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Serving New Orleans and the Surrounding Areas
Available at your convenience, not ours

Serving New Orleans and the Surrounding Areas


Available at your convenience, not ours


Gowland's Heating & A/C Blog

Do You Smell That? It Means You Need Heating Repair


When something goes wrong with your heating system, it’s important to get help right away. Prompt professional repair can make the difference between a small issue and a much larger one, or, in a worst-case scenario if you neglect repairs too long, having to replace your heating system entirely. 

Not all heating system problems cause the heater to simply shut down, though. So if you still have heat, how can you tell there’s a problem? One way to spot a heating system issue is with your nose. Here are some smells that tell you it is time to get heating repair.

Rotten Eggs

Natural gas does not have an odor. A chemical called mercaptan is added so that you will be able to detect a gas leak. It smells like sulfur or bad eggs. If you smell this, it’s not just time for heating repair in Mandeville, LA, it’s time to evacuate your home.

If you can quickly shut off your heating system or the gas to your home, do that. Then immediately collect your family and pets and get out of the house. Call for help from somewhere else. Your natural gas provider will have an emergency line for this concern, but don’t hesitate to call 911 if you can’t get other help quickly enough.


Another strange food smell can indicate a different serious hazard. Electrical fires can sometimes smell like fish! Even if you have a gas furnace, it does have electrical components. An electrical fire can also smell like burning plastic, as the coatings on the wires combust. This is another situation for shutting down the heating system and getting out of the house.

Burning Dust

When you first turn on your heating system in the fall, especially if you haven’t had maintenance done shortly before, there may be a hot and dusty odor. This should dissipate within an hour or so, especially if you open some windows, and you don’t need to do anything else about it (aside from schedule that maintenance).

If you smell a similar odor at another point during the year, chances are, a component is overheating. This is likely to be the blower fan motor. If it’s been awhile since you’ve changed the air filter, try doing that, as low airflow from a clogged filter can overheat the motor. If this doesn’t help, it’s time for repairs.

Sweet Chemicals

If your heating system is a heat pump, it uses refrigerant to keep your house warm. Refrigerant is a chemical with a sweet smell. If you notice this odor, get repairs right away. A leak can be patched, and the refrigerant can be refilled. But if you keep running the system without enough refrigerant, it puts a lot of strain on the compressor, which is expensive enough that it might as well be irreplaceable. 

Any time you notice one of these odors, or any strange smell coming from your heating system, don’t hesitate to reach out.

When you need heating repair, contact Gowland’s Heating & A/C today! Relationship over revenue!

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