If you are a first-time owner of a house, after you move in there can be problems that happen and you aren't sure what to do about them. After years of calling a landlord to deal with problems, in your own home you might want to do some troubleshooting to figure out what could be the problem. If you've got electric heat and something seems to be not right about your baseboards, here are some things that may be at fault.
When you first start up the heating inside the house, it's easy to get alarmed if you wonder what's burning and whether there's a serious fire hazard. The truth is that if the baseboards are heating up for the first cold night of the season, it's more than likely that the smell is related to dust that has settled on them. Therefore, you might choose to get a small hand-held vacuum and work on the baseboards while the thermostat is turned off. Doing so will make the indoor air a bit cleaner and prevent that smell when you power them up.
If the smell persists, have a look at the baseboards for a problem and if you don't see one, consider calling in some heating contractors.
Not Enough Heat
You might look down at the baseboards and wonder how those little units can heat an entire room, but they should be able to get the job done. If it's much cooler than you expect, before you blame the baseboards themselves, take stock of the entire space. Are there air gaps along windows or doors? Is a draft coming from another room? It's also a smart idea to investigate trends in your heating bill to find out if prices have gone up way more than they should have, which could mean that the entire space should be better insulated. Do what you can to identify and eliminate gaps with insulation, weather stripping and other methods; you may discover that the baseboards can then heat the space well.
If heating doesn't seem to be happening at all, ensure that the thermostat doesn't require a battery replacement and then contact a professional to find out where the source of the problem lies.
With all of the possibilities laid out here, you may want to get the help of a professional to pinpoint the specific issue. Get in touch with some heating professionals so you can get a better idea of the problem you're dealing with.