We are now in that transitional phase of the year when keeping our homes comfortable can prove to be quite tricky. Our days are still plenty warm — even hot, here and there — but our nighttime temperatures are definitely getting rather chilly. While you are not likely to be running your heater during the day for another couple of weeks, anyway, you’ve probably turned it on to test it out, or even to take the chill out of the nighttime air.

If so, did you notice anything strange? Such as an odd odor coming from your furnace in Columbus, OH? If so, there are a number of potential causes of the problem.

The simplest explanation, and easily the most benign in this situation, is that you have a buildup of dust on your electric heating coils or on the burners in your furnace. Over the course of the summer season, there is plenty of time for dust and dirt to collect on these components, as your furnace just is not in use. You may smell dust burning off of them when you first start up your furnace for the year.

However, it could also be a much more serious problem. For instance, you may have an electrical issue that is causing your wiring to get too hot. If this is the case, those hot wires can even start to burn their plastic coating. This type of electrical problem not only puts the integrity and condition of your furnace at risk, but also suggests a fire hazard as well.

It is also entirely possible that a foreign object, such as a child’s or pet’s toy, has gotten into your ductwork. If something like this has gotten through the vent grills, you may be able to pull it out yourself. If no object is immediately visible, though, a professional should be called to complete the extraction without risk of damage to your system.

Contact Quality Air Heating and Air Conditioning for any heating services that you may need.