get rid of heating oil smell in house

If you use heating oil to warm up your home through the cold season, then chances are you may have experienced its characteristic smell at some point in time. If you’re wondering how to get the advantages of heating oil without having the heating oil smell in the house, here’s a blog with some useful basics and tips to help you.

When Will You Smell Heating Oil?

Heating oil is a commonly used fuel in homes across America and while it is generally safe to use, there are certain circumstances which will lead you to experience its smell.

  •  Malfunctioning furnace or tank
  •  Cracked or damaged pipe
  •  Spill during delivery

Is The Smell of Heating Oil Harmful?

Yes, prolonged exposure to the smell of  heating oil could lead to one or more of the following conditions:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Respiratory problems

Tips to Eliminate The Smell of Heating Oil

1. Replace the Oil Filter

An oil filter in your heating system that has become clogged could cause the oil to become dirty and emit its distinctly ‘unpleasant’ odor. The best way for heating oil smell removal in this case would be to either replace the oil filter by yourself or have a heating oil company in your neighborhood do it for you.

2. Clean the Oil Tank

 If you have a sludge build-up in your tank, this could be a reason for the oil to release an odor. The solution – clean the tank. Hire a professional for oil tank tune-up who will first drain the tank completely and then follow it up with a thorough scrub and rinse. A clean oil tank will help you get rid of the heating oil smell that has not only been bothering you but also endangering your family’s health.

3. Ventilate Your Home

 If you don’t have any issues with your oil tank or furnace, any pipe damage or oil spill and still have the smell of oil lingering around, the best thing to do is to ventilate your home. Open your windows and doors to let fresh air in, and turn on the fans to circulate the air. You could also use air purifiers or dehumidifiers to clear the odor from your surrounding environment.

4. Use Odor Absorbers

 If ventilating your home doesn’t clear away the odor of heating oil, you could try a stronger approach. Odor absorbers. Available in various forms including sprays, sachets and candles, these products are specially designed to absorb oil odors in any and every environment.

5. Wash Fabrics and Surfaces

 The lingering smell of heating oil may also be due to the vapors getting absorbed by fabrics and surfaces around your home. The best way to eliminate this ‘passive odor’ is to wash all affected fabrics such as curtains, blankets and clothing, in hot water with a strong detergent. Also do a thorough cleaning of all the surfaces that may have come in contact with the oil vapors, including floors, walls and countertops with a cleaning solution.

6. Call in a Professional

 If you continue to experience a strong smell of heating oil in your house despite trying out the above-listed tips, then it’s time to call in a professional. Contact a heating oil company that you trust, to inspect your heating system and oil tank to identify the source of the odor and then recommend an expert solution. 


If you’re experiencing the smell of heating oil and are looking for ways to handle the problem, try out the tips shared above. If you want to save yourself the trouble however, and want the issue handled quickly and professionally, reach out to us. We’re Boyle Energy – a heating oil company in Havertown, PA that has been serving communities with excellence and integrity since 1937. Contact us at 610 595 4717 or 215 709 9196 for experts who’ll love to provide answers to your questions or services for your unique needs.