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4 Common Oil Furnace Problems

oil furnace troubleshooting new york

Sometimes the strain of a long heating season can take a toll on your furnace, or some other part of your forced air heating system, leading to problems that could require an expert’s touch to fix. Here are four heating issues you may encounter in the months ahead, and what to do if you find them.

Troubleshooting Your Oil Heat System

  1. Excessive cycling – If your heating system cycles (turns on and off) more than it should, it could indicate one of several problems. Two of the most common causes of cycling are a clogged air filter and a faulty thermostat. Check both, changing (or cleaning, depending on the model) the filter and swapping out the thermostat if needed. If cycling continues, contact us for service.
  2. No heat – If your furnace won’t start at all, try these six steps before calling for professional heating service: it could save you the cost of a service call:
    • Check to see if you have enough heating oil.
    • Make sure all power switches are in the “on” or “start” position, and that your circuit breaker has not been tripped.
    • Make sure the temperature on your thermostat is set at least five degrees above the current room temperature, and the system switch is on the HEAT or AUTO position. The fan switch should be set to ON for continuous airflow or AUTO.
    • Check the pilot light, if your equipment has one.
    • Check the air filter if airflow from your vent seems low; also make sure that vents are not blocked.

    If these measures don’t restore heat, contact us for service.

  3. Inconsistent temperatures –  Hot and cold spots in your home could either be caused by drafts or by the heating system itself. To take care of drafts, replace caulking and weather stripping around windows, add door sweeps under external doors, and add insulation in unconditioned rooms if your house is not up to recommended R-value levels. Check your vents and filters, too, since blockages in these areas could impede the flow of warm air. If these efforts don’t fix the issue, you could have a more serious problem – damaged heating coils, for example. These problems should always be addressed by a heating pro.
  4. Smoke or soot – Smoke or soot are signs that your heating system is in trouble; they often indicate a carbon monoxide (CO) leak that can pose risks to everyone in your home. If you see soot build up or smell smoke on your oil-fired equipment, contact us immediately for service. It is also important to install carbon monoxide detectors at every level of your house and test them periodically, replacing batteries at least once per year.

Avoid problems like these by getting regular heating maintenance in Sullivan County from the pros at Black Bear. Our Little Paw and Big Paw plans include an annual tune-up, plus discounted repairs, priority service, and more. Contact us today to learn more.

If your furnace is more than 10-12 years old, or isn’t performing the way it used to, it’s time to start thinking about a high efficiency replacement – contact us for a no obligation quote today!