Why Does My Heating System Smell Funny?

One of the early warning signs that a heating system needs professionals to repair it is when strange, often unpleasant smells start to come from the vents. The smell of rotten eggs, burning wires, and mold can all point to major problems. There are some odors that are only minor issues, but when you have any doubts, don’t try to fix the problem yourself! Just call our repair skilled and honest professionals to take care of the heating repairs necessary.

Some warning odors from your home’s heating system

  • Musty, moldy smells: This probably means that the air filter of the furnace or heat pump has mold developing inside it. Change out of the filter or clean it, and keep doing this once a month.
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Why Do I Have Hot and Colds Spots in My Home?

This is a question that we sometime hear from our clients: “Why am I finding cold and hot spots around my house?” This is a result of uneven heating and cooling, and there are a number of different reasons for it to occur. We’ll look at some of the more common as well as what you can do to restore the even comfort in your household.

Hot and Cold Spots—Why It Happens

  • The simplest reason is because of heat escaping or entering a room through a window or other air leak. Check to make sure windows in the hot/cold areas are secure and there are no draughts entering.
  • Problems with the ventilation system are one of the most common reasons for uneven temperatures around a house.
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Watch out for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Home

Last week we addressed an issue that can affect furnaces that still use a standing pilot light: the flame changing to a color other than blue, which often means the pilot light is burning something besides methane, which can lead to the release of toxic chemicals. Sometimes, it can also indicate that the furnace is leaking carbon monoxide, which is a serious danger. We want to look into this more specifically in this post, because if you use natural gas in your for any appliances, you must take precautions regarding carbon monoxide.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (chemical symbol: CO) is a colorless, odorless, and highly toxic gas. It is a common byproduct of combusting natural gas, such as in your furnace or stove. … Read more

Why Is There a Strange Smell Coming from My Heater?

You don’t have many opportunities to turn on your heating system in Southern California. When you do start to run the heater, you might be surprised at discovering odd and unpleasant odors coming from the vents. What’s this about… and is it something you need to worry about?

There’s no single cause for strange odors emanating from a heating system. Below are some of the possible reasons for these smells and what you should do about them.

Billowing and burning dust

A Southern California furnace doesn’t see much “action” during the year, and that often means that dust will build up on it over the months. When the furnace turns on, it will start to blow this dust around the house.… Read more

Why Is There a Burning Smell When My Furnace Comes On?

If you have either a gas or electric furnace in your home, you’ll get sporadic use out of it over the winter season. Temperatures can get cool during the evenings, even here in the deserts of California, and it’s probably around November when you’ll find yourself switching on the furnace to provide occasional warmth. (We recommend having maintenance for it, no matter how often you use it, at this time of year. Sign up for our maintenance program to get started.)

Something you may notice when your furnace starts running for the first time during the season is a burning smell coming from the vents. This might seem alarming, but it’s actually a common occurrence. In most cases, there’s nothing to worry about.… Read more

Haven’t Had Heating Maintenance? Now’s the Time!

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningThe nights are turning cooler now that it’s December, although the day time still enjoys highs in the 70s and 80s. We can soon expect even cooler nights, and that means heating systems will start to come on for comfort.

We understand that running a heater in your home isn’t often on your mind here in the deserts of Southern California. But you can take away almost all concerns about the heater for the season if you arrange for annual heating maintenance. Right now is the time to have this job done. In other parts of the country, it’s best to do heating maintenance in early fall, since cold weather could sweep in at any time. But heating maintenance in Palm Desert, CA and the surrounding areas can wait for a bit longer.… Read more

3 Tell-Tale Signs That You Need Heating Repair

Palm Springs isn’t a location known for the bone-rattling cold that whips through it every winter. People flock here from December through February to take advantage of average highs in the balmy and relaxing 70s.

