Well-McLain Oil Furnace Soot Problem

Old 04-16-06, 03:52 PM
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Well-McLain Oil Furnace Soot Problem

My 22 year old Well-McLain oil fired, BBHW furnace is smoking out of the vent that lets air into the firebox. There is a smell of unburned oil in the basement. I believe the furnace is soot choked as I know it hasn't been cleaned in at least 6 years. Is this a job one can do for themselves or is it best to leave it to a pro? Is it reasonable to have them change the nozzle and stuff too? For a full and good cleaning, what can I expect to reasonably pay? I am not going to call them in off hours, just put in for a regular service call.
Second part, have there been improvements in oil burning technology that would warrent replacing this unit? I live in New England and have a well insulated home. This is the first time the furnace acted up on us and I fully blame myself since I forgot about the annual cleaning ritual.
Thanks all.
Old 04-16-06, 04:16 PM
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Smoking boiler

The cleaning & tune up is something best left to a pro. I'm not saying you couldn't do it yourself but a complete combustion analysis should be done upon completion of the cleaning & tune up.
Regarding replacement of the boiler: At 22 years old, the boiler is about 1/2 way thru it's normal life expectancy. With the improvements in oil burning technology & more importantly, proper sizing to match the heat loss of the house, you could save a good chunk of change on your heating bill.

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