In the chilly winter months, many people count on heating oil to warm their homes and comfort them. However, it can be far from comforting when your house smells like heating oil. Home heating oil has a strong scent that’s easy to identify, but it can be challenging to identify the source.
We’ll guide you through the potential causes of a heating oil smell, the possible health effects, and what you can do to clean oil spills and eliminate the scent from your home.
In general, you shouldn’t be able to smell heating oil inside your home. If you’re smelling a distinct oily odor in your home, it could be a sign that there’s a problem. However, there are some instances where the smell of heating oil is expected and shouldn’t be cause for concern, including:
A persistent smell can be a sign of something more serious, such as:
It’s normal to be concerned when you’re smelling heating oil in your home. While heating oil fumes aren’t as dangerous as gas fumes, resolving the issue should be a priority. Leaks or spills can cause some health symptoms, including:
You can avoid long-term health risks by finding the source of the heating oil fumes and fixing the problem as soon as possible. Look for signs of leaks and spills when you start smelling heating oil in your home to rule out a potential oil spill. Contact a professional right away if you’re having trouble identifying where the smell is coming from.
Cleaning up an oil spill immediately after it occurs is the best way to prevent adverse health effects for your and your family. Oil also damages its nearby surroundings by soaking into materials like carpet or hardwood flooring, which absorb the smell and can require costly repairs. Call your heating oil delivery company before taking any actions of your own to clean up the spill. They are professionals and will be equipped to clean it up and ensure EPA compliance. The size of the oil spill will determine the steps needed for cleaning up the oil spill.
If you have a spill or leak, be sure to take the following actions:
The professionals will use absorbent material to soak up the oil and make sure it is properly disposed of to ensure environmental protection. They will also clean the affected area with soap and water.
You may need to throw out anything that’s been damaged. Oil can soak many materials, such as wood, carpet, and some types of furniture. These materials hang onto the heating oil smell and should be thrown out as soon as possible. Some items can be saved, but get rid of anything that you can’t fix to prevent oil fumes from hanging around.
If you have a more significant spill on your hands, you’ll need professional help to clean it up and remove the heating oil fumes from your home.
The spill is cleaned up, but the smell of oil might still be lingering in the air. The ventilation you did earlier will help, but there are additional methods you can use to eliminate the heating oil smell for good:
If you’ve tried all of these methods and the smell persists, the oil may still be present somewhere in your home. Consult a professional to determine if there’s an issue with your tank or HVAC system.
Staying warm in the cold season is essential. Having enough heating oil to power your furnace will ensure your comfort, even on the coldest days of the year. Shipley Energy can deliver heating oil right to your door on-demand or on an automatic schedule. We even offer emergency deliveries when your heating oil runs out unexpectedly. We can repair and replace your tank as needed to ensure your system is working at its best.