What To Look At When A Heating Oil Furnace Fails To Light

Make sure to get annual maintenance on your HVAC systems to uphold your warranties.

What To Look At When A Heating Oil Furnace Fails To Light

What To Look At When A Heating Oil Furnace Fails To Light

19 September 2018
, Blog

If you are someone who needs to use specialty fossil fuels to heat your house, then you may be forced to decide between propane and heating oil. If you pick a heating oil system, then you may have access to the fuel you need through a local fuel delivery business. While this is true, you may find that your heating system is a bit temperamental. In other words, issues can arise that require immediate attention. This is especially the case when the heating system fails to light. Keep reading to learn about some good troubleshooting tips to help you in this situation.

Investigate The Outside Temperature

Many people have oil tanks that sit outdoors and this a good idea for safety reasons. However, this means that the tank is subjected to the freezing cold temperatures on a daily basis. And, since the heating oil must run from the tank, through a small oil supply line, and into your house, it is not surprising to think that the oil may succumb to the cold temperatures.

Basically, your heating oil will get thick and cloudy when it gets too cold. So, you want to take a look at the outside temperature. The clouding or gelling starts to occur when the temperature is about 16 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is close to or lower than this, then you may need to heat up the oil line a bit so the fuel can flow freely. 

There are a few safe techniques you can use to heat up a heating oil supply line. The simplest and safest involves the placement of a heating tape around the exposed line. This electrical tape produces a relatively low and small amount of heat. It will take some time for the tape to do its job, but the good news is you can leave it wrapped around the supply line to prevent future issues.

Look At Your Maintenance Records

Heating professionals will advise homeowners to invest in maintenance regularly when it comes to their heating systems. This is essential to ensure that the various parts and pieces of the system are working in conjunction with one another. When it comes to heating oil systems, maintenance allows a professional to change the filter. This filter collects the debris that flows from the heating oil tank and supply line to the furnace. 

Like any other filter, the heating oil one becomes congested. A congested filter will stop fuel flow and may lead to a furnace that will not start. So, check the maintenance record to see when the filter was last changed. If it has not been changed within the last six months, make an appointment with your heating repair specialist ASAP so the task can be completed.

About Me
It's More Important Than You Think

I used to routinely get calls from HVAC contractors in my area offering annual maintenance contracts. As soon they would identify themselves, I would quickly say no thank you and hang up. After all, my heating and cooling system was working fine. Why would I spend money on services I clearly didn't need? Boy was I wrong! A few years ago, my AC unit suddenly stopped working. I called my HVAC contractor to have it repaired and assumed that my warranty would pick up the bill. That was until I learned my warranty was voided due to a lack of maintenance. Out of nowhere, my decision to ignore those maintenance calls was about to cost me more than a $1,000. I know there are others out there like me. It is my hope that this site will provide them with the knowledge they need to avoid the mistakes I made.