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Furnace maintenance

What is That Smell Coming From My Furnace?

Be careful when you turn on your heater – that funny smell may be telling you that your furnace needs maintenance before the cold weather approaches. While it could be something as minor as a dirty filter – it also could mean you have a serious problem on your hands.

Keep an eye – or nose – out for these different odors especially if they persist!

Furnace filter

Furnace Air Filter

  • Musty odors: This scent typically stems from mold trapped in the furnace filter or humidifier filter. Try cleaning your filters and running a dehumidifier to see if the odor goes away. If the odor persists, it’s best to get a professional involved.
  • Electrical burning odor: This smell is most commonly due to parts or loose connections overheating. It can also be due to a dirty air filter. First, check your air filter to see if airflow is restricted. Then give your unit a visual inspection, look for any object that may have found its way on it and keep an eye out for melted wires. Give us a call for service.
  • Smoke or oil odor: If you have an oil furnace, there is an oil filter inside your unit. Smelling oil when your furnace is turned on can simply be due to a clogged filter that needs cleaning. A smoke smell is usually due to a blocked chimney. You’ll want an HVAC specialist to remove the blockage.

Remember, almost all heating systems cause an odor the first time they are put in use. If you’re worried about what you are smelling – the best solution is to give us a call.

We are the Pueblo, Colorado area home heating repair experts. We’ll help troubleshoot and repaid any issues that may arise with your furnace, heat pump, or boiler this season. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

How to Prevent Fires at Home This Winter

Patterson Plumbing & Heating

In winter months, our heating, lighting, and cooking tends to increase dramatically, and with them – the risk of home fires. According to the United States Fire Association, more than 900 people die in winter home fires each year, causing over $2 billion in property loss.

What many people may not realize is that home fires can easily be prevented with just a few, simple precautions:

  • Address frozen pipes correctly — Water pipes at home can freeze if your home gets cold enough. You may be tempted to melt such pipes by flame, not realizing the danger of this tactic. The pipe may conduct enough heat to ignite the wall structure inside the space and spread throughout your home. Instead, try using hot water or a laboratory-tested handheld dryer if you suspect frozen pipes. These easy alternatives can save both lives and money!
  • Use caution when lighting your fireplace — Fireplaces create a cozy aura and look beautiful in a home, but they must be treated with care. Shy away from using flammable liquids to fire up a flame. Also, be sure to install a screen to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out of the fire and onto materials that could cause a hazard to your home.
  • Inspect Smoke Alarms — It may slip your mind, but it’s important to periodically inspect your smoke alarms year-round. These devices can signal fires early on and alert you before spreading throughout your home. Double-check that you have at least one properly functioning alarm on each level of your home.
  • Have the furnace inspected — If you haven’t had your furnace inspected yet, now is the time. It’s best to let professionals handle all the complexities of this machine, so give us a call! During your annual furnace checkup, your Patterson Plumbing technician can identify issues that may seem harmless, but are actually quite dangerous. Your furnace is designed to emit exhaust out of a flute of chimney. If a component isn’t working properly, deadly carbon monoxide could poison your home’s air.

Finally, while not recommended, we know that some of you may still be using portable heaters to heat your home. While they are convenient for you, they are also the MOST dangerous. If you must use a space heater, be sure to keep them far away from flammable materials and turn them off when leaving the room or house. These machines may be small, but they are one of the leading causes of winter home fires.

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your home’s plumbing and heating needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

photo credit: Fire at Cultra Inn via photopin (license)