Oil burners should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year to keep them running efficiently and safely. When dust and residue build up inside the burner, it causes the burning cycle to run far less efficiently. As a result, the oil burner will use up much more oil to create the same amount of heat, which in turn, causes even more buildup.
Things You'll Need
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Chimney brush
Shut down the feed valve to the burner and place a piece of cardboard in front of the burner door. The cardboard prevents ash from the burner from soiling your floor.
Clean the oil burner door, using a soft-bristle brush. Brush the soot and ash from the door, using a back-and-forth motion until the area is clean.
Clean the chamber of the burner, using a chimney brush until all visible dirt is removed.
Remove and clean the oil burner assembly, according the manufacturer's instructions. Most models are fitted with a burner gun, burner ignitor and flame retention head, which is the part that houses the actual burner flame. Scrape the residue from the assembly with a blunt object such as a flat-head screwdriver.
Reassemble the burner assembly, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Remove and discard the piece of cardboard. Vacuum the area to remove excess ash and debris, if needed.
Tips & Warnings
- Some oil burners are fitted with an asbestos door, so it is imperative that you use care when cleaning this part of the burner. Using a soft-bristle brush, rather than a chimney brush, will help prevent dislodging asbestos particles into the air. Also wear a facemask and gloves.
- The burner ignitor may be cleaned with automotive brake part cleaner or gasoline to remove stubborn residue.
- Make sure the area is well-ventilated, especially if using brake part cleaner or gasoline. Open windows or use a fan to expel fumes from the area around the burner.
- Photo Credit scoop of soot image by bright from Fotolia.com
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