Identifying Common Home Heating Problems
In an effort to save energy, many homeowners have added insulation in their home, installed storm doors and double-pane windows, and followed other energy-conserving strategies. In some cases, these energy-saving changes can seal up a home so tightly that they prevent heating systems from having enough air to operate efficiently.
If you suspect this is a problem, discuss the situation with your heating oil company. Poor air flow can be caused by the following conditions.
- The furnace/boiler room is tightly sealed.
- A fireplace or exhaust fan may be operating at the same time as the burner. This can result in a smoky odor because a back draft is pulling flue gases through the exhaust system and into the home.
- A clothes dryer, workshop or a pet's living quarters are near the oil burner. Lint, sawdust or animal hair can be drawn into the air openings of the burner and clog it.
- If the burner flame looks weak and is orange in color, and if there are signs of soot, there is probably a lack of combustion air. To confirm this, open a door or window to bring air to the area around the heating system and watch the burner flame. If it turns a bright white, lack of combustion air is the problem.
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