Why an Electric Heater Smells Like Burning Plastic (& What to Do)

Heaters can emit a burning plastic smell and it’s not always because the heater is defective.

The most common cause of this problem is because dust and debris got caught in the coil, which could be due to a lack of airflow through the vents.

Before taking action, check if the smell is coming from something else in your home. Check for burning wires or overheating appliances and electronics.

If you find anything out of the ordinary, then you should turn off the power to that device and call a technician.

Keeping your family safe!

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If you can’t find anything else that might be causing the smell, then you know the most likely cause is your heater.

Should an electric heater smell like burning

If an electric heater starts to smell like burning, it’s important to know what to do.

An electric heater should not have a burning smell. Some burners in gas heaters can smell like they are burning, but that isn’t the same as their heating elements.

These smells indicate there is a problem with your device and you should turn off all power immediately. If it’s an electric heater, then the coils might be faulty or burnt out.

How do i stop my electric heater from smelling

Check if there’s dust accumulated inside the grill covering the fan. If it is dusty, clean it with a cloth or vacuum hose to remove most of it.

Also, check if there’s debris accumulated around the air inlet. If there is, clean it with a vacuum cleaner.

To clean your heater properly, follow these steps,

  • Turn off the power and unplug the device or turn off power at circuit breaker/fuse box.
  • Wipe down any dirt and dust from exterior parts with a damp soft cloth and mild detergent
  • Do not use any abrasive materials as these might damage the finish.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to extract dust and debris from the inside of the heater.
  • If you have a compressed air canister, then use that to blow out dust from the inlet grill
  • Plug the heater back in when you are done cleaning it and turn on power at circuit breaker/fuse box again.
  • Turn on the heater to check if it’s working properly or not. You can also make sure if the smell is still there or not.

If the smell persists even after cleaning, then call a technician to check if the heater needs to be replaced.

Don’t try to fix it yourself if you’re not familiar with electrical wiring, as this could result in an electric shock or fire.

Why does it smell like burning plastic in a room?

If a room in your house smells of burning plastic, it’s likely that there is an electrical appliance giving off the fumes.

The most common culprits are electric heaters, clothes dryers and printers.

If you can’t determine the source of the smell, it’s best to turn off all the appliances in the room until you can get them checked by a professional.

The smell of burning plastic in a room could also be a sign of a household appliance overheating or a kitchen accident. In some cases, heaters may smell of burnt plastic when plugged in, but it might be due to an electrical problem.

If you use a space heater for lots of hours every day, then the smell could come from dust that’s built up in the vents.

How to get rid of burnt plastic smell?

The unpleasant smell of burnt plastic can be difficult to get rid of, but with a few simple tricks, you should be able to make your home smell fresh again in no time.

  1. One of the best ways to get rid of this smell is to turn on a tower fan near your heater or appliances. The powerful gust will help circulate the air and push any lingering smells out through your vents.
  2. If you think the smell might be coming from one of your appliances, unplug it immediately . If you don’t know how to fix the problem, it’s best to call a professional.
  3. You can also try using an air freshener or scented candles to cover up the smell.
  4. Open all of your windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate through your home. This will help dissipate any smells that might be lingering in the air.
  5. If the burnt plastic smell is really bad, you might have to get your heater or appliance replaced.

Final Thoughts

The smell of burning plastic in your home can be a worrying sign. Fortunately, if it’s coming from your heater, you can quickly solve the problem by cleaning it thoroughly or calling a technician to do it for you.

Fixing an overheating home appliance is not something that should be done casually as there are dangerous consequences that could affect not just yourself but others as well.

There are electricians that you can contact who will be able to do the job safely and with no fuss.