What is That Burning Smell?

Old man winter is just around the corner. This is the time of year when most of us will turn on our heating system for the first time after a long, hot summer. If you have a heat pump system in your home, chances are you will experience a burning smell when you turn your system to “heat” for the first time at the beginning of the fall/winter season.

A typical reason for the smell comes from particles in the air that make their way through your duct system, into your heating equipment and settle on the electric heater coil. If you’ve never seen one of these, it is very similar to what you see in a toaster oven. It’s a coiled wire that glows red when electricity energizes it. The electric heater provides supplemental heat to a heat pump system during extreme cold weather and during the defrost cycle.

The first time the heaters are energized each season, the accumulated particles burn off which emits the suspicious smell. There’s no cause for concern unless smoke is visible coming from the vents or the odor persists for longer than the first day your system is turned on.

Please call (757) 868-7600 if you have questions or concerns related to your heat pump system. We will be happy to dispatch an expert technician to make sure your system is safe and operational as we approach the cold winter months.

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