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I couldn’t begin to, count the number of calls for , “ Oder of something burning , “ electrical Oder “ , “ unknown Oder “ and on and on that I’ve gone on .

Like said a page or two back get a laser thermometer, and next time walk around reading the temps of all the electrical devices, outlets and so on . Or do that ahead of time to get a baseline then you’ll know which one is now higher .
 

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Do you have a heat pump system and has the smell only occurred as it’s started to get colder? Sorry, but I didn’t notice what region you’re in. Heat pumps have a recovery mode that utilizes a conventional heater coil in the furnace to heat air while allowing the heat pump to come up to functioning temp. That heater coil gets dirty and when it fires up it burns off all that crap and stinks. Just a thought.
When you turn on the furnace for the first time in many months, you almost always smell that pungent burning smell as the dust burns off the heat exchanger. In case you were wondering, that's basically the smell of burning flesh. Indoor dust is composed mainly of dead skin cells. Yummy.
 

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Every once in a while we (wife and I) can detect a slight smell inside the house.

You know that smell when you first start your furnace after not using it all summer - it is maybe like that only not nearly as strong.

Or the smell of an electric motor that is running hot or wiring that is over loaded could be used as an example.

When I get a whiff and then try and figure it out \the smell just disappears and I don't notice it again for days or even weeks -

It is most noticeable in the upstairs bedroom - but there are no motors or electrical stuff in there -

I thought maybe the AC air handler / fan in the attic may be running hot but I turned the fan ON manually yesterday - let it run for a long time - even went up in the attic - and nothing. No smell at all.

The indicator lights on the AC unit are flashing - both red and green at the same time which is indicated as "all systems normal".

I don't know what to do at this point -

Call an electrician and tell them to wait around inside my home for a few days and see if they can smell anything?

Have the AC air handler fan motor replaced?

I am out of ideas.

Any help from GT would be appreciated.
did you ever figure out what was causing it?
 

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Discussion Starter #87
did you ever figure out what was causing it?
We had a portable AC unit - the smell was never around a time when it had been on - but Wednesday my wife turned it on and it flashed an error code - then smelled like it was hot. So she unplugged it - I disconnected it and threw it away. But I didn't think it was the cause.

I also checked the ceiling fan - it is 10 feet off the floor - it is really old - 15+ years - the top side has a screen air vent - to allow air to circulate around the motor - well after 15 years the top of it was filthy dirty - fine dust had completely covered the air vents and my guess it this plugged vent was causing the motor to heat up a little but.

I cleaned it - but we are trying to find a unit to replace it.
 

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Any high intensity bulbs in any of your lamps that might be roasting dead insects?
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Any high intensity bulbs in any of your lamps that might be roasting dead insects?
Only a couple enclosed fixtures - but I did recently replace the light in the closet of the master bedroom with an LED fixture - Like this one



It only uses 11.5 watts - but really puts out some light -
Long shot maybe but I need to check this out - since it is one of the few changes I have made in that area - maybe it is the source of the smell. But since the smell is in the bedroom not the closet - I don't this it is the culprit.
 
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Discussion Starter #90
Well I decided to get the ladder and disconnect the ceiling fan from power- I figured that has to be the thing causing the smell - and since power is still feeding it even with the switch off - I disconnected the hot wire and put a wire nut and tape on it - but left the light hooked up -

We are trying to find a new ceiling fan - and I am just being extra careful.

Well 10 minutes after I disconnected the fan - I told my wife - it has to be the ceiling fan - I mean what else is there?

Then it hit me - the TV set in there doesn't get used much - but has a small cable box - it was sort of hard to find - covered in DVDs - way in the back of the cabinet -

It was pretty warm to the touch - and a little dusty -

So I cleaned it up and placed it on a shelf with plenty of air around it -


I still plan to replace the ceiling fan - but I now think it was the cable box that caused the warm smell.

If the smell does come back I will have eliminated the ceiling fan - and now the cable box is located where it would be easy to go in for a nose to nose smell.
upload_2020-11-2_13-39-10.jpeg
 

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We had a portable AC unit - the smell was never around a time when it had been on - but Wednesday my wife turned it on and it flashed an error code - then smelled like it was hot. So she unplugged it - I disconnected it and threw it away. But I didn't think it was the cause.

I also checked the ceiling fan - it is 10 feet off the floor - it is really old - 15+ years - the top side has a screen air vent - to allow air to circulate around the motor - well after 15 years the top of it was filthy dirty - fine dust had completely covered the air vents and my guess it this plugged vent was causing the motor to heat up a little but.

I cleaned it - but we are trying to find a unit to replace it.
15 years is old for a ceiling fan? My master bedroom fan is 48 years old and still going strong. It's a Casablanca fan with solid state variable speed and reversible.
 
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15 years is old for a ceiling fan? My master bedroom fan is 48 years old and still going strong. It's a Casablanca fan with solid state variable speed and reversible.
Back when Casablanca was still in business and made a great product. Ours are 30+ years old, and have been running 24/7/365. ever since they were installed..
 

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Back when Casablanca was still in business and made a great product. Ours are 30+ years old, and have been running 24/7/365. ever since they were installed..
I just googled Casablanca Fans and sure enough it looks like Hunter now owns the name. Hunter was the option we rejected back when we decided to go with Casablanca for the entire house in 1972. They worked great in every room. When we sold the house in 1995, I took a fan with me to my new house.
 
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Discussion Starter #94
Back when Casablanca was still in business and made a great product. Ours are 30+ years old, and have been running 24/7/365. ever since they were installed..
I think running them constantly on low speed makes them last longer that using them once in a while - (my assumption you are running it on low speed if it has been on for 30 years)

I said ours was 15 years old - but it could be 20 or even older - I know the fan the builder used only lasted a couple years - it was replaced with a low end Home Depot fan that lasted a while but started getting wobbly - and I think we paid a little extra for the next one - which we still have now -

Been in the house 33 years - fan was run on high speed every night - until maybe 6 months ago - when it started to go out of balance - then medium speed.

When we moved in 33 years ago all the fixtures were bright brass - every one had been replaced - as well as all door knobs with brushed nickel - the bedroom is still bright brass - we planned on replacing it anyway because it is so ugly - but it really moved some air around -
 

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Yes,we do run on low speed. Just enough to keep the air moving. Only time they are turned off is to do cleaning or light bulb change.
 

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throw away everything electrical.............don't take chances
 
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When it happens next time, see if you can relate it to anything that may be running...frig, ac, furnace etc. Maybe you'll see a pattern if it keeps happening.
 

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We went through kinda the same thing a few years ago with a " smells like plastic getting hot " smell that would come and go and never really confined to one area , when you could smell it you could smell it strong walking in the front door of the house but once you were in you couldnt really smell it as strong ,,, but long story short ,, Lowes had a good sale on whirlpool appliances so we replaced the stove , range and fridge , when we pulled out the old fridge , a 15 yr old GE , is when we found the source of the smell , seems the motor was getting hot and scorching the linoleum floor under it !!! I`m sure that had we not found it when we did it would of eventually caught on fire . We usually try to pull our stove and fridge out atleast 1 time a yaer to clean out behind them so this was a total surprise at the time .
 
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