Cleaning or replacing filters is a job anyone can do, and often it’s the reason an oil furnace isn’t performing at peak levels. Use this chart to see if the problem with your furnace might be fixed with a filter change.

Oil Furnace Trouble Shooting Chart

Furnace won’t run 1. No power. 1. Check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers at main entrance panel or at separate entrance panel; restore circuit. 
  2. Switch off.
2. Turn on separate power switch on or near furnace. 
  3. Motor overload.
3. Wait 30 minutes; press reset button. Repeat if necessary. 
  4. No fuel.
4. Check tank; if necessary, refill tank. 
  5. Fuel line blockage.
5. Clean oil filter and oil pump strainer. If problem persists, call a professional. 
Burner won’t fire  1. No fuel.  1. Check tank; if necessary, refill tank. 
  2. No ignition spark. 2. Press reset button on stack control; if necessary, clean stack control.
If no result, call a professional.
If furnace has electric-eye safety, clean safety;
if no result, call a professional. 
Not enough heat
1. Thermostat set too low.  1. Raise thermostat setting 5°.
  2. Air filter dirty.  2. Clean or replace air filter. 
  3. Blower clogged.  3. Clean blower assembly. 
  4. Registers closed or blocked.
4. Make sure all registers are open; make sure they are not blocked by rugs, drapes, or furniture. 
  5. System out of balance.  5. Balance system. 
  6. Blower belt loose or broken.  6. Adjust or replace belt.
  7. Burner dirty.  7. Call a professional. 
Furnace turns on and off repeatedly  1. Air filter dirty.
2. Oil filter dirty.
3. Motor and/or blower
1. Clean or replace air filter.
2. Clean or replace oil filter.
3. If motor and blower have oil
      needs lubrication.
    ports, lubricate.
  4. Blower clogged.
4. Clean blower assembly.
  5. Stack control faulty. 5. Call a professional.
Blower won’t
1. Blower control
1. Reset thermostat from ON
stop running      set wrong.      to AUTO.
  2. Limit switch set
2. Reset limit switch. 
Furnace noisy
1. Access panels loose.
1. Mount and fasten access panels correctly. 
  2. Belts sticking, worn, or damaged.
2. Spray squeaking belts with fan belt dressing; replace worn or damaged belts.
  3. Blower belt too loose or too tight.  3. Adjust belt.
  4. Motor and/or blower needs lubrication.  4. If motor and blower have oil ports, lubricate.
  5. Burner dirty.  5. Call a professional. 

Emergency service calls can often be avoided with a few easy diagnostic procedures that may solve your heating problems – here are some things to check when the burner won’t start!

  • Check the switch and make sure it’s on!
    Usually, this switch is located at the top of the cellar stairs with a red cover. Make sure to check the service switch located on the actual heating appliance, too!
  • Check for blown or loose fuses, or a tripped circuit breaker.
  • Check the thermostat to make sure it is set higher than the room temperature. Of course, make sure to confirm it is calling for heat!
  • Check the fuel gauge on your oil tank. Gauges can stick, so tap the gauge or the side of the tank to ensure an accurate reading.
  • If using a steam system, check the water level in the sight glass. Make sure the glass is at least half-full. Add water slowly if needed.
  • Locate and push the reset button (usually located on the oil burner). Reset one time only!
  • Smoke in the basement? Locate and turn off the emergency switch ASAP. Call your serviceman.

Other Tips:

  • If your burner won’t start and there is smoke in the basement, you should locate and turn off the emergency switch ASAP, then call your Love Energy Fuel Services Inc. serviceman.
  • Whole house attic fans can pull smoke and fumes down your chimney if there is not sufficient ventilation in the house. Use caution!
  • Install a quality smoke detector in the vicinity of your oil heat equipment.

Oil Priming 

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