Should My Furnace Smell Like Heating Oil?

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Heating oil is a very reliable fuel for furnaces that serve numbers of American homes yearly. Heating oil is low in cost, highly efficient, and available at a steady supply that makes it easier to handle the coldest months of the year. If you are currently a heating oil user and detect a heating oil smell in your home, you should ask, “Is this a problem throughout the home?”.

Heating oil does indeed have a very distinctive smell but if you have an excellent system for heating oil containment, leaks should not be an issue. Even if you smell a faint odor of heating oil, this smell will likely abate in no time. In rare cases in which the problem persists, try calling a technician from Tevis Energy to determine the source of the problem and improve the quality of your indoor air.

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Is Smelling Heating Oil In The Home Normal?

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Although a lingering smell of heating in the home isn’t normal, there are several cases in which this might happen. Some issues are both fleeting and trivial but others can be much more persistent and serious. The following are a few possible explanations for this problem:

1. Your Heating Oil Tank Has Been Recently Refilled

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After fresh heating oil has just been delivered, it’s common to have a noticeable aroma of fuel oil in the air for some time. Wait a few days to see if the odor dissipates. It should be faint rather than overpowering. If it takes a while for the oil smell to dissipate, it could be that some of this fuel was spilled on the ground by your delivery crew.

Tevis Energy proudly offers the most reliable and safest options in heating oil delivery throughout central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. You can trust us to complete your oil delivery without messy spills or other issues. Call us now to find out how you can benefit from our home heating oil delivery services.

2. Initial Furnace Use

The typical furnace is left idle for long periods. After spring and summer, homeowners only turn their heating systems back on after outside temperatures fall. The first furnace use of the cold weather season will likey produce a distinct burning oil smell. This is normal. It is fleeting and there’s no real need to worry about it.

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3. The Furnace Filter Is Clogged

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The smell of heating oil could mean that the filter in your furnace has become clogged or blocked. HVAC air filters should be replaced every two to three months or even more frequently, depending on your household. Take a look at the filter in your oil furnace to see if this is the issue. If replacing a dirty or clogged filter doesn’t solve the problem, then you should consider some of the other common causes.

4. Your Oil Furnace Has An Underlying Problem

A pervasive odor of fuel oil might point to a much deeper furnace problem like inefficient performance. If the oil is not fully combusting, then the remainders can create a lingering odor. It’s a good idea to also check for burner cracks given that fumes are known to escape through these.

A seasoned HVAC professional can identify the exact issue. It may be that you have a failing heat exchanger. No matter what the problem is, this situation requires the skill, knowledge, and experience of a licensed Tevis Energy HVAC technician.

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Is Having An Oil Smell In The Home Dangerous?

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The smell of fuel oil causes concern due to a possible impact on human health. This is all the more true for any household with a heating oil tank in the basement or in another enclosed space. In reality, the fumes from furnace fuel oil are far less dangerous than the fumes from natural gas. In low concentrations, fuel oil fumes are not known to be toxic. Moreover, fuel oil is sufficiently stable and thus, explosions are not imminent. Notwithstanding these facts, it is generally best to avoid exposure to these fumes as much as possible.

If you have a lingering smell of fuel oil in your home, contact an expert. If you choose to ignore the problem, the problem may become increasingly complex.

The signs and symptoms caused by short-term exposure will abate shortly after the smell has dissipated. Long-term exposure, however, may cause severe health issues. If you aren’t able to identify the odor’s source, call a professional immediately.

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What You Should Do If You Smell Fuel Oil In Your Home

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Review the above list and take advantage of the recommendations. Change out the air filter in your HVAC system, look for cracks in the burner, and check the nearby ground for any oil spills. To be safe, turn your heating system off until you’ve found and resolved the issue. If the odor is noticeable inside of the home, keep the area well-ventilated. Release the fumes by opening up nearby windows and doors. For safety purposes, keep your children and any household pets away from the area of contamination.

If the oil has spilled during a heating oil delivery, try preventing the spread of fuel by using absorbent materials. If you find any damaged materials, isolate them, and be sure to clean all affected surfaces with soap and water. These are just basic tips for mitigating relatively minor issues.

If you ever find yourself dealing with far more than you can reasonably handle, it’s time to call the experts in. There are times when more is going on than what homeowners are able to detect themselves via sight and smell. As such, it is always a good idea to have the problem investigated by a licensed technician.

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Conclusion

Most consumers have a very sharp sense of smell and with good reason. This sense alerts us to hazards that might not be heard or seen. Foul and suspicious odors make it possible to identify and resolve problems immediately. If your home furnace is emitting a heating oil scent, then you should work diligently and proactively to identify the source of this aroma.

Emitting oil fuels isn’t normal for oil furnace heating systems given that fuel oil should always be safely contained in the tank. Some of the more common triggers include initial use of the furnace after a period of rest, a fuel oil delivery, a dirty air filter, and possible underlying issues with the furnace itself. You can work with a trusted HVAC professional to identify the problem and take care of it.
For truly superior home comfort solutions, get in touch with Tevis Energy.

Call Tevis Energy For Superior Home Comfort Solutions

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Tevis Energy proudly offers top-rated HVAC services and heating oil deliveries throughout central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. Our amazing team has been built with certified HVAC professionals who can expertly handle HVAC installations, repairs, tune-ups, and total system replacements. You’re guaranteed to get correct servicing for your HVAC system due to the extensive experience and knowledge that our technicians possess.

Tevis Energy maintains highly competitive prices on heating and cooling services throughout the area. With our options in maintenance service, your home can become more comfortable and more energy-efficient, even as you enjoy lower HVAC costs all-around. If you want to boost the quality of your indoor air, we are always here to help. Our techs can offer you advanced solutions for home comfort, heating, air filtration, and cooling. In addition to being affordable, all of our services are backed by a full satisfaction guarantee.

We additionally provide rapid, reliable, and affordable fuel oil delivery to help you stay warm and safe during winter. Call Tevis Energy to schedule your appointment today. We provide in-home estimates for free.

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