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Why Does My Heater Smell Bad When I Turn It On

Why Does My Heater Smell Bad When I Turn It On?

Schools are starting up again for children, which means fall is right around the corner! You may have also noticed chilly evening temperatures and crisp morning air too. If you’re very sensitive to the cold you may have already turned on your heater.

When you first turn your heater on for the fall and winter season, whether this year or last, you may notice a certain smell. Why does your heater smell bad when you turn it on? There may be a few reasons why you notice that awful, burning smell.  


Your heater has been dormant all summer long, which means it’s bound to accumulate some dust. The dust or other debris can build up on the heating elements or the heat exchanger. The bad, burning smell is the dust getting burned off of these parts. As the warm air is pumped throughout your home, so is the bad smell. There really isn’t much you can do about the dust. Just know that it’s nothing to worry about.

Clogged Filters

You may also notice a bad smell if your heater’s motor is being overworked. The most likely culprit for an overworked motor is a clogged filter. Changing your air filter will help you to avoid the bad smell; failing to change it will only make it worse and your motor may give out completely. If you haven’t changed your air filter recently, just before turning on your heater is a great time to do so.

Enough Clearance

Over the summer it’s possible that you simply placed an object too close to your heating unit or the vents. When your heater turns on for the first time, it’s easy for those things to get too hot or even burn. Look closely for any plastic material, fabric, or flammable items near your heater and make sure there is enough clearance between the two.

When to worry

In most cases, a burning or bad smell when you first turn on your heater is normal. However, there are times when it not a smell you should ignore. After turning on your heater you may notice a bad smell immediately, or it may take a few days to notice. But after the smell is present it shouldn’t last for more than 30 to 45 minutes. If the smell lasts longer than that, you should call a professional HVAC repair company like Complete Heating and Air.

If you smell something resembling rotten eggs, call your utility company immediately. Many utility companies will put odor-causing substances in natural gas, which will normally not have any smell. If you are smelling rotten eggs it could mean there is a gas leak.

If you think something is wrong with your heater, listen to your instincts and call someone you can trust. Having your HVAC system inspected for any needed repairs at least once a year will ease your mind despite a bad smell when first turning on your heater. To schedule an inspection, call Complete Heating and Air.

Saving money from heating home

Does Turning My AC On and Off Raise My Electric Bill?

Does Turning My AC On and Off Raise My Electric Bill?

If you get a utility bill that’s a little higher than you’d like to see, you may be tempted to turn your AC off next time you leave the house. It would seem like the logical thing to do; as you leave the house or have less need for the AC, turn it off. Then, when coming home or if the home starts to get a little too hot, simply turn it back on. Or, does turning your AC on and off actually raise your electric bill?

The answer isn’t completely straightforward. Factors such as the size of the home, how long you will be away from the home, and the temperature the AC is working to achieve will ultimately answer the question of whether turning an AC on and off will raise an electric bill.

However, it is safe to say that if a homeowner leaves their home for more than a few hours, it is worthwhile to turning off the AC. Although some may argue that it takes more energy to start and stop the AC, the amount of energy saved while away from the home will outweigh the starting or stopping of the system.

If you love the idea of saving money, but hate the idea of coming home after a long day at work to a hot house, a programmable thermostat is going to be something worth looking into! A programmable thermostat is one of the best things you can do to save money on your electric bill and take control of your AC.

With a programmable thermostat, you can set it to turn off the AC just before leaving the house for an eight-hour work day. Then, you can program it to turn back on a half hour or so before returning home. That way, you are saving energy for 7+ hours without sacrificing the comfort a cool home offers.

If the idea of completely shutting off your AC while you’re away seems a little excessive, you can use a programmable thermostat to simply raise the temperature in your home while you are away instead.  Even raising the temperature by a few degrees while out of the house can save a lot of money on an electric bill.

But what if you’ll be away for an extended period of time? Vacation or work trips may take homeowners away for weeks at a time. In this case, do what’s comfortable for you. You can turn the AC off completely to save big on electricity while you’re away. Or, set your AC high, to 85 degrees for example, just to keep air moving and protect the contents of your home. A temperature that high won’t take as much energy to maintain as a comfortable living temperature of 72, thus saving you on your electric bill.

Besides adjusting the temperature of your AC or buying a programmable thermostat to do it for you, remember to keep doors and windows closed and use blinds to keep hot air out and cool air in.  Keeping up to date on regular AC maintenance from trusted professionals like those at Complete Heating and Air will keep your system functioning most effectively to keep your house cool and your electric bill low.

7 Steps To Purchasing Your First Home

7 Steps To Purchasing Your First Home

Purchasing a home can be a scary process, especially if it is your first time going through the home-buying process!  Fortunately, you can read about the 7 steps you need to follow in order to successfully purchase your first home right here on the Complete Heating and Air blog!

Step 1: Down-payment

This first step is hopefully one you have been thinking about before you begin the home-buying process. Starting early to save money for a down-payment on your home will help make the process much smoother. As a rule, try to save 3-20 percent of the purchase price of your dream home.

Step 2: Preapproval

Getting preapproved for a home loan is an important step to take before you actually begin shopping. You don’t want to fall in love with your dream only to realize that you won’t be able to afford it! Knowing how much you’ll be able to spend will be determined by your preapproval  for a mortgage. To do this, talk to a mortgage banker who will go over your financial information and help you determine a good price range.

Step 3: Choose a home

This is the fun step! You get to start taking tours, making pros and cons lists, and picturing your family in a new home. It’s a good idea to take photos or make notes as you go through each house to help you remember what you do and do not like about them.

Step 4: Make an offer

Once you’ve found and chosen your dream home, it’s time to make an offer. Work with a real estate agent to negotiate an offer and reach an agreement with the seller.

Step 5: Inspections

Before completing the purchase of your new home, or go into escrow, you should get a home inspection. This inspection will give you peace of mind when it comes to things like structural damage, or anything that needs fixing. Ideally, once your offer is accepted the home inspection should follow shortly after. If there is a major problem, you will be able to make necessary negotiations or withdraw your offer on the home before the sale closes.  

Part of the home inspection, besides checking things like the roof and the foundation, include checking out all major systems. This will include the HVAC system that will soon be yours. If there is a problem, the inspector may suggest having a specialist, like the trained professionals at Complete Heating & Air, come to the home for further inspection or repairs. Take advantage of the inspection so that you know what to expect with your home, especially the HVAC system, and who to call should problem arise after closing.

Step 6: Final Walk-through

If anything comes up during the inspection process that needs to be taken care of, the final walk-through will give you the opportunity to ensure that it has been handled properly, and that everything is as you and the seller agreed.

Step 7: Closing

Finally, you will be ready to close on your new home. Each party will sign the closing papers, either together or separately. Once you’ve closed, you will be the proud owner of a home!