Should My Furnace Smell Like Heating Oil?

woman who smells heating oil in her home

Heating oil is a low cost but highly efficient furnace fuel. Hence, it is not a surprise that this is what many American homes rely on to make sure that the cold winter months are more bearable. If you use heating oil and you detect a fuel odor out of the blue, it is only reasonable for you to worry. You might wonder, “Will this be a problem around the house?” Heating oil smell has a distinct odor, but a containment system should be able to mitigate the issue. The scent will most likely disappear on its own. However, there are some rare cases when the smell can persist. If you find yourself in that situation, call an HVAC technician from Townsend Energy. An expert can help you find the root cause and solve it so that you can enjoy better indoor air quality.

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Is It Normal To Smell Heating Oil?

The smell of heating oil shouldn’t linger inside your home. However, it can happen. Some instances can be fleeting, whereas others can be more severe. Below are four of the likely causes of the smell of heating oil around your home:

1. You Recently Refilled Your Oil Tank

image of a heating oil delivery at a home

If you recently refilled your oil tank, then it isn’t unusual that you smell heating oil in the air inside your home for a little while. A couple of days should be enough for the faint odor to go away. If it takes longer, then check the ground. The oil delivery company might have spilled some oil. You can use an absorbent item to make sure it doesn’t spread any further. Any damaged parts should be separated before you clean the surface using soap and water.

With Townsend Energy on the job, you can rest assured that we can deliver your heating oil without any spills or concerns. Call us today to know more about our safe and reliable heating oil delivery services in New England.

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2. The Initial Furnace Use

Your heating systems are not in use during the summer months. After they have been idle for so long, it is natural that you smell burning oil when you first switch it on again at the beginning of the cold season. There is no need to fret as the smell will soon pass.

3. Furnace Filter Is Clogged

image of an oil-fired furnace filter replacement

The smell of oil can be a symptom of a blocked oil furnace filter. Keep in mind that the air filter should be replaced at least once every two to three months, depending on your home. Check to see if the furnace filter is what’s causing the smell. If replacing it doesn’t change anything, then it is likely caused by some other problem. Call a technician right away.


4. An Underlying Oil Furnace Problem

A heating oil smell could mean that your furnace has an underlying issue. It could be operating inefficiently. The combustion of oil might not be working correctly. As a result, the leftover oil could be what’s causing the smell to persist. The oil burner might have cracks as well. The fumes can escape via these gaps, which is then circulated throughout your house. Another viable reason is heat exchanger failure. A licensed technician from Townsend Energy should be able to pinpoint the problem and offer practical solutions.

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Is An Oil Smell Dangerous?

woman asking about dangers of heating oil

Homeowners are concerned about how the smell can affect their health and well-being. This holds true when the oil tank is located in the basement. Truthfully, inhaling natural gas is more dangerous than heating oil fumes. This means that inhaling heating oil in low quantities isn’t as toxic. It is also stable enough that you do not have to worry about explosions. However, it is still best that fumes are avoided at all times.

Any symptoms from exposure for a short while should disappear once the smell is gone. Long exposure should be avoided at all costs as it can cause health issues. Make sure to call a professional technician when there is a lingering oil smell throughout your home. An expert can trace the source and fix the problem immediately.

What To Do If You Smell Heating Oil

If you smell heating oil, check the list above, and do the recommended actions. Do not forget to switch your heating system off until the issue is solved. Proper ventilation, such as opening windows around your house, can help dissipate the oil smell quicker. Make sure that your children and pets aren’t in the contaminated area to keep them safe.
The solutions mentioned above are just simple fixes to minor issues that your HVAC system might have. If you suspect that your unit is dealing with more than you can handle, make sure to seek professional assistance. A qualified HVAC expert should be able to help you determine the problem.

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Our sense of smell can warn us about any potential dangers that our eyes or ears cannot perceive. Foul odors let us know that there is a problem that needs to be remedied immediately. Therefore, you should look for the cause when your furnace smells like heating oil. It isn’t a natural occurrence as the heating oil system should be able to contain the fumes fully. An HVAC professional can help you assess the problem and solve it right away.

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Call Townsend Energy For Superior Home Comfort Solutions

te logoFor all your heating and cooling needs, make sure to call Townsend Energy. We have the best licensed and NATE certified HVAC contractors in New England. Our affordable services include furnace repairs, boiler maintenance, AC installations, and more! Each of our friendly techs has the skills, knowledge, and experience to conduct the necessary services to make sure that your system is in excellent working condition.

Townsend Energy’s maintenance services can improve your home comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency. We can help you achieve all these while reducing your energy costs. We back all our services with a guarantee because we value your satisfaction. We also offer fast fuel oil deliveries at the most competitive prices. Schedule an appointment with Townsend Energy by calling us today. We provide no-obligation, in-home estimates.

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