The answer to this question will usually depend on when you last fired up your heater or furnace. At the beginning of every winter, when you first fire up your heater or furnace, the changes are that dust will have accumulated over the summer, especially if you have had doors and windows open to let in some fresh air. When you fire up your heater or furnace for the first few times, that dust will burn off and in so doing, will create a relatively distinctive smell.
The other reason you may be getting an unpleasant smell throughout your home could either be because the air filter is clogged up, or your ducting needs a good clean. You should make sure that the air filter is regularly cleaned or changed, and you should have your ducting checked at least once every couple of years. It is easy to keep the readily accessible lengths of ductwork clean, but dirt tends to get trapped further back, especially around bends and sharp corners, which may not be immediately obvious to the untrained eye.
If your furnace or heater starts to ‘smell funny’ during the winter season, this is a totally different matter and our advice is to immediately switch it off and give us a call. This problem is likely to be more serious and could involve trouble with your blower motor or even a cracked heat exchanger, the latter being particularly dangerous as aside from creating a strange smell, carbon monoxide (CO), a poisonous and odorless gas, could also be escaping from your heat exchanger. Whatever you can smell, it isn’t the CO, but it could be a warning sign all the same that all is not well with your furnace.
There is a very apt expression, and that is ‘prevention is better than cure’. When it comes to HVAC units home furnaces and heaters, nothing could be truer. Here at XX in YY we strongly recommend you put in place a regular maintenance contract for your home heating system. This will achieve a great number of things. First, the regular maintenance contract also covers you for a free call out in the unlikely event that your HVAC unit or furnace breaks down. While we try to keep the cost of emergency call outs to as affordable a level as possible, they still cost money that could have gone towards a major portion of a regular contract.
Second, HVAC units and furnaces tend to last many years longer if regularly serviced and checked over. Thirdly, regularly serviced HVAC units and furnaces are cheaper to run when serviced regularly as they will run at optimum efficiency. Finally, regularly serviced HVAC units and furnaces mean you will have plenty of peace of mind that your system won’t fail at the coldest times of the year. Now you can’t really put a price on that!
If you have any concerns about your current furnace, heater or HVAC unit, while not give us a call here at A&E Air Conditioning and Heating and we’ll be happy to come out, inspect your unit, and discuss the problem with you. We don’t usually charge for such a visit either!