Heating With Oil? Here’s How To Eliminate Smells From Your Home
If you’re heating with oil, this is the time of year for spills. Most home fuel oil spills occur at the beginning of the season. Oil delivery personnel may be unfamiliar with the home, and changes may have occurred to the system since last winter. Fill pipes may have become disconnected or developed leaks during the off-season. New, inexperienced deliverers may overfill tanks. Once the spill is done, the odor is not far behind. It can impact your home’s indoor air quality, cause headaches and allergic responses and generally sicken occupants.
Here’s what to do if you’re heating with oil and encounter a spill:
- As soon as a spill happens, notify the oil company and your local fire department. Some departments will dispatch a unit to help with safety issues.
- Shut down the furnace and close off access to the basement or furnace room where the spill occurred to isolate the odor. Try to keep air circulation into the rest of the house from the area of the spill to a minimum.
- Open as many windows as possible in the area of the spill to dilute the odor. Remove any oil-soaked material and take it outdoors.
- Working from the perimeter of the spill inward, spread cat litter or scented laundry detergent on the spill to absorb it. Scoop it up after it’s saturated and place it in plastic garbage bags and seal the bags. Reapply as necessary to absorb all the oil.
- Fill a bucket with a mixture of hot water, dishwashing soap and a small bottle of vanilla extract. Use the solution to wash down the area of the spill after the oil is absorbed. Expect to repeat this process many times, as well as maintain maximum ventilation until the odor diminishes
- Dispose of oil soaked material and rags in a manner that complies with local environmental regulations.
Call us today for more advice on heating with oil and any other indoor air quality issues.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: The Puzzler