My furnace is making an odd noise. What should I do?

It is a good idea to have a professional look at your furnace. If the heat is still working you can save yourself a few dollars by scheduling a service call on the next business day, rather than calling for an after-hours visit. Until the service provider arrives, however, keep a close watch for any changes.

I smell oil. Is my tank leaking? Is it dangerous?

When you use oil to heat your home, it is not uncommon to have the odor of diesel fuel appear occasionally. A thimble full of heating oil can permeate an entire room.

If your tank is in the basement of your home, go down and inspect it immediately. Heating oil is actually an oil, so it will be greasy, and it is dyed red. If you see any substance resembling this, please call Love Energy Fuel Services right away. If your tank is outside also inspect it for a red, greasy substance.

As mentioned earlier, diesel fuel has a strong odor and a single drop is noticeable. If your tank is inground and you smell oil, it is likely from your furnace and it is a good idea to schedule an appointment to have it inspected and, if needed, repaired.

Heating oil is a type of diesel fuel, a petroleum product just like gasoline, and its odor is very strong. It can be dangerous in large amounts in small spaces, but this situation is rare. It is more of an annoyance than a danger.

My heat is not working! What do I check?

First, check to be sure your tank is not empty. Most tanks have a gauge and are moderately accurate.

Next, be sure your furnace has power. Occasionally a furnace is on the circuit as another power-hungry appliance and may cause the breaker to trip.

If neither of these solve your problem, a furnace generally has a “restart” button that you can push to get things moving. However, push this button only once. The furnace should run for a few minutes; if so, you have solved your problem. If the furnace refuses to come alive, or if it shuts off again right away, give Love Energy Fuel Services a call for service.

How much fuel is in my tank?

If you do not have a gauge, you can “stick” the tank. If you aren’t familiar with this method, it is rather simple. You remove the cap from your tank and simply place a “stick” (an old broom handle works nicely) inside, straight down to the bottom. When you remove it, it should have a red, greasy substance on it. Be careful not to get any of the fuel on you; it can ruin clothes and the smell is extremely hard to remove. Measure the height of the fuel, and compare it against the chart below.

It is important to know that a tank will not hold what its name suggests. Diesel fuel expands when it gets warm, and contracts when it is cold. Oil tanks are built to allow for this change in volume; therefore a 275-gallon tank will not hold more than 250-260 gallons of fuel. The larger the tank size, the larger the gap.

If your tank is inground, “sticking” it may not be possible. Inground tanks are often built installed with a pipe that has an elbow or bend, which would prohibit the standard “sticking” method explained earlier. Love Energy Fuel Services can offer some suggestions regarding monitoring the level of these types of tanks. Simply call into the office and someone will be glad to help you.