Guilty by Association?

A few years ago, I wrote an article about soot and how it can occur. The article was published and I received many comments about it ‘ most good and a few bad. Such is the life I lead. The interesting thing about it was that many e-mails and phone questions I received had nothing to do with the article I wrote, but an article someone else wrote.

The article in question was about the formation of soot from candles. I know many of you are starting to remember now, right? I wish I had written that article, but unfortunately I only read it and can’t take credit for authoring it. For many years I have been trying to answer the question asked, ‘If you didn’t, do you know who did?”

I often talked about my dilemma to friends, all of whom I totally respect for their abilities. I was almost ready to give it up when a good friend of mine, Don Potter, faxed me an article he had been holding on to for many years. This goes to show you that you should NEVER throw out any written article involving your industry. Thanks to Don, the answer to that age old question can finally be revealed. By the way, Don is a long time member of NAOHSM, an organization you should belong to if you are in any way involved in the oil industry. The combined years of experience in this organization is invaluable. They have the answers or can get them.

Don sent me this article from the Nov. 16, 1998 edition of Air Conditioning, Heating& Refrigeration News written by Jim Norland. In it he writes that Mr. Peter G. Engle P.E., owner of a building inspection and consulting firm, frequently encounters candles in his investigations. ‘When I see a house that has fragrant candles in it, whether burning or not, I let my clients know that sooting may be a problem.”

The article went on to say that Mr. Engle ‘has seen several different soot patterns on various interior surfaces that are related to candle soot including ghosting or telegraphing where the soot deposits respond to stud and rafter placement.” He also looks ‘for dark edges of carpets and drapes that act as filters for air flowing past them

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