These heaters can release a dusty smell for a time if the heating element has a layer of dust accumulated on it during its time in storage. This could be a sign of an overheated blower motor. Electrical Burning Smell. If your heating system is on and it smells like electrical wires are burning, then you have a more serious problem on your hands. So, in order for us to detect a gas leak, the law requires the gas companies to add a distinctive odor. I had wire insulation burning from an outlet in line with the outlet the space heater is plugged into. Regarding this, why does my portable heater smell like fish? If your heater smells like burning, then it may be a sign that your furnace needs maintenance. The new gas control valve is for natural gas, but the space heater was originally for LP according the a … Most space heaters use kerosene or natural gas for fuel. Lots of heat. However, if the initial burning dust smell has passed and your heater still smells like it’s burning, it could be something worse. This time period is called "curing," and it causes an unavoidable odor. Because I had a similiar smell from my house furnace last winter, I would like to find out how to trouble shoot this type of problem, and what are all the possible causes of this kind of problem. The wire became loose on the terminal which created more resistance and heat. Don’t ignore it. Problem: Heater smells like burning. Can an electric heater (plug in) smell like fish? This is done by adding a chemical called a Mercaptan which smells like onions. Thank you! And when older heaters are first fired up after months of disuse there is typically a smell due to burning dust, etc. Can anyone recommend a great little space heater that does not smell? If your furnace smells like burning, shut it off and unplug it immediately, as leaving your heater on can potentially be hazardous. Our new oven smelled like exhaust the first few times we ran the broiler so badly, we thought something was wrong Allow the gas logs to cure. First, "Natural Gas" is METHANE which has no odor. This is more of an electric smell, I'd say. It could be something as minor as a dirty filter, but it could also be a serious problem like an electrical component failure. A space heater that is not installed right or not working properly can release carbon monoxide and other toxic fumes into the room and use up much of the oxygen in the room. Ceramic space heaters are relatively trouble-free if you maintain them properly and use them according to the manufacturer's instructions. A burnt smell — or a heater that’s actually smoking — is a clear sign that something is wrong. Oils used in the metalwork are cooked off, and there is a burning oil smell of sorts. ... God for looking out for me and my family. Try to find the source of the burning smell … My heater smells like electric burning: Check for loose connections or burnt circuits. After about eight hours, the smell should stop. An electrical burning smell and smoke coming from a heater indicate the presence of some electrical malfunction. Secondly, do space heaters give off toxic fumes? According to Magic Sweep Corporation, when a newly installed unit first is turned on, there will be an odor for approximately four to eight hours, if the vent-free fireplace has gas logs. 2) Propane contains an odorant similar to what's put into natural gas. As Iowa State University notes, gas and kerosene space heaters are inexpensive and portable, which make them popular this time of year. 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