Tag Archives: fix-it

We Have Heat and Other Furnace Talk

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While our cats love the wood stove and it does a good job of heating up our front room, it does nothing for the entire house, particularly the bedroom.  Only our oil furnace does the trick of heating our entire first floor.

So, as luck would have it, as we go back into another cold snap, we had scheduled our fuel fill for early this week and it came today!  Plus, the cost was the lowest since we’ve lived here ($2.29/gallon, compared to the usual $3.39 on up).  So, no worrying about if we have enough fuel for the furnace, and no trekking in sub-zero wind chills to fill our canisters with diesel to keep the furnace going!  At least not for another couple months.

And while I’m going on about oil furnaces, I’ve become adept at keeping ours running.  The first time we ran out of fuel and had to re-start it for our second winter, I found out how to bleed the line thanks to You Tube (unlike gas heat, air gets in the lines if oil fuel runs empty and you have to bleed it like you do brakes on a car).  That has helped tremendously–and I suspect they needed bleeding before that as the first winter I had to hit our furnace re-set button way too many times and didn’t have to do that so much after I bled the line.

Also during our second year, after mentioning to our delivery guy that our fuel has been low, he said we want to then top off with off-road diesel to avoid running out, otherwise we risk sludge from the bottom of the fuel tank making it’s way past the filter and clogging the line before it gets to the furnace.  Another great tip, since that would buy us time if we didn’t have the money for a fuel fill when we were low.  Plus, after installing our wood stove, last year we didn’t need a fill at all since we combined electric, wood, and our fuel furnace heat.

We did end up with a service call the end of last year, where I learned how to change the oil filter (needed it badly) and how to clean up the fuel injectors (or whatever they are called), and cleaning the injectors and re-connecting the ignitors has already been a task for this year, and changing the filter will be coming up.  Since our furnace is at least 30 years old but we can’t afford a new one, I’m having to squeeze as much life out of this one as possible without costly service calls.