Category Archives: Heating

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.

HVAC Tips for the Holidays | Complete Heating and Air Conditioning

HVAC Tips For The Holidays

Ensuring your HVAC is in excellent condition for the holidays is critical whether you’re hosting a big family gathering or renting out your home while you traipse off to Hawaii for an unorthodox winter getaway.

It’s the time of year when the heating and venting aspect of HVAC has a big job: Keeping you warm and toasty so you can enjoy that eggnog in comfort. The best times to schedule an HVAC inspection and maintenance check are in the autumn and spring. However, if you didn’t do it, it’s not too late — and there are some DIY tricks you can manage yourself.

Swapping out the air filter is especially important in the summer and winter. A clogged filter can overwork your HVAC, making it difficult to pump out more heat. A severely clogged filter can even be a fire hazard.

How often you change your filter depends on your home and usage, but it’s not uncommon to need a swap once per month. The more people are in a home, the greater the need, so hosting holiday guests can dirty filters faster.

Give Santa the All-Clear

Vents should never be covered, even when they’re below windows (where drapes or couches are regularly placed). When you hang new curtains or move furniture, make sure vents stay unobstructed.

This is especially important during the holidays, as this is the time when you might be stringing lights, garlands, setting out seasonal decorations and putting up a Christmas tree. Clear vents allow your HVAC to do its best job.

Also keep in mind that pine needles can make their way into just about anywhere — including inside your vents. Cleaning up daily around holiday trees if and when needles start to drop is the best way to keep your home tidy.

Find a safe place to put up your tree, as far away from heating sources as possible. Putting a tree close to a heat source is a fire risk, and also dries out the tree faster.

Diversify Your Heating Sources

If you have fireplaces, make use of them. Test out new holiday cookie recipes, and use the stovetop as much as possible to create another heat source while also filling up on hot, comforting treats.

This holiday season, you might want to add a smart home device to your wish list. A home that knows your preferred temperatures and the times you are home can help you lighten your carbon footprint and even extend the life of your heat source. For more holiday tips, contact Sandy Heating & Air Conditioning, where HVAC maintenance helps keep you cozy, even in a winter wonderland.


What You Must Need To Know Before Furnace Installation

What You Need to Know Before Furnace Installation

Well before you make that furnace installation appointment, make sure you’ve selected the best furnace for your home and needs. Replacing an outdated, lumbering furnace can make a big difference in your heating bill, especially with the increasing energy costs.

However, it’s not just about saving money. Older furnaces can cause more pollution and don’t heat as steadily as their modern counterparts. You can be greener, save money and be more comfortable all at the same time with a new furnace.

One of the most important considerations is size. Go too small and you won’t be able to heat your home, but too large will have you over-consuming energy and wasting money. Unfortunately, it’s common to find homes with wrong-sized furnaces. Builders or previous homeowners wanted a “safety net,” so they got a furnace that was larger than necessary. The bigger the furnace, the bigger the air ducts and the more expensive the installation.

The Goldilocks of Furnaces

The best way to ensure proper fit is to have an HVAC expert size your furnace needs. The formula takes into account the size and construction of your home, your climate and your personal heating needs. You can technically try to calculate this yourself, but one misplaced decimal or oversight and you might get stuck with a behemoth of a furnace.

You also should know your furnace’s maintenance schedule before it’s installed. Generally, maintenance is recommended at least once per year, or twice just to be safe. However, every manufacturer has different guidelines, and an energy-efficient model may require a little more servicing to maximize eco-friendliness. Maintenance extends the furnace’s life and helps you bypass expensive future repairs.

Green Heat

Many homeowners want an eco-friendly furnace. Natural gas is a common fuel type, and how well the furnace turns gas into heat dictates the annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more heat that’s produced per unit of gas. Of course you’ll save money, but a higher AFUE score also means less emissions. Today’s furnaces are much more efficient than their ancestors — in the 1970s the average AFUE was 65 percent, while today’s green models can achieve 97 percent.

Unsurprisingly, the cost of an eco-friendly furnace is initially higher than a standard version. However, you can make up that price difference in a few blustery winters. Plus, you may get a tax credit for going eco-friendly. These credits can change year to year, so check with your CPA first.

Ready to start heating things up just in time for winter? Call Sandy Heating & Air Conditioning today to request a size estimate before your furnace installation.