Perhaps the most neglected yet the most important aspect of an oil burning heating system is regular maintenance. To maintain peak efficiency and safety, an annual tune-up or yearly cleaning is essential.
But in a weak economy, many homeowners who seek to cut back on their home expenses often forego this routine and relatively low cost annual service. However, letting a year or more pass without having a cleaning and inspection can not only cost more money in the long run, but can cause illness.
According to Tom Foye, owner of Affordable Oil Burner Service, a Boston based oil burner service company, more homeowners than ever before are neglecting their heating systems until they break down. Because the oil burner is automatic, some homeowners are not aware they have a problem until their heat fails on a cold night. When this happens, a service call often leads to expensive repairs that could have been prevented with proper maintenance.
For example, a neglected system will take four to five hours to clean, and cost $400-$500 instead of taking just one-two hours, at a cost of only $100. With some neglected forced how water/steam systems, the build-up of soot on the boiler gets so plugged it become like cement, resulting in the need to replace the boiler at a cost of $3,800 - $7,000 depending on the size of the system.
The best time to schedule an annual tune-up is during the summer season. A regular cleaning will ensure that the oil heating system will run at peak efficiency and will result in a 10-15% savings in heating oil. The system will also operate safely as a neglected system can omit dangerous carbon monoxide - a colorless, odorless, tasteless toxic gas. With proper maintenance, an oil burner should run efficiently throughout the winter and will last for years.
Heating Oil News
Excerpts from Tom Foye