Space heaters can emit different types of smells, such as burning, musty, chemical, metallic, smoke, or gas odors.
The smells can be caused by various factors, such as accumulated dust and debris, overheating of components, electrical issues, presence of chemicals, or age and wear and tear.
Understanding the causes and types of smell emitted by space heaters is essential for several reasons.
Firstly, it can help you identify and resolve the issue promptly, ensuring that your heater is functioning correctly and efficiently.
Secondly, it can prevent potential hazards such as fire or electric shock.
Finally, it can ensure that you and your family are breathing clean air and not inhaling harmful fumes.
Reasons and Types of Smell from Space Heaters
|Reason||Type of Smell||Possible Causes|
|Accumulated dust and debris||Burning smell||Accumulated dust and debris on heating element, motor or fan, overheating of components|
|Accumulated moisture and bacteria||Musty or moldy smell||Accumulated moisture and bacteria in filters or heating element|
|Electrical issues||Electrical smell||Faulty wiring, damaged heating element or thermostat, electric arcing|
|Presence of chemicals||Chemical smell||Presence of chemicals in materials or burning plastic components, off-gassing from adhesives or coatings|
|Overheating metallic components||Metallic smell||Overheating metallic components or wiring, overheating of fan or motor|
|Malfunctioning heating element or gas leak||Smoke or gas smell||Malfunctioning heating element, gas leak or combustion by-products, overheating of gas components|
|Oil leak in heating element||Oil smell||Oil leak in oil-filled heater heating element or seals|
5 Reasons Why Your Space Heater Smells Like Burning
If your space heater emits a burning smell, it’s important to identify the cause and take appropriate action.
Here are five common reasons why your space heater may smell like burning:
- If you have it plugged into an extension cord: Plugging a space heater into an extension cord can cause the cord to overheat and emit a burning smell. Instead, plug your heater directly into a wall outlet.
- If it is new: If you have recently purchased a new space heater, you may notice a burning smell when you turn it on for the first time. This is usually due to the burning off of dust that has accumulated on the heating element during storage. The smell should dissipate after a few minutes of use.
- If it is burning dust: If your space heater emits a burning smell that lasts longer than a few minutes, it could be due to the accumulation of dust and debris on the heating element, motor or fan. To resolve this issue, turn off the heater, unplug it, and wait for it to cool down. Then, use a soft brush or cloth to clean the heating element, fan, and other components.
- If something is covering it: If your space heater is covered by a blanket, clothing, or other items, it can cause the heater to overheat and emit a burning smell. Ensure that your space heater is not covered by anything and that there is enough space around it for proper ventilation.
- If it is overheating: If your space heater emits a burning smell and feels hot to the touch, it could be overheating. This could be due to a malfunctioning thermostat, a blocked air intake, or other issues. Turn off the heater, unplug it, and wait for it to cool down. Then, check the air intake and filters for debris and clean them if necessary. If the issue persists, contact a professional for assistance.
Reasons Why Space Heaters Smell
Some of the most common reasons why space heaters can emit strange odors:
A. Accumulated Dust and Debris: Space heaters can accumulate dust and debris over time, particularly on the heating element, motor, and fan. When these components become hot, the accumulated dust and debris can burn, resulting in a burning smell.
B. Overheating of Components: Space heaters can overheat due to a malfunctioning thermostat, a blocked air intake, or other issues. When components overheat, they can emit a burning smell, particularly if they are plastic or metallic.
C. Presence of Chemicals: Space heaters can emit chemical smells due to the presence of chemicals in the materials used to make the heater or the burning of plastic components. This smell can be harmful to your health and should be addressed promptly.
D. Electrical Issues: Electrical issues such as faulty wiring, damaged heating elements, or malfunctioning thermostats can cause space heaters to emit an electrical smell. This smell can be hazardous and should be addressed immediately.
E. Age and Wear and Tear: Space heaters can emit strange odors as they age or suffer from wear and tear. This can be due to the accumulation of dust and debris, overheating of components, or other issues.
Types of Space Heaters that Smell
|Type of Space Heater||Possible Smells||Causes|
|Fan-Forced Space Heaters||Burning smell||Accumulated dust and debris, overheating|
|Radiant Space Heaters||Burning smell||Overheating of components|
|Oil-Filled Space Heaters||Oil smell||Oil leak in heating element or seals|
|Ceramic Space Heaters||Burning smell||Accumulated dust and debris, overheating|
Ways to Get Rid of the Smell
If your space heater is emitting strange odors, it’s important to identify the cause and take appropriate action to prevent potential hazards and ensure that your heater is functioning correctly. Here are some ways to get rid of space heater smells:
Cleaning and Maintenance
Regular cleaning and maintenance of your space heater can prevent the accumulation of dust and debris, which can cause burning smells. Ensure that you turn off and unplug your heater before cleaning it.
Use a soft brush or cloth to clean the heating element, motor, and fan. Check the air intake and filters for debris and clean them if necessary. Consider scheduling annual maintenance with a professional to keep your heater in top condition.
Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent overheating of components and ensure that your space heater is functioning correctly.
Ensure that your space heater is not covered by anything and that there is enough space around it for proper ventilation. Open a window or door to increase ventilation in the room if necessary.
Replacement of Components
If your space heater is emitting strange odors due to faulty components, consider replacing the affected parts. This can include the heating element, motor, thermostat, or other components. Contact a professional for assistance with component replacement.
Upgrading to a Newer Model
If your space heater is old or suffering from wear and tear, consider upgrading to a newer model. Newer models often have better safety features and improved technology that can prevent potential hazards and ensure that your space heater is functioning correctly.
It’s important to take appropriate action to get rid of space heater smells promptly to prevent potential hazards and ensure that your heater is functioning correctly.