Sniff, Sniff. Do I Smell Oil?


If you have an oil heated home, you may smell oil from time-to-time. Here’s what the heating oil experts at Tevis Energy have to say.

First the good news! Home heating oil fumes are non-toxic and pose very little immediate risk to your family and home. Heating oil is biodegradable, contains no carcinogens and is extremely stable. In fact, heating oil will only ignite when heated to 410 degrees and atomized into a vapor inside a combustion chamber. And although, the smell of heating oil can be unpleasant, the level of urgency is nothing like that when the odor of gas is present. Home heating oil is one of the safest fuels available and a wise choice for your home.

Now that we’ve addressed some of the greatest concerns, there are some other things you should know if you smell heating oil:

  1. You may smell heating oil the first time you turn your system on for the season. If everything is operating correctly, the odor should dissipate quickly.
  2. If the odor persists, it could be that your system is not operating efficiently. For example, the nozzle, which converts heating oil into vapor may be clogged, preventing an optimal spray pattern. The oil that doesn’t combust fully will often cause an odor. While this is the most common reason you may smell heating oil, there are other causes. Call our experts at Modern Comfort Systems as soon as possible to identify and correct the problem.
    Additionally, to help combat this problem, Tevis Energy fortifies its heating oil and Bioheat renewable heating oil with a product called T2000. This product keeps your fuel lines and nozzle flowing freely, which promotes greater fuel efficiency, better system performance, and fewer heating oil service calls! As a result, you get more heat with less oil! View our fuel quality video for a demonstration of our fuel quality and composition.
  3. Depending on the age of your tank, it’s possible that oil could be leaking from your tank or along the lines and fittings. Look for oil stains under your tank. If you see any, do not touch the tank, as this can cause additional problems. Call Modern Comfort Systems
  4. While it is very unusual for this to occur, if you detect smoke inside your home while the system is operating, immediately shut down the furnace using the oil burner switch that is often at the top of basement stairs or several feet from the system.
  5. And even though the dangers of carbon monoxide are much lower in a home with an oil heat system than in those heated by a gas furnace, $20 spent on a CO detector from your local hardware store is always a good idea for peace of mind.
  6. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Tevis recommends that your heating oil system inspected and tuned-up every year by Modern Comfort Systems. Our Total Care heating oil service plan is a great investment because it includes your annual tune-up and covers 100% of most repair costs. Contact us for details!

Locally-owned and always competitively priced, Tevis Energy is the company thousands of homeowners TRUST for their home heating oil delivery in Baltimore County MD, Carroll County MD, Howard County MD, as well as Adams County PA and York County PA.

(410) 876-6800

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