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Old electric baseboard heat odor

Hello, We have a 1967 brick rancher w/old elec. baseboard heat; and a new heat pump. We bought the house this past spring. Up until now we have just been using the heat pump; but yesterday turned on the elec. baseboard in 2 rooms. It gives off a chemical/old/plasticy/ (?can't describe it right?) odor that seems to be lingering. Any ideas on what it could be & how to make it go away? I have read about them burning off collected dust, etc... but thought the smell would go away by now, it's still quite strong. Thanks for any help! P.S.-The previous owner was a smoker; could nicotine buildup cause the smell?........ God bless!

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