Now Is The Time To Perform Your Season-End Oil Furnace Maintenance

Posted on: 18 May 2015

With the arrival of spring and warmer daytime temperatures, the heating season is finally coming to an end. Now is the time to perform your annual maintenance and ensure that your furnace is in good shape. Doing this ensures that you'll catch maintenance problems at a time when the furnace is not needed to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This gives you the chance to seek repairs at your leisure, and may also allow you to take advantage of competitive rates being offered by furnace repair professionals during the off-season. Follow these steps to perform your season-end heating oil furnace maintenance.

Vacuum Out the Heat Exchanger

Turn off the system at the red on/off switch plate, then remove the cap on the heat exchanger and insert a powerful vacuum into the chamber. Use the vacuum to clean out the chamber, then if possible, use a wire brush to scrape soot off the sides of the chamber and vacuum again. If you have a shop vacuum in your home, you may use this, however, a more powerful vacuum (such as a vacuum powered by an air compressor) is preferable. If you do not have either type of vacuum, contact a professional to help you clean out your heat exchanger. 

Change the Air Filter

Your HVAC system's air filter is located near the return air duct that feeds into the blower. Remove the air filter and buy a replacement that matches the old filter. This filter services your entire HVAC system, including the air conditioner, and should be replaced every 90 days.

Replace the Heating Oil Filter

Place newspapers and a tub beneath the oil filter, then close the safety valve for the oil filter. The safety valve is located between the oil filter and the tank itself. To close the safety valve, turn it until the valve feels loose. Next, remove the canister containing the oil filter and pull out the old filter and gasket. Clean out the canister with hot water and detergent, then dry it thoroughly. Insert the new filter and gasket and put the canister back on. Open the valve to the oil tank once again, then bleed the filter by loosening the little screw on the top of the canister. Tighten the screw again when the oil forms a steady stream out of oil that pours out of the screw hole. For more information, contact a local heating oil supplier (such as Cash Oil)

If you have any trouble performing these steps, contact a heater repair professional immediately to ensure that your furnace will be in working order by the time you need your furnace again.