my house smells like smoke!!!

jamarazDecember 24, 2009

Hi. I don't normally post on this forum but I hope you guys can help me. My house smells like smoke. It's been cold in the northeast and my heat has been working overtime. My office, which is the farthest room from my boiler room has smelled of smoke for two weeks. I've been the only one who seemed to smell the smoke. Today, my husband smelled the smoke in the hallway and is finally starting to believe me. We've checked the boiler room and my basement doesn't smell of smoke. I have 2 zones for central air. My downstairs unit heats the basement and there is no trace of smoke in the basement only the first floor. My upstairs seems to be fine but I did smell some smoke upstairs when we first put on the heat in November.

What do you think could be causing this smell? I'm starting to get a little nervous that a fire could be brewing somewhere in my house.

Thanks for your help.

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Do you heat with oil? Is it a boiler, as you say; hot water heat?

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 7:12AM
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I feel a little silly not knowing what I have but I pay a gas bill, so I guess it's gas heat? It must be connected to water somehow because the unit is "gurgling" right now.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 8:40AM
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I am not trying to be a smart aleck but it would be mighty difficult to "diagnose" your problem/issue from an internet forum like this. A smoke smell differs depending on source like oil, electric, plastic, wood. Since your husband also smelled something then I would treat that as confirmation that you do have an issue. I will assume you have thoroughly investigated your home from top to bottom and been unable to locate the source. I will also assume that this smell was first noticed when the heating season began. If true, I would immediately schedule a service call from your local HVAC dealer. I would want to cover all my bases rather than come home to a home burned down. You might call your fire dept for advice/suggestions. Just err on the side of safety for you, your family, and home.

Post back what they find.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 8:55AM
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Agreed with tigerdunes. Since you say gas, it doesn't produce a "smoke" smell, but it does produce an odorless gas called carbon monoxide, which will kill you in enough quantity, and you'll never smell a thing.

Possibly a hot motor somewhere, with an electrical smoky smell.

Better safe than sorry and get someone qualified to look at it.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 10:08AM
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Thanks for your input. I will have my HVAC guy take a look at it. It's just odd because the smell was prevalent last night but there is no smell today. I also noticed last night that there was a flame emblem on my digital thermostat. I lowered the heat and the flame signal went away. I wonder if I am just keeping my house temp. to high? I try to keep it around 71 degrees but it often bounces up to 74 degrees. Could the high temp. be what I am smelling? Is it just too much gas burning?

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 10:50AM
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The flame emblem on your thermostat means nothing other than your furnace or boiler is supposed to be operating. Some digital thermostats have a very tight band of controlling your thermostat setting. Obviously, yours does not. I don't recall my thermostat for my dual fuel system ever overshooting or undershooting stat setting. You might ask your dealer about this as it can affect both comfort and operating cost. It is doubtful that the overshooting that you appear to have is the cause of the "smell". Keep in mind that most if not all nat gas distributors place an odor additive in the nat gas to alert users of a possible leak. Nat gas by itself and carbon monoxide do not smell. Ask servicing dealer to check for both carbon monoxide and nat gas leaks as well as good operation of your boiler. I still think discussing your situation with the local fire dept is a good idea.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 11:34AM
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