What Do I Do If My Furnace Runs Out of Oil?

One of the most important assets in your Northbrook, Illinois, home is the furnace, and in winter it becomes the focal point of your comfort. However, an oil-burning furnace that runs empty is often doing more harm than good. Don’t allow your furnace to run low on oil as this can impact your health as well as your comfort.

How Does an Oil-Burning Furnace Work?

Before you worry about your furnace running out of oil, it’s important to understand its inner workings. To create warm air, an oil furnace has a pump that transports the fuel from the tank to the burner. Here, it combines with air and turns into a fine mist that is then fed to the burner and eventually ignited in a combustion chamber. Without oil, this process isn’t possible, and your furnace won’t work.

How Will I Know If I’ve Run Out of Oil?

You just won’t be able to get your heater going. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep your oil at no less than a quarter of your tank’s capacity and to schedule regular deliveries. But if you do find yourself wondering if you’ve run out of oil, give us a call. Not only will we help you with your question, but we will ensure that your furnace is in tip-top condition. We’ll also give you an idea of when to schedule future deliveries and ensure that you’re prepared for the cold northern Illinois winter.

What Should I Do If I Run Out of Oil?

If you’ve run out of oil, reorder as soon as possible. Demand can be very high during winter, and deliveries can take time. That’s why it’s important to stick to a regular delivery and maintenance schedule. Winters in the Chicago area tend to be unpredictable and can even last well into late March or early April.

How Do I Restart My Furnace After Getting the Oil?

On many modern furnaces, restarting the system is as simple as pushing an ignition button to bleed the burning mechanism. However, older furnaces don’t have that benefit and require manual bleeding to restart the heating process. When this happens, the best bet is to call us to get the job done. If you’re thinking of handling the manual bleeding on your own, just remember that there are many complex electrical and heating components. Unless you are pro or have experience with this task, you can suffer serious injury if you’re not sure how to handle this aspect of your heating system.

How Do I Manually Bleed My Oil Furnace?

It’s highly recommended that you hire a professional to restart and manually bleed your furnace, but if you want to know how it’s done, here’s a step-by-step guide that takes you through our usual process.

To start, we turn off your furnace, which usually shuts down when you press the restart button. Once it’s off, our technician locates the bleeder valve near the fuel pump and inserts a 1/4-inch nylon tubing. The furnace is then restarted, causing the oil to flow through the tube and out into a container. Once the oil comes out steadily, a quick tightening of the bleeder valve typically restarts the burner, and the furnace is ready to go.

When your furnace runs out of oil it quickly becomes a cause for concern and turns your home into a virtual igloo. To avoid running out, and to ensure comfort and peace of mind, don’t allow the oil in the tank go below the recommended level and schedule regular deliveries and maintenance checks. Give Roberts Heating and Air Conditioning a call today at 847-562-5292 so our technicians can thoroughly assess your system. We will make sure that your oil furnace is in perfect working order and have you in total comfort all winter long.

Image provided by Shutterstock