Oil Furnace Repair: DIY or Professional?

When you own a home, you may have to conduct an oil furnace repair. An oil furnace has to be operated and maintained to the strict guidelines set forth by the manufacturer. There are some issues that you can fix by yourself and there are those that are best left to the professionals. The following article will explain which oil furnace repair or maintenance job is best for either yourself or a professional.

Hazard of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas which, if unchecked, can cause death. There are cases where an oil furnace malfunctioned and pumped carbon monoxide through the duct work of homes. Carbon monoxide causes an individual to feel sleepy and, eventually, when a person passes out the likelihood of survival is slim. Improper ventilation or clogs can happen without notice. One job that you can do is to install a carbon monoxide (or series of them) monitor by the oil furnace. These devices are available at any major department or home improvement stores.

Tripped Reset Button

Sometimes an oil furnace will trip its safety and will have to be reset. This sounds like an easy job to do, and it is, if you follow some guidelines. The purpose of the reset button is to restart the pilot light so that the oil can burn and cause the heat to circulate. Push the reset button in and hold it there for a couple seconds. If the pilot light does not catch then release the reset button. Wait a few minutes then try again. If the pilot light still does not light then you should call a professional. If you repeatedly press the reset button you can pump oil to the combustion chamber. The oil sits inside the chamber unburned which can create a dangerous situation if the pilot would be lit.

Chimney Troubles

As an oil furnace burns it creates smoke which can coat the duct work and chimney. Over time this can harden and eventually choke the chimney. Carbon monoxide can build up throughout the entire system. Your chimney, flue, duct work and vents should be checked by professional at least once a year to ensure there is no serious problem.

Faulty Combustion Chamber

If your combustion chamber is faulty, it can cause leaks which can lead to fires. You need to be able to fully burn the oil. You can check the combustion chamber yourself to spot visible cracks and rust. The parts that make up the combustion chamber can also be watched to make sure they are working properly. A full and professional inspection should be conducted once a year and replacement of the chamber should only be done by a professional.

Air Filter Replacement

An oil furnace needs some fresh air in order to make the combustion chamber work properly. A filter cakes in dirt prohibits proper air flow. Replacing a filter is easy and can be done without a professional. Write down the serial number of the oil furnace to make sure you get the right filter.