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  1. #1

    Kerosene Furnace Smell

    I have a kerosene furnace in a mobile home. I know there can be a kerosene smell when you first start up your furnace. I still have that smell into December and myself, husband and son are getting sick. Our carbon monoxide detectors were installed by us when we moved in in July. The detectors do not go off. My doctor took bloodwork to see if any causes could be related to the kerosene fumes. Is this dangerous? Our detectors are not going off so I don't know what to do or if there are other dangers by the fumes. We have never been this sick and when we go away our cold/flu symptoms stop. Also, our lanlord will not fix the smell, he got someone to service the furnace, but I don't know if the guy was a professional as I was not home when it was serviced. Is this something he should be required to do does anyone know?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,842
    Some people are more sensitive to fuel oil smells. You should not have any odor from the furnace so there is a problem somewhere. Faulty chimney vent, cracked heat exchanger, or plugged heat exchanger. Your landlord is leaving himself open for serious problems and he needs to address the furnace issues immediately. Carbon monoxide is a by-product of combustion and is present in all flue gases produced by fossil fuel burning appliances in different levels. Fuel oil and kerosene do not normally produce the levels that natural gas does so CO poisoning is alot less likely. Normally the other particulates cause irritation long before CO becomes an issue.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  3. #3

    Thank You

    Thank you heater man that is what I assumed from checking EPA/CDC websites by wanted to double check. I live in a rural part of PA and did not know where to ask and found this great website. I think I will contact my fire department to ask about services in the area about getting the problem fixed. To make the situation more ironic, my landlord has a contracting company, but in PA they do not need to be licensed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    2,677
    Ask the fire department if they have a co detector that they come out and test homes with, or call a local HVAC contractor, ask how much they would charge you to come test the levels, just because your store bought $50 detectors don't go off doesn't mean there is no problem. A dirty burning oil furnace can produce LOTS of CO very quickly, and if there is a breech in the heat exchanger it will be enough to kill in no time at all. (Go to bed, Wake up dead!)

    Also find out if there is a local housing authority that can force the landlords to get this thing repaired properly or replaced.

    Worst case, get out of the lease and move asap! If a landlord is not willing to keep his renters safe, his places need to sit empty.
    You can't fix stupid

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,041
    Quote Originally Posted by cmajerus View Post
    Ask the fire department if they have a co detector that they come out and test homes with, or call a local HVAC contractor, ask how much they would charge you to come test the levels, just because your store bought $50 detectors don't go off doesn't mean there is no problem. A dirty burning oil furnace can produce LOTS of CO very quickly, and if there is a breech in the heat exchanger it will be enough to kill in no time at all. (Go to bed, Wake up dead!)

    Also find out if there is a local housing authority that can force the landlords to get this thing repaired properly or replaced.

    Worst case, get out of the lease and move asap! If a landlord is not willing to keep his renters safe, his places need to sit empty.

    perfectly stated

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