers a lot of dust, hair, dander, debris, and other things that otherwise don’t have anywhere else to go. Regardless of whether you have a gas furnace or an electric one, the high temperature of heat that is created will burn off this dust and debris as it starts up. Don’t worry, this smell only lasts for a little while. If it lasts any longer than the first few minutes of your heating system running for the first time, then you should give us a call.

Problematic Scents

Not all smells are normal when they come from your heater. In fact, the only smell that’s normal is that first smell of the season—otherwise, you could be in trouble! Gas and carbon monoxide can leak from gas heaters when they’re neglected or getting too old, and these types of gases can cause demonstrable harm to you and your family.

Gas Leaks

Gas is flammable and can be a fire hazard in your home. Usually, gas companies inject a chemical called mercaptan which gives it a nasty smell so that it can be easier to detect when it’s leaking. So, if you smell a rotten eggs related smell, then turn off your system and give our team a call to have your gas leak addressed.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

These can be a lot more sinister than a gas leak, especially because carbon monoxide has no scent or detectable features other than the symptoms it brings about. So, if you’re feeling any bouts of lethargy, headaches, suffering from memory problems, nausea or anything similar, call our team as soon as possible.

Your heater has a lot of work to do when it starts gearing up to keep you comfortable for the fall and winter. Work with your heater to keep your family comfortable and safe.

Contact the team at GRmetro Heating and Cooling for targeted heater repairs that get it done right the first time.


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