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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    TC40DA

    Default Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    anyone know what would cause a burnt popcorn smell coming through my forced-air ducts? I have a waterfurnace geothermal system... so i'm scratching my head on this one...

    it is covered under a 10 year parts and labor warranty so i called to set up an inspection... of course they're trying to SELL me some maintenance on the furnace and this is pretty much a NO maintenance component.. will post their findings this afternoon....
    Last edited by Skerby; 10-30-2008 at 09:48 AM.

  2. #2
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    jinman's Avatar
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    If your system has "cool" heat like a regular heat pump, then you might be building fungus/mold inside your heat exchanger and vents. These systems don't get hot enough to kill fungus/molds/bacteria. They are just warm enough to be a perfect breeding place for such growths. I use a UV light inside my heat pump to kill the bad stuff. Otherwise, my vents have "dirty sock" syndrome and smell bad.
    Jim


  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    GC2310,

    Default Re: Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    The dust burning off, on some appliances, will give that smell.

    Is it possible the electric strip heaters are being used for the first time this season? (Assuming you have some.)

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    N. E. Florida

    Default Re: Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    I second the heat strip theory, a friend told me last night that his heat pump switched to heat strips for the first time this season and set off his smoke alarms. He is a fireman so I trust his assessment that it's not another worse problem.
    I have a Geothermal Heatpump that doesn't have heat strips but I'm in Florida and my ground water temp is 65*. I'm burnin' a bunch of water now because we are having record breaking cold temps right now. Our high yesterday was our normal low temp. That Global Warming is killing me!!

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    GC2310,

    Default Re: Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    I have a sealed, direct vent, gas fireplace. First use of the season, it does this, until all the dust is "cooked off".

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    If you have electric strips that boost the heat output during the first real cold spell you can get the smell. One morning in our old house, the strips powered up and burnt all of the dust that had collected. This set of the smoke detector.

    Not a fun way to wake up early in the am.

    Later,
    Dan

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Flatheadyoungin's Avatar
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    Southern, OH
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    New Holland TC45 Shuttle

    Default Re: Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    tell us more about your geothermal system......satisfied?
    TC45 Shuttle, 270 hours, 758C backhoe, 16LA loader

    Well, I looks like I just bought myself a lot of work.....

  8. #8
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    i don't think this has heater strips... i do get a lot of dust in the house so that could be burning somewhere.. i had the unit opened and didn't see anything obvious insided... i've been using the heat on 70/71 degrees for a while as it's been cold/freezing in indiana, so not the first time i fired it up this year.. i like the geothermal so far, up till the smoke detectors went off at 1:30am... with .07/kwh electric it is pretty cheap to run.. my electric bill is like $135/month for the house with gas range, electric oven, gas dryer...

  9. #9
    Super Member kenmac's Avatar
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    yanmar 3110D

    Default Re: Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    Check your blower motor capacitor. I had to replace one yesterday. It was going bad & the burnt smell was comming from the start windings in the blower motor trying to start the motor

  10. #10
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Burnt smell from heat-pump forced air...(??)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skerby View Post
    i don't think this has heater strips... i do get a lot of dust in the house so that could be burning somewhere.. i had the unit opened and didn't see anything obvious insided... i've been using the heat on 70/71 degrees for a while as it's been cold/freezing in indiana, so not the first time i fired it up this year.. i like the geothermal so far, up till the smoke detectors went off at 1:30am... with .07/kwh electric it is pretty cheap to run.. my electric bill is like $135/month for the house with gas range, electric oven, gas dryer...
    Does your thermostat have a light or switch to turn on Aux or Emergency Heat? If so I would think you have heater strips in the system. Did the temperature drop to a low temp that has not happened yet this season?

    Our Aux heat would only trigger when it was really cold out.

    With geo maybe the temperature did not drop enough to require the need for the heat strips. I thought geo just used a heat pump to get cooling/heating from the ground instead of the air. Thus my thinking that you might have heat strips....

    Later,
    Dan

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