Keeping My Power Bills Down

2 Heat Pump Odors That You Should Never Ignore

If your home uses a heat pump to heat your house during the winter months, you may be used to the way the air smells a little dusty when you first turn it on or has a slight metallic odor when it starts its cycle. However, since both of these odors are normal and go away within seconds, there is no need to take action. However, if you detect either of the below odors coming from your heat pump, do not ignore them, as they may indicate a serious problem with the unit.

1.  Odors That Resemble the Smell of Dirty Laundry

One odor to which you should take heed when you detect it is the smell of dirty laundry that permeates your house. Even if you have recently washed all of the laundry in your home, you may still feel as though you are living in a dirty laundry pile or even a gym locker room. 

The presence of this type of odor usually indicates that there is bacteria or mold growing inside of your heat pump. When the unit's insulation starts to deteriorate, the material, heat, and lack of light inside of the pump creates an ideal environment for growth.

As the evaporator coil heats up and cools down, the bacteria and mold spores are released into your home's air, causing dirty sock syndrome. If the underlying condition is not fixed, this spreading of particles could lead to respiratory issues in your household members.

2.  Odors That Smell like Burning Plastic or Metal

When your heat pump first turns on, it is normal to momentarily detect the odor of burnt metal. However, if you continuously smell the odor of burning metal or plastic, you need to have your unit looked at by a professional right away.

This odor could be caused by a faulty motor or capacitor, either of which needs to be replaced to keep your heat pump from breaking down. However, this smell could also be the result of melting or arcing wires inside of the unit. If not fixed, it could lead to an electrical fire in your house.

If you detect either of the above odors, there is most likely a problem with your heat pump that can put your family's health and physical well-being at risk. Contact an HVAC contractor, such as at Barnetts Heating & Air Conditioning, to have them inspect your heat pump and take the necessary action to remove the odors and dangers from your house.