Inspection And Maintenance For The First Winter Heating

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Starting up the heating section of a central air unit is a tradition that sometimes comes with bad smells. After sitting dormant through the warmer months of the year, turning on a heater results in burning dust that shouldn't last more than a few hours--and the smell shouldn't go on much longer with decent circulation. If you're still noticing a burning smell or something just as unpleasant or concerning, take a look at a few inspection and maintenance points for the heating system and ventilation.

Why Would The Burn Last Longer?

The burnt dust smell should just be from a bit of dust that collects inside of the heating unit and maybe on the face of the unit. A bit more dust may make its way inside after the unit is turned on, but it shouldn't be enough to create weeks or months of burning smells. If you're having weeks of the smell, something is bringing in a steady supply of burning material.

Dust may still be the culprit. If the ventilation system and the enclosure for the heater is caked with dust because of irregular maintenance or no maintenance at all, there may still be solid cakes of dust that manage to stay near the heater after the excess is burned or blown away. There may also be a crack or opening in the ventilation shaft that is sucking in debris from the outside.

Either way, the ductwork needs to be disassembled and cleaned. It's best to have a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional perform the removal, cleaning and reassembly because of the sometimes complex and awkward positioning needed to get the ductwork just right.

While the HVAC team is working, they may have suggestions on better ways to keep your ventilation clean and efficient. There may be varying opinions on techniques used, such as flexible versus rigid ductwork, especially when it comes to pinching or tearing certain materials versus a solid duct design. Some methods may have been more convenient at the initial building of your home or heating system installation, but they could be the cause of your dust and debris problem.

Create A Maintenance Agreement

To keep these complex and convenient systems working efficiently, you'll need a technician to check your systems at least yearly--if not at every major season change. The frequency depends on how the weather changes in your area and how prone your area is to ventilation risks such as pests, pollen or molds. 

A maintenance agreement can help you keep your systems in good order on a regular basis instead of being reminded when something goes wrong. Problems can still happen between maintenance visits, but many major issues that destroy heating and air conditioning systems can be avoided with convenient checks.

For more information, contact JV Systems Air Conditioning And Heating of Tampa Bay Inc or a similar company.


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