We have been
getting quite a few calls from customers that are really worried when
they turn their heating systems on for the first time. They are worried
because all of a sudden the house smells
like dirt, mold and in some cases smoke. The good
news is that in most cases is
there is nothing really wrong.
What happens is that during the
summer when the AC is running
the heater coils get coated with dust and
when the dust gets damp mold
will grow. Now when you crank up the heat for the first time the dust
and mold starts to burn off causing the air coming from the ductwork to
stink. We have a real problem with this in South Florida during the
if you have a service contract with an air conditioning company where
they will come out a couple of times a year to check your system,
ask them to clean the heater
coils. When we had our service company it took us no time at all to pull
out the coil and blow it off with compressed air.
If you don't
have a contract or don't want
to pay for a service call you can just let the coil clean itself. Open
your windows and turn on your heat and let it run for about 20 minutes.
If they are really dirty you can expect the house to stink for an hour
said it smelled like something was on fire when they turn on the heat.
In the 7 years we only saw one case where the coils caught fire. It was
caused by a small piece of paper that had somehow gotten stuck on the
coil. It did not damage anything.
let the heat get to you, or in this case the smell. A good time to clean
the system is before it gets cold and you need it.