Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Paint smell


QUESTION: Our electric heat has been in use for months but the last few days when it first kicks on in three of the rooms it blows the smell of fresh paint. Only for a minute it scaring me. I havnt noticed anything else. What could it be?!?!

ANSWER: Hi Em, I need a little more info. Is this a new house? Is this a heat pump system with electric back up heat? Has it  been colder than normal this winter?

Let me know, JIM

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The house is about 50 years old but it had a new central? put in 6 years ago. It has a furnace under the house and a big square electric one beside it so I think electric is the backup and it probably has been a bit colder its usually in the 20s during winter but it's been 2 and 3 degrees. My grandad told me to look for the thermostat to say emergency heat and it doesn't. Its not switched to that option but it has had 2 or 3 little flames next to the temperature its reading instead of one like a normal autumn time. I just worry about things cause I have a baby. It only smells like paint for a minute or two when it starts blowing then it gets normal and just smells like warm air. Thank you so much for trying to answer!!!

Em, thanks for the info. It sounds like you have a heat pump system. Your furnace could have up to 4 heat strips in it. With a colder than normal winter some of the heat strips might be coming for the first time.  New strips will produce an odor, usually a burnt dust smell. Has there been any spray painting in the house?

Do you set the stat back at night?   JIM

Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

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Jim S.


I can answer questions on gas or electric furnaces, ac units and heat pumps. I don't work on boilers,chillers,or home appliances.


I have been in the HVAC trade for over 35 years. For the past 15 years I have owned my own business. I am semi-retired so I can answer questions in a timely manner.

I attended trade school for 5 years on weekends and evenings. This was very hard to do, but well worth it!

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