Understanding HVAC Guidelines
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Understanding HVAC Guidelines

Once I purchased my first home, I realized that I needed to do my part in caring for my home appliances. In addition to reading the user manuals for my kitchen appliances and state-of-the-art plumbing system, I realized that I also needed to do a little research about HVAC. Because I had no experience with HVAC systems, I called out a professional to teach me a thing or two. It was fascinating to talk with him, and I was able to take notes about all kinds of important topics, such as maintenance, troubleshooting, and even shopping for a new system. This blog is all about understanding HVAC guidelines.

Understanding HVAC Guidelines

Signs That Your Oil Heating System Is Running Low On Fuel

Marilou Girard

If you have recently moved into a home that is heated by a boiler that uses home heating oil, then you may not be very familiar with the way the heating system works. This is understandable, since only about 10% of homes in the United States use alternative sources of fuel like propane and home heating oil. One of the most important things that you should know about home heating oil is the fact that you will need to schedule a delivery service with a fueling company when the fuel runs low in your tank. Many oil tanks have gauges that show the amount of fuel that is still in the container. However, these bobber devices are not very accurate and they do break quite often due to the bobber getting stuck. If you want to make sure that you do not run into an emergency situation where you completely run out of oil, then make sure to look for the following signs that you are very low on fuel and need an oil delivery from a company like Enright and Sons .

Your Boiler Makes Banging Noises

Your boiler is likely to make some noise when it starts up. These noises occur as the fuel oil is initially set on fire and a roaring blaze builds in the firebox part of the heater. Some noises may also be heard coming from the exhaust vent as the flue opens and a downward draft forces waste gas up through the chimney. However, if you are running out of home heating oil, then you may hear a series of bangs or a much louder roar as the boiler starts. These noises often occur due to the air that is pulled into the fuel line. This air can enter the oil line as fuel levels drop substantially, and this can cause the flame to burn inconsistently. The roaring or banging sounds that you hear occur as the flame builds in strength and forces pressure against the sides of the heater.

If you hear loud noises and also notice that heat is not consistent in your home, then this could also mean that you have a small hole in your fuel line where air is entering it. You should schedule an oil delivery, and you also should make sure to ask your fuel delivery or HVAC specialist to look for damage along the oil line. This is extremely important, because an oil spill cleanup plan will need to be outlined and implemented. If a professional cleanup is needed and implemented, the regional Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will offer cleanup cost reimbursement in some areas. Reimbursement is typically only provided in cases where professionals were involved. 

You Need To Keep Pushing The Reset Button

The oil boiler in your home will have a red reset button on the front of the oil pump that will need to be pressed on occasion. This needs to occur after you run out of oil or after the electricity goes out. However, under normal circumstances, you should not have to press the button to turn your heat on. Your boiler should fire automatically. If you need to press the button every day or multiple times a day, then it is likely that you are running out of oil.

When your oil tank runs low, the fuel will sit on the bottom of the tank. Unfortunately, rust from the inside of the tank, general debris, oil wax, and broken-down oil will sit on the bottom of the tank too. These materials are called sludge and they may be pulled into the oil fuel line when fuel levels are quite low. Some of the matter will be collected by your inline filter. However, smaller particles of debris will make its way to the spray nozzle part of the boiler. This sprayer releases the oil in front of an electronic starter so a flame can be created. However, the spray will be weak if debris in the oil stream is able to clog the small hole in the spray nozzle. Only a small amount of oil will be released into the boiler. It may take two or three pump cycles for the system to release enough fuel to start a fire inside the boiler. This is why you need to press the reset button multiple times to start the boiler. 

Typically, the refilling of your oil tank will resolve the issue. However, make sure to ask your fuel specialist to clean off the spray nozzle for you in case debris has clogged it.