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  1. #1

    my house smells like exhaust

    Hi. Yesterday, the furnace wasn't kicking on. I pushed the button that makes it run until you push it again and just got cold air. I less the reset button and it lit, but then, black smoke came out from the exhaust. I turned down the thermostat to make it shut off then called the landlord. The guy came out to look at it. While he was here, the house filled with a smoke smell. He said the chamber had fuel oil on the sides and when I reset it, it all ignited causing the smoke. It is fine he said. He didn't know what had caused the interruption, but it is fine.
    We left an hour later, and came home about 6 hours later. When we turned up the thermostat, it kicked on right away, but the house filled with an exhaust smell. It dissipates, but when the furnace comes on, the smell comes back with a vengeance.

    Furnace heats with fuel oil. stove is propane. All else is electric.
    I just want to know what would cause the exhaust smell?
    thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,635
    the smell is probably from the fire box being saturated with fuel oil then igniting

    the smoke is a source of concern....

    when was the last time this thing was serviced by a qualified technician?

    and did they check the integrity of the heat exchanger?
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    1,339
    I would have a professional check the system, Even if I had to pay for it myself.
    Never give up; Never surrender!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,286
    We don't have oil heaters in my area, but even so it's obvious to me that if you're smelling smoke in the house, you're smelling particles of combustion, which can include carbon monoxide.

    I think your landlord needs a second opinion on the furnace, and I would recommend a carbon monoxide detector...the only one I can feel good about recommending is one sold by CO Experts (you can google them) that alarm at much lower levels than the units sold in stores. They do so because you should not have any carbon monoxide in your house, and if you do it's best if you know what level you have so you know what actions to take.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,861

    Arrow Could be a dangerous situation...

    That fuel oil is injected into the Combustion Chamber which is usually a soft high heat resistant fiber.

    Delayed ignition could have previously caused an explosion that cracked the combustion chamber...

    Though the Heat Exchanger may be okay, the Combustion Chamber may have been damaged.

    Due to a damaged Combustion Chamber, the considerable runtime before the blower starts could allow some leakage into the air supply.

    IMO, the "Combustion Chamber" should be thoroughly checked.

    Every component of the heating system needs to be thoroughly checked & all tests made to perform to their Best Standard of Performance Specifications.
    Just my viewpoint...

    Call an expert PRO on Oil Furnaces.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,422
    I agree with Udarrel, but MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A QUALITY WORKING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR IN YOUR HOME!!! I'D ALSO RECOMMEND A SMOKE DETECTOR. Generally if you're smelling smoke, there is something wrong. If the detectors go off, shut off the furnace, leave and get this fixed. Either way, get a professional who works on oil furnaces to go over this unit!!! Beware of a "guy who knows a little" who the landlord hires cheap to mow the lawn and scoop the snow!

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