Brand new oil furnace extremely smelly

Hi all,
Loving this group and exchanges, which I found when I learned my 35 year old oil furnace needed replacing. Yesterday, it was replaced it with a new heat pump (never have had one) and a new high efficiency Trane oil furnace. Last night, I turned it off (the oil) after being on an hour (very cold house) because the fumes were terrible---causing watery eyes, scratchy throat and headache. Turned it back on this morning for a bit, and again, the odor was terrible. It seems start when the air actually starts coming through the vents. Is this normal for a new furnace in terms of initial start-up? Are there any questions I should ask the contractor? Could anyone recommend a good CO detector beyond the Lowes/home depot types? Thank you very much in advance...
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Have your contractor come back immediatley. What you are describing is in no way normal and may cause you to wake up dead.
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Im sure you can get a pro Co unit but digital read out Co meters from First Alet etc are accurate monitor register at 01 ppm and hold peak readings in memory for review till reset and are only 30$ or so. You will know if any Co is there. They dont alarm till 50 or so is reached for a period of time, but by checking the peak memory it will do what a pro unit does cheaper. Maybe it isnt venting out the chimney right, a blockage.
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First Alert doesn't make CO monitors. They only make CO alarms, and they are not very accurate either.
Is your family's life worth $39?
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I don't think it's been determed yet what the smell is, has it? Or whether it was a diy install? With a new furnace, it could be paint/dust/hand oils, mfg oils, etc etc etc burning off. A brand new furnace always stinks the first several cycles & it decreases quickly each time. Usually it smells like hot paint. If it's exhaust, that's a different story. If it can be smelled, it's not just CO; CO has no odor, causes headaches, not scratchy throat & eyes.
If it's not the "newness" smells burning off for sure, then the OP needs to get someone in to look it over. CO detectors et al aren't the answer right now. You need the CO detectors for the stuff you can't smell & feel until you get a headache and fall asleep.
: > Im sure you can get a pro Co unit but digital read out Co meters from : > First Alet etc are accurate monitor register at 01 ppm and hold peak : > readings in memory for review till reset and are only 30$ or so. You : > will know if any Co is there. They dont alarm till 50 or so is reached : > for a period of time, but by checking the peak memory it will do what a : > pro unit does cheaper. Maybe it isnt venting out the chimney right, a : > blockage. : > : : First Alert doesn't make CO monitors. They only make CO alarms, and they : are not very accurate either. : : Is your family's life worth $39? : :
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Pop wrote:

I wondered why everyone was jumping on the CO issue. Gees, he said it smells, you already have a built in detector. Probably just new burn smell, otherwise maybe something is burning that shouldn't be burning. Oh, maybe some one should suggest a smoke detector! maybe an oxygen level meter? voltage meter? rain detector? light meter?
I believe that is justified sarcasm. Now maybe someone should ask the OP to better describe the smell.
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... : I believe that is justified sarcasm. Now maybe : someone should ask the OP to better describe the : smell.
I imagine the OP is long gone by now, disgusted with the useless responses here. There seems to be a combination of a troll population here plus a group of guessers and rationalizers that give advice on things they aren't familiar with. That tends to send people away to the forums instead of the newsgroups. Takes all kinds, I guess.
Pop
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Here's a fairly decent CO detector:
http://www.bacharach-inc.com/monoxor_iii.htm
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Do not waste time here on such a situation. Get the vendor/installer there immediately, have him identify the source of the problem, and fix it to your satisfaction. Or, if your cousin Vinny set it up, get somebody competent to make it right, NOW. CO is certainly not your only concern.
Tell us about the details later.
J
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: Do not waste time here on such a situation. Get the vendor/installer : there immediately, have him identify the source of the problem, and fix : it to your satisfaction. Or, if your cousin Vinny set it up, get : somebody competent to make it right, NOW. CO is certainly not your only : concern. : : Tell us about the details later. : : J : That's excellent advice. Usually in installed system is "de-smelled", too, when it's installed. If the fumes are as toxic as described, then it's not just hot paint & plastics. Either way, the time to get pro help is now.
Pop
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Go shopping for a few hours and let it run with the windows open. It will have cleared up completely by the time you get back.
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I have yet to see one of the new furnaces we have installed NOT stink (or set of the smoke alarm!). It's the oils and such on the heat exchanger that are burning off. At this time of the year, with the house closed up, it will take a while to make it go away. It WILL go away, though. If you are really concerned (which is understandable) call the installer back out and have him check it out.
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Sounds like you are describing more than a "first-time-run" furnace. Get them back right away. While they are there, have them recheck the setup of the burner. They should be able to give you all the flue readings if you ask. It should have been setup by someone with a digital combustion analyzer, draft and smoke readings and temps. If it wasnt, you'll never know if it is burning efficiently. If you want a good CO detector, go to: www.coexperts.com They arent cheap and they are good. Bubba
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Hi all, and thank you for your thoughts. The contractor (who installed the system and who has been in heating/air 22 yrs) was back out yesterday morning to complete the job.
His opinion was that it was a new-burn smell, given that the heat exchanger and other parts are coated in an oil during the manufacturing process. He expected this would go away within 6-8 hours of continuous running. He also thought that the sore throat/scratchiness could be do to small particles of fiberglass in the ducts as I had quite a bit of new ductwork installed.
The original owner did an odd thing, which was to run the flue beside the chimney through the basement, and finally have it enter the chimney in the bedroom. I have gotten numerous suggestions on what should be done from the home inspector to other heating/air contractors. However, when part of the flue was replaced in the basement during installation Monday, it jostled some of the cement furnace sealer so that it cracked and was no longer secured either at the floor or where the flue enters the chimney. This didn't get fixed until the contractor came back yesterday, potentially allowing exhaust gases into the house during the inital run.
He did reaply cement, but I wonder if this is a permanent fix.
Came home yesterday and all the animals are still alive. The smell lingers, as it was very strong, but it is not blowing through the vents anymore. Suggestions to leave windows open was a good idea. At this point, there is an odor that, as others have described, smells like a deisel truck on start up. The contractor is coming back tomorrow a.m. for follow-up, and said that he will check out any persisting smells.
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...also (from me the OP), my old oil furnace rarely had an oil smell associated unless I had just fired it up for start of season, or oil tank was getting low, or had just been filled.
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If its really smelling like a diesel truck, then somethings wrong, since you are basically burning diesel.... You should never smell oil, or anything that resembles oil when they fire, or run. As far as the "new smell"...gone within 10 minutes of run time...anything on the heat exchanger is burned off in the first 90 seconds or so of burn time, and its gone...if it was painted, its set rock hard...if its a copper sprayed ThermoPride, its got an odd smell that stays for a while, but its not due to any oil.. Im thinking you either have a real sensitive snazz, or you have an issue that your installing contractor either caused, or cant find....
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peppyjd wrote:

Thanks for the return info. Often the OP (you) never returns or reports on the remedy. As long as you have a good contractor you shouldn't have any worry. Bet that wasn't fiberglass that caused the throat irritation. Burn products especially at new burn in can easily cause throat irrigations. Best result with any item that gets hot (even a small electric heater) is to have plenty of ventilation during the first hour or two of operation. Staying alert, like you have, is a good thing. Good Luck.
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