oily smell in house

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Old 10-27-07, 12:56 PM
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oily smell in house

Hello all, first time on here and I really need some help. I have a oil furnace and I have a bad oil smell coming thru the vents. I checked and the flue & chimney aren't blocked. Could this be a problem of fuel not burning completely? And if so what can I do to correct this? The burner is a Beckett. Sorry if I left out any info but I'm just going crazy with this smell. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 10-27-07, 05:21 PM
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Is it a oil smell or a exhaust smell? How old is your furnace? Is your basement damp? When was the last time it was serviced? Do you smell it when you are downstairs by the furnace?

As a hot air furnace gets older, it will eventually burn a hole through the heat exchanger causing the exhaust to mix with the house air. You should go get a carbon monoxide detector ASAP and leave the furnace off until then. You should also have a heat technician come in and check your furnace.

Another possibility is that maybe the furnace has a door open on the return air causing it to suck air from the basement and possible the exhaust from the furnace. I've seen this before too.

Either way, switch off the furnace until you get a carbon momoxide detector. Let us know the answers to the questions I asked above or call a heat technician to come check it out, which is the best idea! Either way turn it off until you find out why you are smelling it upstairs.
 
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Old 10-27-07, 09:44 PM
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Adam B, thanks for the reply, it's a oil smell, the furnace is at least 10 yrs old. I have a rancher style house so there is no basement the furnace is in my den area. I mentioned this to a guy who works in the hvac business and he said that it sounds like a crack in the heat exchange but I don't know if he was just saying that to fatten his pockets. I smell it when the furnace is running, as the heat is coming out of the vents thats when I smell it.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 10:16 AM
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The hot air furnaces usually last around 15 years, give or take so the HVAC guy might be right. There are some simple test that the VAC guy can do to tell if its the heat exchanger. But since you have the oil smell in your vents its a very good chance that your furnace needs to be replaced.

Do you smell it by the furnace at all, before the fan kicks on?
 
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Old 10-29-07, 09:10 AM
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Yes I smell it around the heater even when its not on, I was hoping that I wouldn't need a new one but thats what it might come down to
 
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Old 10-29-07, 09:45 AM
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If you smell it around the heater when its been off for a few minutes or a while, then you might have a oil leak. Probably would be best to have a tech come look at it. Mention that you have a oil smell and see what they come up with. If they find a oil leak somewhere and fix it, then ask if that would be why you have a oil smell in your vents. Sometimes the return air will suck are from around the furnace so that might be why you smell oil. They should check to see if there is a hole in the heat exchanger also.
 
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