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  • Feb 18, 2008, 11:44 AM
    Strong smell in basement
    There is a strong odor in my basement, and it's getting worse. I can't tell where it's coming from, but it smells very similar to when you burn a pan on the stove or the handle of a pan. It's does seem like a burning kind of smell. I am worried it's electrical, or maybe the furnace. I don't know who to call or what to do. It smells awful, and it's hard to be in the basement because of it. It's seeping up to the main floor near where the basement door is. What are some things to check out? Is it potentially dangerous? I have two kids.
  • Feb 18, 2008, 08:45 PM
    Try calling your power company. Ours sent a technician for a suspected gas leak. They may not be as helpful if a gas leak is not involved, but if you describe the situation and express your concern they may decide to be safe rather than sorry--or they may be able to offer other ideas of what the smell could be.

    If they won't make a house call you may have to call a furnace maintenance company to check things out.

    The below website gives some odor descriptions and possible causes--but please note they are a service provider so their information is also trying to sell something.

    Common HVAC Problems, Odors, Gas Odor, Oil Odor, burning smell, The Hannabery HVAC Troubleshooter

    If you are concerned your family may be at risk, it is definitely better to be safe than sorry and call a professional.
  • Feb 19, 2008, 05:40 PM
    Do you by chance have fluorescent lights in the basement? When a ballast is going bad it gives off a strong odor.

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