Although the weather is still mild, it’s not too early to prepare for the colder weather that comes with the change of seasons The best thing you can do right now is to test your heating oil boiler or furnace to make sure there are no problems.
If you turn on your heating system, but can’t get heat, we recommend following these troubleshooting steps first to see if you can identify the problem before calling your heating oil company for service. It’s better to find out if you have a problem now instead of on that first cold night of fall when you want heat right away.
If your heating system isn’t turning on, check see if the power switches to your oil boiler or oil furnace have been accidentally turned off
If you find that power switches for your heating system have been turned off by mistake, simply turn the electrical switches back to the “on” position and your problem may be solved.
There is usually a power switch located on the side of the heating system or on a wall nearby. In addition, farther away, often at the top of the basement stairs, there is an emergency switch with a red cover plate that is labeled. Sometimes this switch is turned off because it is mistaken for the power switch for the basement light.
If your power switches are not the problem, check your circuit breaker box next to see if all circuit switches are still in the “on” position. Flipping the proper switch to “on” again may be all you need to get your system running again.
However, please keep this in mind: a circuit breaker rarely ever trips for no reason. If this happens once and never happens again, it may be just a fluke. But if this happens more than once, contact your heating oil company for service, as this could indicate a serious problem.
Many instances of heating systems not working can be traced to the thermostat, which sends a signal to your boiler or furnace to call for heat. But this signal may be interrupted if the wiring of the thermostat has begun to deteriorate. A build-up of dust inside your thermostat is another common reason why your thermostat is not operating correctly. Another thing to look for are weak or dead batteries in the thermostat.
Obviously, if this is the problem, you need to contact your heating oil provider for a delivery. Moving forward, if you call to order fuel, make sure to check your heating oil tank regularly. You should call when your oil tank gauge reaches the ¼ level. To save time and worry, ask your heating oil company about enrolling in its automatic heating oil delivery service to lower the chances of your tank running out of oil.
If you haven’t found the problem yet, press the reset button on the oil burner only once. Pushing it more than once could flood your system with oil, resulting in a costly repair. If the burner starts but stops again after a few minutes, you should call for service.
One more tip: you should always schedule preventive maintenance from your heating oil service company so you don’t have to worry about your furnace or boiler breaking down during the winter. Annual service, also known as a heating tune-up, will also improve system efficiency, helping you to conserve heating oil.
It’s always better to get this service done now instead of waiting for the cold weather to set in. Please check with your heating oil company to find out if you’re due for tune-up service.