I live in an older house in a very cold climate. Most of the time, my life isn’t affected by my living conditions. The only exception would be my laundry habits. I live about 20 minutes from town, and I don’t have a washer or drier at home. Sometimes, I make the trip into town to do laundry, but most of the time I just wash my clothes by hand at home. I use oil heaters to heat my house, and they always work very well. On top of heating my home, I use the oil heaters to dry my clothes inside when it is below freezing outside. One day, I had just finished hanging up my laundry over my heater, when it suddenly began spewing black smoke. Alarmed, I unplugged the heater and called the HVAC company to diagnose the problem. He told me that by drying my clothes over my oil heater, I was introducing a lot of moisture into the air around my oil heater. The moisture had damaged my heater’s thermal fuse, which is what controls when the heater turns off. With the thermal fuse damaged, my heater overheated and started to burn the oil inside. The burnt oil caused all the black smoke in my home. The HVAC technician also told me that I was lucky to catch the smoke when I did. Apparently, a damaged thermal fuse can cause explosions in oil heaters. I guess this was the best case scenario. The worst part of it is that now, I have to go into town to do laundry.