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Oil Heating System Troubleshooting Tips

Oil Heating System TroubleshootingDuring the cold weather months, it's important to think about your heating system before you have an emergency and it stops working correctly. Here are a few things you can do to troubleshoot your heating system before calling for professional help.

Is Your Furnace On?
Many furnaces have an emergency power switch on the wall that can look like a normal light switch. Make sure that it is switched on. Please note that it may take a few minutes for the furnace to begin running.

Check the Thermostat
The first step if you have a programmable thermostat is to see whether the battery needs to be replaced. Make sure that your thermostat is set to heat, and that the thermostat temperature is set higher by at least five degrees than the room temperature.

If you have a forced air furnace, make sure your thermostat switch that controls the furnace fan is switched to “on”.

Check Your Fuel Level
The next thing you can check on your own is the fuel level. While this is a simple step, it is important and is often overlooked.

Tripped Circuit Breaker
Even if your electrician hasn’t labelled your appliances, you can try finding the circuit for the furnace by looking for the switch in the “off” position. Go ahead and flip it to the “on” position.


Are Your Filters Dirty?
You can also check the filter on your oil furnace, as a clogged filter can prevent your oil furnace from running correctly. When the filter is clogged, the furnace is unable to intake enough air to run. This can cause your furnace to run inefficiently, or stop running all-together.

Perhaps It’s Time to Replace the Furnace?
If your furnace is over 16 years old, or you find that your furnace keeps breaking down, it may be time to replace your furnace. For more information on whether you may need to replace your furnace, see Is It Time for A New Furnace?

Prevent Problems Before They Happen
Preventive maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure that your heating system runs at peak efficiency. It's best to schedule your heating system tune-up or cleaning in the fall, before cold weather really sets in, and you need to use your heating system daily.

Blown Fuses
Another simple problem that may be the reason your oil furnace won’t fire is that you have a blown fuse. When looking in your fuse box, look for either melted metal or discolored glass window at the top of a fuse, and replace with a new fuse. (Take the broken fuse to the hardware store to make sure you’re buying the right match.)

For more information, or to schedule maintenance on your furnace, call Petro at 888.735.5651.