Why Does My Heat Smell When I Turn It On?

Fellow Floridians, winter is approaching, and it is almost time to turn on the heat. As we get closer to cold weather, you may recall the distinct smell of starting your heat and wondering, “why does my heat smell like dirty socks when I turn it on?” Well, we have just the answer you’ve been waiting for: dirty sock syndrome. 

What is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Yes, dirty sock syndrome is real, and it is caused by a buildup of mold, dirt and dust on your heating system’s evaporator coil and air ducts. When the heat is turned on, the buildup is blown through your home, and the result is a dirty-sock-like smell. 

Dirty sock syndrome is not only unpleasant, but is bad news for your air quality. Months worth of dust, mold, moisture and dirt are being blown through your system. These particles being dispersed throughout your home can trigger allergies and decrease your indoor air quality. 

When to Worry

A dirty sock odor is typically not a cause for concern. It will most likely go away after 30 – 45 minutes after you turn your heat on. However, if you notice a constant odor, this may be a sign that something is wrong with your heating system. 

If you notice an electrical or metallic burning smell, we recommend turning off your heat immediately and calling Comfort Temp. This smell can come from damaged electrical wires or burning plastic, which can be extremely hazardous and cause fires. These issues should be handled by a professional as soon as possible.

How Can I Prevent DirtySock Syndrome? 

Unfortunately, this problem will not go away on its own. Changing your filter on a regular basis should help reduce the amount of dirt and dust that accumulates on your evaporator coils. However, the best way to remove the dust is to have a professional at Comfort Temp clean your coils and air ducts.

We recommend scheduling preventative maintenance and duct cleaning to protect the air quality in your home. Scheduling preventive maintenance is a great way to ensure that dirty sock syndrome does not come back season after season. 

Call Comfort Temp Today!

Through every season, Comfort Temp is here to serve you! Let us get rid of the pesky dirty sock smell and prepare your heating and cooling system to perform at its best for the holiday season. Don’t forget about our 24/7 emergency service! Happy heating! 

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