Question about Fahrenheat Built-In Baseboard Thermostat Heater

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Baseboard heater giving off burning smell

I just bought a house a couple of months ago and it has baseboard heaters. So far they all work just fine but the one in my sons room smells like its burning. We have cut it on more than once and tried let it heat for a while to see if maybe its just dust or something and the smell has not gone away. It sets off our smoke detectors. The heater itself looks brand new, and very well could be as the house was remodeled before we moved in. Is there anything I can do?

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  • sandi gileo Oct 27, 2012

    Ironically, Years ago my base board heater had been smelling..just the usual dust thing I thought, and I hadn't used the one in that room for years. But a contractor was just here for other reasons and decided to take the front off the heater..and lo and behold a 'remote control' had fallen in there and pretty glued itself there..Hilarious to see...Thankfully he found it. Apparently things can fall in there!



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I just ran into this same problem yesterday when I had a new baseboard heater installed in my tiny bedroom. When I turned it on it gave off a horrible smell that made me cough and choke. The stench went everywhere -- opening the bedroom windows and closing the door was not enough. I called the electrician this morning and he told me that it is the coating on the heater coil. He said they coat the coils when the heaters are manufactured to prevent them from corroding before they are installed. He said this would happen with any new baseboard heater I got. He suggested that I go stay somewhere else for a few days while leaving the heater on high to let the coating burn off. Since I could not do this, I had the heater removed again.

I wish I had a better answer for you. It seems crazy to me that a manufacturer would make heater coils out of a metal that corrodes easily -- I mean, it will start corroding as soon as the coating burns off, right? Plus, why use a toxic coating in the first place?

Posted on Nov 26, 2008

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I have this problem and my house is OLD. If there were a coating on the coils it would have killed my birds and given me asthma no doubt about it. I think its dust. If the problem isnt resolved get avacuum with an attachment that fits into the baeboard and dust it. If its a new baseboard write or go online and get a MSDS or whatever its called Its mareial safety data sheel MSDS. Every heater has one by law and if you cant get it from the mfg you should be able to get it online at or one of the other sites via search. The government mandates these esp if there are regisrterd coatings and if there aer coatings they should be registered. If there is soemthing like zinc or other harmful caoting you ought to be made aware and given an option to return them etc

Posted on Oct 30, 2011


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