A furnace with an oil burner keeps your house warm during the chilly months of the year. When you take good care of your furnace, the oil burns clean without producing air pollution associated with electric, coal, and wood heat. The oil also tends to be safer than natural gas that is common with most furnaces.
According to oil burner repair service professionals, there are plenty of ways in which you can improve the efficiency of your heating appliance so that it burns less oil and at the same time produces more heat. Some of these ways include:
Change the air filters
Just like your regular furnaces, you need to change the air filters in your oil furnace for it function efficiently and burn less oil. To remove the filter, unscrew the bottom of the filter housing. If the filter is disposable, replace it with a new one. If the furnace has a permanent filter, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Many homeowners forget cleaning their air filters as they clean them on random days in the month. For you to be safe, clean them at specific days—preferably at the beginning of the month. Keep the reminder in your calendar so that you don’t forget.
Clean the strainer
Some oil furnaces have a pump strainer often located on the pump attached to the blower unit. When you are cleaning the air filter, clean this strainer. Unbolt the cover of the pump housing and remove the thin gasket around the rim. The strainer is cylindrical and has a cup-shape wire mesh screen.
To loosen any sludge that might have built up, soak the strainer in kerosene for a few minutes. You should then go ahead and clean the strainer with an old, soft toothbrush. During the cleaning, also inspect the strainer for torn or badly bent areas. If the piece is severely damaged, consider replacing it.
Block the drafts
It’s common for heat to escape through gaps in the door and window frames, which causes the furnace to spend more oil than it should. To seal the gaps, use caulking. Seal all cracks or spaces that are less than ¼ inch. You can buy the caulking in your local stores.
To prevent heat loss through the spaces around doorways, use weather-stripping. You can also install door sweeps.
Lower the thermostat settings
According to the American Council for an energy efficiency economy (ACEEE), for each degree, you lower the thermostat setting for eight hours, you reduce your heating bill by up to 2%. When you aren’t in the house, lower your settings as much as you can, and you can reduce your bill by as much as 20%.
If you have an old school thermostat, consider investing in a new programmable thermostat. This thermostat allows you to easily control the temperature settings even when you aren’t in the house. For example, you can turn on the thermostat when you are at work so that you can find a warm home by the time you are getting in the house.
Fix the problems
Regardless of how well you maintain your appliance, it’s common for it to develop problems. In most cases, oil furnace problems are due to inadequate oil supply. Check whether there is enough oil in the appliance.
Don’t rely solely on the gauge as it’s prone to failure. To be sure, check the tank itself. Dip a dipstick in the tank to determine the fuel level. It’s recommended that you keep the fuel oil level high all the time. This is to prevent sludge and sediment from getting sucked into the lines and end up clogging the air filters.
If the oil level is high enough and you can’t see any other problems, get into contact with a professional who will help you troubleshoot the issues and fix them.
Seal the air ducts
If certain rooms of your house are stuffy or difficult to heat, you need to seal the leaks in the ducts. According to ACCEE, sealing your air ducts can reduce your heating costs by up to 20%. You can seal the pipes by yourself using a metal tape or hire a heating service repair Long Island professional to help you out.