Three Maintenance Tips for Oil Furnaces

Taking the time and care to properly maintain your oil furnace can reduce repair costs, extend the life of your furnace, and keep your furnace running safe and efficiently. While you'll want to leave the big fixes to professionals, you can definitely undertake some basic maintenance to ensure trouble-free operation. Oil furnaces typically require a bit more maintenance than gas furnaces, so it's a good idea to put together a seasonal maintenance checklist. Here are three maintenance tips to get you started. 

Remove Soot Buildup

A small amount of soot buildup is normal with operation. However, if you notice a lot of soot buildup, it's best to contact an HVAC professional and have your furnace looked at. Too much soot can build up if you're failing to have your burner serviced regularly. Under normal operation, some soot buildup is to be expected, so you'll need to remove the soot as part of your maintenance routine. During the heating season, check for soot and clean it out as needed. Under most circumstances, you'll only need to clean the soot twice per heating season. If you allow the soot to continue building up, it can interfere with the operation of your furnace.

Clean or Replace Oil Filter

Over time, the oil filter can wear down or collect dirt buildup. At the start of each heating season, check your oil filter and clean or replace it as necessary. Make sure to first close the oil shut off valve before unscrewing the bottom of the filter housing and removing the filter. If the filter is disposable, you can simply insert another one of the same size and type. If it's a permanent filter, you'll need to clean it based on the manufacturer's recommendations. Depending on the length of your heating season, you may need to check it again midway through the season to see if it needs to be cleaned or changed again. For your heating oil needs, talk to a company like Olympic Energy LLC about delivery services.

Lubricate Blower Motor

The blower motor is an important component of your furnace that powers the fans in order to distribute heat, which pushes warm air throughout your home. Over time, the oil dries out, which affects the function of the blower motor. If your blower motor is equipped with oil fittings, you'll want to lubricate the blower motor midway through the heating season. Always follow your manufacturer's manual before doing so. Typically a cup of 10-weight, non-detergent motor oil will do the trick. You can find it at your local hardware store.