We know that your heat pump is one of the biggest contributors to your in-home comfort, especially in a cold season. When it is not working to your satisfaction, it can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Fortunately, the unit is relatively good at giving indications when it needs servicing. Sometimes, odd smells coming from your unit indicate the need for a service.
Often, the smells are not dangerous but just indicative that your unit needs service. Nevertheless, some odours are harmful, and they’ll need you to call a professional HVAC technician right away. This is because the longer the issue goes unchecked, the more severe the smell gets and the more harm it can cause to your heat pump.
A dirty air filter makes your heat pump’s motor overwork and may cause a burning smell. It hinders the air handler from delivering the right amount of heated air to space and can make your heat pump cycle on and off unpredictably. This overheating is what brings the burning smell. Changing the air filter will help to fix the problem.
The blower on your heat pump is fashioned to pull air from the conditioned space (via the return air duct system), heat it, and then convey it back to the conditioned space (via the supply air duct system). The open return ductwork can cause foul odours to be drawn in and then blown into the conditioned space.
To fix this, turn the unit’s switch to “OFF” and the fan’s switch “ON” and then check if the temperature coming out of your supply registers is the same as the temperature in the conditioned space. If the temperature is lower than the one in the conditioned space, you may need a specialist to fix it for you as this is a sign of openings in the return duct system.
Although rare, this is caused by mildew or mold growing inside your ducting or the unit’s evaporator coils. The smell is like that of dirty socks, and it’s not only obnoxious, but it can also be unhealthy to breathe in, especially if you or your family suffers from asthma or allergies.
Since mold requires moisture to grow, cleaning the inside of your unit wherever moisture builds up with an approved mold-cleaning solution helps eliminate the musty odour. If the problem persists even after cleaning, turn the unit off and seek professional assistance. A reputable technician has the know-how to handle the issue and steps to find the source of the issue.
If the smell coming from your heat pump smells like burning rubber or plastic, you might be having an electrical problem. Poor electrical connections or a failing motor could cause the coating on wires to melt, which emits a burning smell and potentially leads to equipment damage or even causes an electrical fire. Once you experience such an odour, you should shut your system off and book an emergency repair right away.
When hot air is trapped inside closed vents, you will start smelling it a minute after you turn on the heat pump. If the vents are closed around your house, then warm air has no way of escaping, resulting in severe problems for your heat pump. Before turning your unit on, take a close look around the house to ensure that all the vents are open and there’s proper airflow in your home. If you’ve opened all the vents to allow good airflow and the smell doesn’t go away, it’s time to give us a call.
If you’ve tried all the do-it-yourself fixes and the problem persists, or it’s been over a year since your last heat pump maintenance, it’s time to get in touch with the professionals at Coastal Heat Pumps. Our technicians are well-experienced and trained to look for worn or loose belts, faulty wiring, and generally any wear on your unit.
Contact us today, and let’s help you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your unit is all ready for the seasons ahead.