How to Maintain an Oil Heater


Oil heat provides clean and efficient energy for the home. New advancements have resulted in fewer emissions than ever before. If you have an oil heater in your home, you need to perform yearly maintenance for the heater to continue to work efficiently.

  • Plan to perform the annual maintenance before you need to use the oil heater for the first time of the season. Early autumn is ideal for arranging for a professional to come in to inspect and clean the heater.

  • Contact an oil heater serviceman to come to your home. You need to allot one to 2 hours for his visit.

  • Make sure the service professional performs all oil heat maintenance tasks. He should inspect the chimney, clean the pipes, remove soot build up, replace the air filter, check oil pressure and clean the oil filter bowl.

  • Opt for a service plan. These plans include the cost of inspection, annual clean-up and maintenance, as well as emergency repairs.

  • Measure the temperature of the flue gases. This will tell you how well the oil heater is warming the home and ensure that the temperature is not above the maximum allowed amount. Using a special metal thermometer from a heating supply store, you should find the temperature between 350 degrees F and 540 degrees F.

  • Replace the air filter on the oil heater once a month. Permanent air filters can be purchased that are laundered once a month instead of replaced.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not replace or clean the air filter while the oil heater is turned on. Turn off the heat in your home before you proceed.
  • Do not cover the oil heater with any type of curtains or paneling. The air should be able to flow freely around the heater.

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