Sorry for the repost. First post doesn't show up.
After much trial and error, I found a ceramic space heater that seemed
to smell least like burning rubber or plastic. I purchased two. They
worked for one winter. This winter, I repeatedly smell an ongoing
machine oil smell coming after about half hour operation. The colder
the intake air, the more it smells like the oil is burning; this is
only a rough correlation, it isn't *always*
like that. So when the
air is cool, it will often smell like hot oil; when it is cooler, it
smells like smoldering oil, or even burning oil (at this point, it
smells like a diesel engine, or burning rubber). The diesel smell
sometimes occurs even when it is warm. More ofthen, though, the
smells are less when the room is warm (above 75F), but I don't really
need them that much when the room is warm. Unfortunately, I occupy a
space which must be continuously ventilated with outside air, so it's
always cold (which is more likely to bring on the problem with the oil
smell). The only guess I have for the cause of the problem is that
cold temperature affects the seals for the motor lubricants. The
lubricants leak out and get heated or vaporized by the heater. This
is only a guess.
After prolonged continuous exposure to the fumes, it can be quite
nasty. The machines still have plenty of warranty time left, but I
doubt the store will take them back (and that's reasonable,
considering that I used them throughout last winter). They need to be
sent to the manufacturer; I imagine that round-trip shipping will cost
in the order of half of the original price of the machine. I also
need a heater at all times. Even if I sent it, the manufacturer would
probably replace them with a newer model, but there is no guarantee
that the problem will be eliminated; as I said, these were least
smelly of many heaters tried, and it is possible that new ones will
smell worse at the outset, (and maybe even more worser after one
winter). Hence, sending it back does not seem like a good option.
For the sake of breathability, I am considering getting 2 more heaters
-- without any fan motors. This leaves oil-filled and radiant heaters
(with the orange glowing tubes). Because of the continous draft from
ventilating, I think the radiant heaters would be most suitable.
However, the only radiant 1500W heater I've seen has a fan at the top.
The ostensible reason is to distribute the heat more; of course, it
does this, but I suspect the real reason because the machine simply
gets too hot. People buy radiant heaters because they want focused
heat, and the improved distribution from the fan would not be
appreciated in those situations.
I've looked around quite a bit to find a 1500W radiant heater with no
fan (found some 1000W ones). They don't seem to exist. Is this a
pointless search? I am searching in Canada.
I'd also appreciate any comments on what might be causing the smell.
Is my guess at the temperature dependent lubricant seal plausible or
likely? Does my reasoning for not sending it back seem sound?
Anything I've overlooked?
What about my rationale for choosing radiant heaters over oil-filled
for my situation? Perhaps someone from outside my situation can see
some considerations that I currently do not.