But no place on Earth can expect an ideal warm climate all the time, and Palm Springs does experience fluctuations that can mean temperatures in the 40s during winter evenings, plus a few rainy days. The heater in your home still needs to be ready for anything. But is it?

Here are 3 signs that it might not be. If you need heating repair in Palm Springs, CA before the cold threatens our vacation paradise, call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.… Read more

What to Check before You Call Heating Repair

When your heating system stops working, your first instinct is probably to call up your HVAC technician right away. That isn’t actually a bad idea. However, there are a few things you’ll probably want to check first. Even if you do end up needing to call a professional, it helps to have an inkling of where the problem might be.


Thermostat malfunctions are a very common cause of heating systems acting strangely. The thermostat acts as the central control center for the entire heating system. The rest of your system could be perfectly fine, mechanically, and still not work if the thermostat is broken. Check the display to make sure that the temperature is correct and the heat is on.… Read more

Ways to Help Prevent Heating Repairs

To an extent, heating repairs are inevitable. After all, heating systems degrade over time like everything else. The primary goal, however, should be to ensure that your heating system lasts as long as physically possible before needing replacement. Frequent need for repair is often caused by a lack of proper maintenance, which shortens the life of your system. Let’s examine some of the things you can do to ensure that your heating system lasts as long as possible.

Regular Maintenance

This is the biggest determining factor in the longevity of your heating system. Do you schedule regular, professional maintenance on your heater? If not, you should. It is recommended that you schedule maintenance at least once a year for your heating system, often during the fall.… Read more

Why Does Ice Form on My Heat Pump?

If you’ve used a heat pump in your home during the winter season, then you may have noticed the outside unit starting to ice over. This isn’t necessarily a problem, especially if the temperature outside is already sub-freezing. However, it’s still something that you should keep a close eye on. Let’s take a look at why your heat pump occasionally ices over, and when you should call a professional to take a look at it.

Why Your Heat Pump Has Ice on It

Your heat pump is composed of two parts, the inside unit and the outside unit. When the heat is turned on, the outside unit begins to evaporate refrigerant in a coil inside its casing. This absorbs the thermal energy from the surrounding air, so that the heat pump can use it to warm the home.… Read more

What to Do When Your Furnace Trips a Circuit Breaker

Here’s a situation you don’t want to run into during one of our colder days: you turn on the heat to get the furnace warming up your home, and the furnace turns on for a moment… only to shut down because a circuit breaker has tripped. You reset the breaker, try the furnace again… and the same thing happens. What’s wrong? And is there anything you can do about it?

Yes, this can happen to a gas furnace as well

If you have a gas furnace, you might wonder how this might occur in the first place. But take a moment to think about how a gas furnace runs. It does require electricity for some of its components, such as the blower.… Read more

Why You Must Never Try to Fix a Furnace on Your Own!

Here in the So. California deserts, the winter isn’t as intimidating a season as in the northern and Midwestern parts of the country. Yet the winter nights can turn cool, and you’ll need your home’s furnace to put in part-time work through the season. When your furnace starts to show signs that it isn’t working its best, do you tinker with it to see if you can fix it? Don’t! This is a job that requires professionals, and we’ll explain why.

The gas furnace danger

In most jurisdictions it is illegal to repair a gas furnace unless you are a licensed professional. This is true for any appliance hooked to a gas main (so don’t try to repair that gas oven or gas range yourself either).… Read more

Reasons to Call Emergency Heating Repair Service

Here in Redlands, heating issues only tend to crop up for brief periods during the year, such as this past week when heavy rains and low temperatures have kept a lot of people inside. You need your heater to run efficiently during such periods, and when it needs repairs, you want to take care of it as quickly as possible. Many repair services offer 24-hour calls for emergencies, but when is such a call necessary? That can be a tough question to answer, especially if you’re caught between a malfunctioning heater and a reluctance to pay the extra fee that usually accompanies an after-hours service call.

Here are some reasons to call emergency heating repair service rather than waiting until regular business hours.… Read more