Published: Wed, 28 Aug 2019
On a cold winter’s day, there is nothing better than getting into a hot bubble bath or turning the radiators on and cosying up with a book. In fact, it can be difficult to imagine your home without heating when it’s freezing outside - not only would it be unpleasantly cold, but your house would likely suffer from mould and damp, too. Plus, living in a cold property can be very unhealthy, particularly for those who are more vulnerable to the cold.
While it is important to ensure that your heating oil furnace is working correctly and efficiently all year round, it is particularly essential that it is performing properly during the winter months. While it may seem early to be thinking about the chill of winter, now is actually an ideal time to determine whether your furnace needs some maintenance or servicing.
Of course, you don’t want to be caught out in the depths of winter with a faulty oil furnace (and therefore no heating), and the last thing you want is to be spending more money on energy bills due to it running inefficiently. A faulty oil furnace can also lead to a carbon monoxide leak, something that can be extremely dangerous, which is why it is essential that your heating oil furnace is always in top condition.
Below, we discuss the signs that your heating oil furnace needs servicing. If you notice any of these warning signs, it is important that you get in touch with a professional as soon as possible to carry out the appropriate maintenance and servicing. Each problem discussed below can turn into an emergency situation, so it is important that they are not ignored.
Your energy bills are higher than usual
If you have noticed a sudden increase in the cost of your energy bills, this could be an indication that your furnace is running inefficiently. During the winter months, your energy bills are naturally going to be a bit higher than in the summer when we require less heating. However, if your bills look suspiciously high compared to previous winters, it may be time to take a closer look.
If parts of your oil heater are clogged with dirt or worn down, the entire system will run inefficiently and therefore cost you more. As with anything we use day to day, your furnace can suffer from general wear and tear over time and therefore requires regular servicing. If you have noticed that your home is taking longer to heat up than usual, or more power is being used than usual to heat your home, it’s time to get your furnace inspected by a professional.
Your furnace is making strange noises
If you are met with a loud bang when you turn on your furnace, this should not be ignored. Loud bangs may indicate that the burners need to be cleaned or the blower motor needs to be repaired. You should always pay attention to noises coming from your furnace - and it’s not just loud bangs that are a cause for concern. If you notice howling or whistling noises coming from your furnace while its running, this could be an indication that the fuel supply to the burners is being restricted.
It’s important to remember that your furnace won’t operate silently. While you can expect a few noises here and there when your furnace is running smoothly, loud bangs, whistling and howling noises should never be ignored.
Your furnace smells strange
Again, it is normal to expect the faint smell of burnt fuel or dust when your oil furnace is running, however, stronger smells should be paid attention to. As your home heats up, dust that has landed on or built up in the ducts will burn off and, sometimes, result in the faint smell of dust, which is generally nothing to worry about. If, however, you notice unpleasant odours such as smoke, burning rubber or oil, you should contact a professional to inspect your furnace.
Strange furnace odours could indicate that something is wrong with your furnace, and could be a sign of a serious safety hazard. If the smell of unburnt fuel is overwhelming in certain rooms or in the room closets to the furnace, you should get it serviced as soon as possible. Ignoring strong smells coming from your furnace can be dangerous.
Your home temperature is inconsistent
Do you find that you are constantly adjusting the thermostat to keep your home warm? Are there some rooms in your home that are far colder than others? Does your furnace take a very long time to warm up your home? If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, it may be time to get your heating system evaluated.
Your heating oil furnace should heat up your home and keep each room at a comfortable temperature when the mercury drops outside. If you have noticed that certain rooms in your home are colder than others or are not heating up as quickly, it could be an indication that your furnace is not operating correctly. There may be problems preventing your furnace from heating up your home efficiently. If your furnace is not producing any heat at all in your home, you should get your oil furnace seen to as soon as possible.
General heating oil furnace maintenance tips
Below, we share some general maintenance tips that can help to eliminate furnace problems. It is important to remember, however, that if you experience any of the above issues, you should contact a professional to inspect your furnace.
● It is good practice to regularly inspect your furnace yourself for potential problems. Keep an eye out for soot outside the furnace (as this may indicate that your unit is burning more than oil), and listen out for any strange sounds.
● Take a look at your chimney while the furnace is burning. If you notice black smoke, this may be a sign that oil is not being burned properly.
● Every so often, it’s a good idea to vacuum around your furnace to prevent the buildup of dust and dirt, reducing allergens in the air. Always turn off your furnace and wait for it to cool down before vacuuming around it.
● Your furnace should indicate how often you should change the air filter, and it’s important to do this. You may want to consider changing the air filter more frequently if you have pets.
Western Fuel: your go-to home heating oil supplier in Bridgwater
At Western Fuel, we supply heating oil in Bridgwater, ensuring that your plumbing and heating supply system is always topped up and ready for use all year round. In addition to heating oil, we also specialise in supplying commercial fuel and lubricants too, ensuring that your business is always fully stocked. If you are looking for a reliable and reputable heating oil company, look no further than us.
We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and outstanding reputation in the area; when you choose us for your domestic or commercial fuel, we always aim to reach you in just a couple of hours. At Western Fuel, we are always fully stocked and ready to deliver to our customers at a moment’s notice. Plus, no quantity is too large for us!
To discuss your fuel requirements or to learn more about our reliable and cost-effective home heating oil, simply get in touch with a friendly member of our team today. Alternatively, visit our website to learn more about our services.
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