Radiator Smells And Their Causes

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2023

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Common Radiator Smells

What to do if your radiator is producing one of the following smells…


A sulphuric scent is similar to that of spoiled eggs and definitely not something that you want your home to smell of! 

Likely Cause - It is likely that this smell has been caused by hydrogen within your radiators. No matter how carefully installed and well-maintained your radiators are, they will need bleeding from time to time (find out more about this and how to bleed your radiators in this previous blog). If you do not bleed your radiators, the air and water can cause the model to begin to rust. As this rust forms, hydrogen is created as an unpleasant-smelling byproduct. 

How To Fix It - Bleed your radiators! This takes mere minutes and, as well as getting rid of the smell. will help to prevent further erosion and have your radiators working more efficiently. However, if you are unsure about how the radiator smells and think it may be gas, you should play it safe and hire a professional plumber or Gas-safe registered heating engineer to give the entirety of your central heating the once over.


A burning smell in your home is always a cause for concern and should be taken seriously. However, there’s also a totally harmless possible reason for your radiators to smell like burning.

radiator smells

Likely Cause - Simple dust particles! This is particularly common for electric radiators but can happen with any, especially ones that have been out of use for some time and all of a sudden are set to a high temperature.

How To Fix It - Give your radiators a good clean. You can find out the best method for cleaning Cast Iron Radiators here. Once cleaned, give the smell a bit of time to clear but if the odour persists you should call a plumber.


Musty radiator smells can be highly unpleasant and give your home the impression of being damp.

Likely Cause - The cause is most likely to be dust again! This can settle inside or outside of your radiator through periods of disuse. For example, you may experience this odour when you first turn your radiator on for winter.

How To Fix It - Again, a simple clean and a bit of time should get rid of this smell, but if it doesn’t seem to go away then contact a plumber.

General Advice To Fix Radiator Smells 

If the odour that you are experiencing is not listed here, we have some general advice:

Clean - A bit of elbow grease may be all it takes!

Flush - This cleans your radiators inside, helping them to work more efficiently.

Call A Professional - If you are worried, or if the smell persists, then get a professional opinion as it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Replace - Unfortunately, all radiators have a lifespan, so if unpleasant radiator smells are bothering you, it may be time to look at our collection.

Replacing Your Radiators

With over 50 different models and 10,000 colour and finish options, we are sure that you can find your new radiators amongst our collection. Design yours on our website, or choose from our ready-made range.

If you need any help or advice, please contact our friendly staff on 01400 263320 or come and visit us in person!

You can also learn more about us and our products on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest.

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