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
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
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
: > Im sure you can get a pro Co unit but digital read out Co
: > First Alet etc are accurate monitor register at 01 ppm and
: > readings in memory for review till reset and are only 30$ or
: > will know if any Co is there. They dont alarm till 50 or so
: > 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
: > 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?
Ha. Finally a sane answer.
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
: I believe that is justified sarcasm. Now maybe
: someone should ask the OP to better describe the
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.
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
Tell us about the details later.
: Do not waste time here on such a situation. Get the
: there immediately, have him identify the source of the problem,
: it to your satisfaction. Or, if your cousin Vinny set it up,
: somebody competent to make it right, NOW. CO is certainly not
: Tell us about the details later.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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....
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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