'That smell' is normal when you turn on the heater South Florida
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS 12) —
With this cold snap, a lot of people will be trying to get some warm air into their houses tonight.
AC and heating technicians are getting lots of calls from customers, about "that smell", and others concerned about turning the thermostat to a high setting.
"I love this weather, it makes you breathe!" said Ivy Platt, bundled up in a coat.
A brisk walk in the crisp air is fine by day, but come nightfall, Ivy says she'll probably put the heat on.
Hans Forterer is from Long Island, in South Florida for the winter, and like many snowbirds, the heat in his Florida house has never been on.
AC doctor Jay Daais says many of his calls Wednesday are from folks who have no idea what to expect when their systems are tasked with warming up.
"So here we go, for the first time in your life, your AC is five or six years, you turn the heat on, the heat elements are going to come on, and the dust is going to burn," Daais said.
And that burning dust is going to make a smell, it will come through the vent, it might last for a couple of minutes, it's perfectly normal.
"So calm down, don't get nervous, sometimes your smoke alarm will go off, do not get nervous." Daais said.
Jay says if the heat isn't working, don't bother going outside, nothing with the heating components is on the exterior of your house
"So the outside is going to be off," Daais said.
Jay says it's common if it has never been used before, turning on the heat might trip the breaker. You find your breaker box and throw the switch back.
Jay says patience is required too.
"And if you set it at 95 degrees it doesn't mean that your house is going to get warmer faster," Daais warned.
Jay says anywhere from 75 degrees to 80 degrees is reasonable.
He says this cold snap has been unusually good for business. Usually he sees an uptick during a heatwave.