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Old 03-04-2010, 07:33 AM   #1
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heat pump


last night we were awakened by a loud noise which sounded like a loud squelching type noise, then we smelled a strong odor which smelled like wires burning throughout the house. We called the fire department and they came to investigate. By the time the fire department got there, the smell was gone. They suggested that it may have been an element gone bad on the heat pump. We have had problems with the unit for about a month. The outside unit was'nt working at all, and so we have been running emergency heat. My question is, when an element goes bad, can it make a loud noise and will it smell like rubber or wires burning. This oder was all through the house making me believe that it could have been coming fron the heat ducts. Thank you.

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Old 03-04-2010, 10:23 AM   #2
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Sounds more like a blower motor went bad to me. I have no xp with heat pumps so I am not sure though.

But our blower motor went out on the furnace and that made the house smell and also made a squeal.

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Old 03-05-2010, 03:32 AM   #3
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Try turning your thermostat to "fan" instead of "auto" and turn the heat off...if it happens then it's your motor windings burning....you'll need to replace the motor. If the motor's running quiet and you notice the same amount of air pushing out of the vents, then it's probably not your motor, because they don't "periodically" go bad usually. They just burn out. Motor windings will make a high pitched squeel and even bumping noise when the windings and/or the bearings burn out...and you will smell it throughout the house because the blower motor pushes air through all of your ducts. The heat pump is outside, so the odds of any smell from that entering your house are very remote, and like you said, you haven't been using it. I have had the heating elements "ground" before inside the furnace and create a burning smell before they finally burned out...but never heard of a squeeling noise coming from them. They will create a somewhat banging or popping sound as they overheat and the circulator fan pushes air across them though. They usually burn (short) out though within a day, so you would have no heat at all. Let us know.
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