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Lipinski, Edward R. Oil Burners Require Checkups. Sunday Republican. November 27, 1994. p. E-5.

Abstract: This article explains simple maintenance procedures homeowners can perform on their oil burners to ensure they are functioning properly. The burner should also be checked annually by the service company.

Most burners will have a caged fan to increase the temperature of the flame. This fan will collect dust and should be cleaned periodically. The combustion chamber should be examined annually to check for cracks and soot deposits. All cracks should be repaired and soot deposits indicate that the flame needs to be adjusted.

The steam system should be equipped with a water level gauge. Check the water level periodically and check the manual for instructions on how to fill the water. The procedure should involve opening one valve. The steam system will also have a drain valve, probably located at the base of the furnace. The water should be drained weekly and replaced with fresh water to prevent rusting.

In forced air systems, air is distributed throughout the house by a duct system. The air filters of the system should be checked monthly and clogged filters should be replaced to increase heat efficiency. A spare drive belt, which connects the blower to the motor, should be kept handy. A damaged drive belt will shut the system down.

If the heating system will not start, there are several things to check before making a service call. Make sure that the thermostat controls are set properly. Check the fuel tank to make sure there is enough fuel. The electrical panel should be checked for blown fuses or tripped circuits. There are two relay switches that may need to be reset. To reset the switches, press them once. There are also two switches that control power to the furnace. If either is not switched on, the furnace will not run.

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