Have you heard yet of the new “combination-electric-forced-air-wall-heater/room odorizor/fireplace?”
It is hard to imagine anyone involved in real estate that has not heard of the infamous Cadet electric wall heaters and the recall that revolved around them between 2000 and 2002. It surprises me that I still find some of these heaters.
It is apparent after inspecting hundreds and hundreds of these heaters–Cadet or otherwise–that there is something about these heaters that most people are apparently not aware of.
THEY NEED TO BE CLEANED!
Forced air electric heaters, whether they are in the wall or in the ceiling, are nothing more than kitchen toasters with fans in them. We also know what happens if the toast gets stuck and the toaster keeps on a-toastn’–the smoke alarm goes off and flames come out of the toaster. (As a side note—never use your toaster while it is underneath the upper cabinets.)
We have all likely turned on one of these heaters and smelled the dust burning off. When the unit has not been used for a long period of time, or even the time they sit idle through the summer, they can collect a lot of dust simply by convective currents moving through the heater.
THIS BURNING DUST DOES NOT SMELL LIKE TOAST!
In the vernacular of CSI, our shed epithelial cells, our pet’s shed hair/fur and ordinary household dust (mostly dust mites) collects in these heaters, and that is what we smell when heater starts up.
Just like toast, this fluff is highly flammable.
These heaters need to be taken apart by a qualified person (after turning the power to the unit off at the breaker box/fuse panel) and properly cleaned at least annually–just before each heating season.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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