What You Should Be Doing Right Now
That smell may be a lot less about nostalgia and a whole lot more about a missed step in your preparations for the heating season. So what's that one thing that you should be doing right now? It's easy. Vacuuming your baseboards. That's right, it's time to break out the vacuum or shop-vac and simply clean out the entire area around your baseboards. Pop the covers off, or even easier, just use the narrow hose attachment to suck debris, pet hair, and dust away (which could even be a fire hazard, by the way!)
If your boiler (yes you should head here next) or base board fins are dirty, you reduce the efficiency of the heat transfer, so it takes more heat from the boiler to heat the water. Then the dirty baseboards don't release the heat to the air efficiently. So when you vacuume, you'll not only help avoid that tell-tale hot dusty odor when first turning on the heat, you'll also be taking an easy first-step to ensuring that your system runs efficiently and safely. And see...it was a crayon!
What if I forgot?
Already turned on the heat? Don't worry, we won't tell. Just go ahead and vacuum the baseboards today. Then enjoy the heat (without the smell)!