Help, my oil furnace is not working!


If you are experiencing issues with your oil furnace or boiler, there are a few things you can check before calling for emergency service. Try one of the tips listed below. If things don’t improve, give us a call and we’ll schedule a service appointment to evaluate your system.

Check the thermostat.

Make sure the temperature is set above the current room temperature and the system is set to HEAT position. Your thermostat may have two options for the fan setting. The Fan ON option allows you to run the system blower continuously. The AUTO setting will only run the blower when the system is heating. Try to get the heater to turn on by raising the thermostat to the highest temperature setting.

Do you have oil?

When was the last time you had your tank filled? Check the gauge. If you let your tank go lower than ¼ before calling, you can risk running out of oil before your next delivery. If this happens, your boiler or furnace will need to be primed and restarted. It is best to schedule your next delivery when your tank is around 1/4, as we need a few days to schedule your delivery.

Confirm the service switch on the furnace is on and the switch at your basement entry is also on.

If they are both on, the breaker panel is the next spot to check to see if power was interrupted to the system. Verify that no one is doing any electrical work in your home before turning any breakers that may have tripped back on.

Check your furnace or boiler.

After you’ve checked the above items, check your equipment. Is the cabinet warm to the touch? A dirty filter can block air flow which would lead to the cabinet being warm, but no air coming out of registers. Simply installing a clean filter can resolve the problem. Be sure all registers are open and not obstructed.

Next, look for the reset button on the furnace control module. If it is popped, the problem with your furnace not running could be fuel-related. Press the reset button ONCE and check your oil tank and in-line filter. If the button doesn’t quickly pop back up or won’t reset, give us a call to schedule a service visit.

There may be error codes or faults showing on the furnace. We recommend writing down anything that is flashing to help our technicians if they need to service your system. Reset the equipment by turning the power off to the equipment, waiting two minutes and then turning the power back on. If it turns back on, we still recommend scheduling a service visit to evaluate the system and review the codes you found.

Next, check the intake/exhaust pipe. If you have a high efficiency furnace, or any furnace that does not vent into a chimney, find the intake and exhaust pipes. Typically these pipes are white PVC and can be found by tracing the location from your furnace to the outdoors. Verify nothing is obstructing the intake or exhaust pipe. If there is, clear the obstruction, and recycle your furnace (turning the service switch off, and back on after a few seconds). Your furnace will then attempt to ignite. If it does not resume normal operation, do not hesitate to call and we will have a service professional evaluate your equipment.

Finally, be sure to schedule routine maintenance yearly to keep your heating system operating at optimal levels and catch small problems before they turn into a major issue. Routine maintenance also boosts efficiency which drives down heating costs and can extend the life of your heating system by up to 30%.