Furnace left soot on my walls

When my furnace was working badly (the flue was clogged with soot, and only about a 2 inch diameter open), it got soot on the walls, especially where there were air currents and especially where the sheet rock was nailed to the wall in the big bedroom**
As suggested last year, I put cloves in the fire, but didn't smell any cloves coming out of the furnace. That is supposed to mean that the firebox is ok, a complete separation between the fire and the forced air.
So how did the soot get on the walls, especially where the hot air vents are in the walls or floor or ceiling?
Is the firebox breached even though I don't smell the cloves.
**It's amazing that even though I could never tell where the nails were before, there is a one-inch circle of light soot on top of most of them now.
Thanks, mm
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There is a dry sponge that will HELP remove the stains. Start talking to the SO. Time to repaint after you service the furnace.
http://www.thegadgetsource.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=tgs&Product_Code 1283300038
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I mean no offense, but:
Sounds like you don't get regular maintenance on your furnace (if you had, you wouldn't have a clogged flue).
Have someone come out and clean it and check it over real good.
Eff the cloves! If you are trusting that with your life, you had better think again.....
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On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 23:30:08 GMT, "Dr. Hardcrab"

Right. I didn't at the time.

Well, someone from a heating oil company did clean it. That's when I saw how clogged it was. And I've had it serviced again since then by another company, and neither said anything bad about the firebox. The second guy said it was ok.
But my question is, If the firebox IS ok, how is it possible that there are streaks/areas of soot on the wall at the outlets for the heated air?
How does the soot from the firebox get to the household air on the other side of the firewall?
I can imagine that sooty air escapes the fire chamber, permeates the house and deposits itself everywhere, but that isn't what happened. It's only on the sheetrock nails in most of the rooms where the heat was on, on the walls where the vents are, and by the mail slot (which I have now attempted to put weatherstripping in.) which is not too far from a heating vent.

I would trust my life to cloves. I also have a CO detector, which went off once beffore the furnace was cleaned.
Thanks,
mm

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It may not be the fire chamber, but just the hot air. Forgot what it is called but the wall behind a refrigerator that has the coils in the back can have a deposit of "dirt" on the wall due to the hot air flow.
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The soot was probably escaping and getting sucked right in to the ducts and deposited around the house. Some areas will have different deposits because of the convection currents in a given room. Sheetrock nails are less insulated than the rest of the wall. They are metal and the studs are wood and the R factor is less than an insulated wall.
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wrote:

I should go look at the big intake vent in the basement, but without doing that, I think this is likely it. It accounts for why the soot is at the output vents. How the soot escapes in the first place, I don't know, but there is a lot less to keep me wondering about if I accept your explanation.

Yes, there are a few triangular dark spots on the ceiling with one side of the triangle against the wall.

OK. So the cold attracts the soot for some reason. Maybe it has to with electric charges, or convection or whatever. But at least you've distinguished between the naiils and the rest of the ceiling.
I will get this all cleaned and painted eventually.
Thanks all for the answers.
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If you are getting soot out of the vents, then you probably have a cracked heat exchanger instead of a cracked firebox (or course, a cracked firebox can cause a cracked heat exchanger, but I digress).
Good possibility: when the chimney was stopped up, you were getting a lot of back pressure. Depending on the design of your furnace cabinet, sometimes the blower compartment doesn't have a tight seal and it cab suck fumes/soot into it a blow it throughout your ducts.
Hey! It may be O.K. Just have it checked over real good (every year!) and keep those batteries fresh in the CO detector...
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On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 03:51:48 GMT, "Dr. Hardcrab"

I'm sorry. I forgot the words heat exchanger and meant that when I said firebox.

That would mean the chimney was stopped up for even longer than I thought. But that could certainly be.

That might be.

110 Volts. I knew I wouldn't be reliable in changing batteries. I have a 110 volt smoke detector too on the second floor, and a battery one in the kitchen and basement.. I used to change the batteries in those reliably, until I got depressed. Not depressed anymore. I got to get back inthe habit.
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mm wrote:

Any smokers or candle burning in the apartment? Both will leave the type of soot deposits you describe.

See above, the crap is in the household air.
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Yes, candles can be nasty. I know people that have one or two burning all the time. Makes no sense to me. Where do they thing all that burned was is going to go? On the walls, ceiling, furniture, etc.
Years of smoking can be nasty too. I remember buying new lamp shades and then sitting on the sofa having a cigarette. The smoke was going up the inside of the new lamp shade and would soon discolor it. I quite smoking and since have not permitted it in my house. That was almost 30 years ago.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

The part I can't understand is that the candle burning is usually done by smokers who claim it "freshens" the air?
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The soot may have been coming out the barometric damper.
Stretch
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agreed, that is what I have seen happen too..
to the op, the baro damper is the device on the flue pipe with the little weighted door that can swing open and closed
Mark
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Strangely, the first company, I think it was, had taped that shut.. He put some silver colored tape around the whole rim.
Technicians before him had ajusted the little counterweight a little, or just left it alone. I couldn't understand why he was disabling a part that the original installers (and manufacturers?) thought should be there, and which is usually there.
I asked the service guy the next time, and he said it was fine that it was taped up. I asked the next guy from the next company, and he untaped it, but I don't know if that was just to make me happy, because he perceived I wanted it this way, or because he agreed it should be untaped, but didn't want to get into a discussion with me where he tries to overrule an earlier tech.
And maybe he would have said something in a few minutes if I hadn't.
So, strangely, it was taped up I'm pretty sure when all the soot came out., but I'm willing to believe.... Note to me: go look at the big air input vent and finish this paragraph.

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wrote:

Was that what made you quit smoking? You seem to say that, but not quite.
Very interesting.

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wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions, but nope, not a bit. And it only happened during the month or two the furnace was bad.

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