What are the Most Common Oil Furnace Repairs?

If you own an oil furnace and like to plan ahead, you may be asking “What are the most common oil furnace repairs?”  It also helps to know what can go wrong so that you can discuss oil furnace problems more effectively with a repair technician.  If you have a basic understanding of oil furnace mechanical issues, it may prevent an unscrupulous technician from trying to take advantage of you. Here are the most common repairs you are likely to face as your oil furnace gets older.

Most Common Oil Furnace Repairs

Electrical Problems: These may be as simple as a fuse on the mother board or a circuit in the electrical box going bad, or the master switch being turned off.  It can also be a reset button on the furnace. Finally, the thermostat may be bad (or turned off!). . When a furnace just won’t start, these are the first places to look.

Blower Motor Maintenance and Repairs: If the blower isn’t pushing air effectively, it may be clogged with dust and debris.  Many oil furnaces have a slide-out blower for easy maintenance.  If the cups of the circular fan are clogged, they will need to be cleaned with a vacuum and stiff brush.  If the motor is making noise, it may simply need to be lubricated or the bearing may be bad.

Poor Flame Quality: Over time, the flame quality may diminish, producing inefficient burning that often causes a smoky, oily odor.  If may mean that the burner needs a good cleaning or the flame needs to be adjusted.  It is less common that the burner assembly needs to be replaced.

No Flame: If the furnace tries to fire but gets no flame, you may be out of oil.  If there is oil in the tank, the oil filter may be clogged, the burner may be very dirty, or worse case, the oil pump may be bad.  It may also be that the ignition switch needs to be reset using the button on it.  Also make sure that the valve on the oil line wasn’t shut off by accident.

Quick Shut Down: When your furnace comes on and then shuts down quickly, this can be triggered by many things.  The air filter or the oil filter in the furnace may need to be changed.  It may be that the vent stack needs to be cleaned or that it is blocked by a bird’s next or something else, or that the stack control which opens and closes the stack, is faulty.

General Furnace Noise: The blower motor may need lubrication or if it has a belt, it might need to be adjusted or replaced.  Other causes of noise include loose access panels that are vibrating and burners that need a good cleaning.


This list will help you do some oil furnace troubleshooting before you call the furnace technician.  Always start by checking the simplest, least expensive thing.  In addition, you will eliminate many repair needs if you keep the furnace well-maintained, either yourself if you have the skills, or through a maintenance program with your furnace company.  Knowing what are the most common oil furnace repairs will also allow you to take control of the repair decisions when they arrive.  Remember, if your furnace needs major repairs or if you want to shop for new oil furnace prices, it makes sense to get multiple estimates in order to find the best prices and the right contractor to work with.



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