The last thing that you want in the winter when you’re coming home after a long day of work is to step into a frigid house. But if you don’t take good care of your furnace, that is precisely what could happen.

To help you prevent that unfortunate scenario, we’ve got seven crucial oil furnace maintenance tips for you to implement in your home maintenance regime.

1. Check for Black Soot

One of the most common signs of oil furnace malfunction is black soot in or around the furnace area or the ducting that transmits the heat. This black soot develops when there is an incomplete burn — the soot is actually very fine ash that develops when there is not enough air in the air/fuel mixture. By regularly checking for black soot, you can ensure that your furnace is not wasting any of its fuel with an improper burn ratio.

2. Listen for Vibrating Sounds

Every so often, go down to your furnace area and listen closely for vibrating sounds. If you hear any vibrations or rattles, that is a sign of something gone awry. That could be something as simple as a de-tensioned belt that needs replacing, or it could be as expensive as a blower motor giving out. Either way, you’ll want to know ASAP before more damage can be done.

3. Check Ducting for Leaks

Another important oil furnace maintenance task is to check the ducting for leaks. If a leak develops, then you could have oil dripping down somewhere that could ultimately severely damage your home’s property value.

4. Change the Air Filter Regularly

The air filter is one of the simplest components of an oil furnace to replace. Simply pop out the old filter from its bracket, clean it, and put it back. In some cases, you may want to replace the filter entirely. Typically you’ll have to replace the filter at least once every heating season.

5. Clean the Thermostat Every Season

Another great oil furnace servicing tip is to clean the thermostat right before a heating season develops. This will allow the thermostat to give accurate readings and preserve the efficiency of your furnace.

6. Lubricate the Blower Motor

In improperly lubricated blower motor can cause several issues. The worst-case scenario is the motor overheating due to the increased friction and burning itself out. This will have you asking the question of how long does a furnace last as you try to get a new one. Don’t let that happen — lubricate the motor frequently so that it can spin freely.

7. Replace the Motor Belt

Last but not least, make it a point to replace the motor belt every so often as well. You don’t need to do this every heating season. Instead, just check the current belt to see that it is tensioned appropriately and does not have any cracks.

Try These Oil Furnace Maintenance Tips

There you have it. With these oil furnace maintenance tips under your belt, there’s no excuse for having an improperly maintained furnace. 

For more home improvement advice, you’re in the right place. Take some time to check out the rest of the articles on the website!