Maintaining an Oil Furnace

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 22, 2014)

Have you ever noticed how often people forget about maintaining their furnaces until they really, really, need them? By then, it is often too late, and will result in larger heating bills, or even possibly large repair bills. Maintaining an oil furnace, like any furnace, does require a little bit of technical know-how, but isn't all that difficult to do. Primarily there are three areas that will need to be focused on, though one should almost always be left to a professional. These three areas are checking the oil filter, clean and oiling the fan, and checking the firing assembly.

  1. Check the oil filter. Just as with a vehicle, an oil furnace needs to have the oil filter checked every so often. The oil filter is usually on the outside of the furnace, and isn't that difficult to locate since it is a canister that is attached to the oil line leading into the furnace. Close off the oil supply valve, and place an oil change pan underneath the canister. Unscrew the bolt on the top of the filter, and let the oil drain into the pan. Remove the canister, and then remove the filter and gasket. Replace both the filter and gasket with a new one, and then replace the canister. Turn the oil supply valve back on, and you should be fine.
  2. Clean and oil the fan. Near the firing assembly you will find the firing assembly fan. Most oil furnaces now have oiling ports that you can use for an easier time of oiling the fan. When oiling the fan, use either SAE 10 nondetergent electric-motor oil, or whatever oil your owners manual dictates. Vacuum the fan assembly clean, using the brush attachment to get the fan as clean as possible. Take the time to wipe down the sensor system, to ensure that the fan works properly.
  3. Check the firing assembly. In all honesty, the firing assembly itself should only be worked on by a certified technician. While you can do the work yourself, it is better to let someone with the proper experience work on the delicate wiring that is inside.

Perhaps the single biggest problem that many people have with maintaining an oil furnace is knowing when they should call the professionals. While it is true that you can do most, if not all, of the jobs necessary for maintaining an oil furnace yourself, it is always a good idea to call in the professionals to get the best possible job done. If you find yourself faced with a situation that you are not sure about, or that you are uncomfortable with, then take the time to call a professional to come out and take a look, it will save you money in the long run.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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