Two Oil Burning Furnace Maintenance Tips

An oil burning furnace can be an excellent option for keeping your home warm throughout the cold winter months. Unfortunately, you may not understand what is needed to keep your furnace in good condition. This can vastly increase the odds that your system will encounter a range of problems, which can force you to go without until you are able to get the unit repaired. Luckily, the following two tips should help you to keep your system functioning correctly throughout the winter months. 

Monitor Your Chimney's Smoke

It is common for new homeowners to fail to realize the importance of routinely observing the smoke coming from their oil burning furnace. This smoke will either come from your chimney or another vent on your roof. A well functioning furnace will have smoke that is a light grey color, but if you notice that your system is producing black smoke, you need to turn it off until a professional can inspect your furnace. 

Black smoke is an indication that the system is not burning away all of the oil. There can be a variety of causes for this problem, but many of them represent fire hazards for your home. For this reason, you should avoid trying to repair it yourself, and pay to have it professionally repaired. This will be a small price to pay to keep your home warm and safe from fire. 

Keep Your System Clean

In addition to monitoring the type of smoke being produced by your furnace, you will also need to routinely clean it throughout the year. In particular, you should clean it at the start of the heating season and at least once every couple of months until the end of the heating season. 

When you clean your furnace, you will want to wipe away any dust that may have accumulated on it with a damp cloth. Also, you should inspect the burner to make sure there is no soot on it. If you find soot, you will need to vigorously clean it. Soot on the burner can reduce the efficiency of your system and also pose a fire hazard. When cleaning the burner, make sure you allow it to cool before cleaning to avoid injuring yourself.

Maintaining your oil burning furnace does not have to be a confusing or difficult task for you to do. By understanding the importance of inspecting the smoke being produced by your system and how to properly clean the furnace, you should be better able to care for this device. And if you feel uncomfortable doing any of these things yourself, you can always call heating oil repair professionals who can help you out.