While there are many reasons your oil heating system will stop working, some problems happen more frequently. But if you know what to look for, you may be able to find the solution on your own.
If your heat stops working and you’ve made sure it is related to your house only—not a wide-scale power outage– your next step should be to check to see if the power switches to your boiler or furnace have been accidentally turned off.
If you find that power switches for your heating system have been turned off by mistake, simply turn the electrical switches back to the “on” position and your problem should be solved.
There is a power switch located on the side of the heating system or on a wall nearby. Farther away, there is an emergency switch with a red cover plate that is labeled. People will sometimes turn this switch off by mistake.
If your power switches are not the problem, check your circuit breaker box to see if all circuit switches are still in the “on” position. Flipping the proper switch to “on” again may be all you need to get your system running again.
However, a circuit breaker rarely ever trips for no reason. If this happens once and never happens again, it may be just a fluke. But if this happens more than once, call for service, as this could indicate a serious problem.
Make sure your thermostat is set above room temperature and to HEAT. Check to see if you need new batteries too. Remember, it is the thermostat’s job to send a signal to your boiler or furnace to call for heat. But this signal may be interrupted if the wiring of the thermostat has begun to deteriorate. A build-up of dust inside your thermostat is another common reason why your thermostat is not operating correctly.
If you have a warm-air oil furnace, change or clean the filter on a regular basis during the heating season. A filter clogged with dust compromises efficiency and can cause your furnace to shut down.
If you have a hot water oil boiler, its automatic filling system should maintain the proper water level.
And of course, you should always schedule professional preventive maintenance so you don’t have to worry about your furnace or boiler breaking down during the winter. Regular service also improves efficiency, helping you to conserve fuel.
If you call to order fuel, make sure you keep a close watch on your oil storage tank—especially during a cold snap. Don’t wait until your fuel level gets too low. It’s recommended that you call when your oil tank is about one-quarter full.
To save time and worry, ask your heating oil company about programs that have been designed to significantly lower your chances of running out of fuel, such as automatic delivery.
If all else has failed, press the red reset button on the oil burner. The reset button is a safety control that shuts the burner down if a problem is detected. If your system doesn’t start after you push the reset button the first time, do not push it again. Pushing this button more than once can flood your system with oil, resulting in a costly repair.
If the burner starts but stops again after a few minutes, you should call for service.
If you still can’t get heat after all of these steps, it’s time to call in a professional to find and fix the problem.
If you’re losing your heat too many times, you may want to look into replacing your old oil furnace or oil boiler with a new, high-efficiency heating oil system. please go here and then contact your local heating oil company.