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Do You Need Late Season Heating Repairs?

Posted: March 15, 2021

While spring is just a week away, we all know from experience that it’s too soon to pack away our winter clothes or turn off the heat. We’ve seen plenty of chilly springs here in the Delaware Valley.

With that said, make sure you arrange for your annual spring heating system tune-up so your furnace or boiler is ready to roll again in the fall.

Regular equipment maintenance is a vital money-saving investment for heating systems– not just because it can keep your equipment running safely and at peak efficiency, but also because four out of five heating system breakdowns are preventable if you follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.

A tune-up also allows our expert technicians to spot minor issues before they become big problems (worn parts, a burner that needs adjustment, etc.) 

If you’ve noticed any problems with your system recently, please don’t ignore it. These are most likely “red flags” alerting you to the need for professional service.

Here are just a few examples.

Heating Equipment Warning Smells

  • Oil odors. If your heating oil system is working properly, you should never smell fuel oil. An oil smell could be caused by a leak, burner troubles, a heat exchanger failure or exhaust system problems. You should schedule service as soon as possible to correct this situation.
  • Propane gas odors. Propane smells like rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray. Propane manufacturers add this smell to help alert consumers to propane leaks. Please review these safety tips so you know what to do in case you ever smell propane gas in your home.
  • Smoky odors when your burner is operating. If a fireplace or exhaust fan is running at the same time as your oil burner, this can result in a smoky odor because a backdraft is pulling flue gases through the exhaust system and into the home. If you actually see smoke coming from your heating system, shut it down immediately and call us.

Unusual Noises Coming From Your Heater

Here are a few sounds and the possible cause. Note: a correct diagnosis can only be made with an onsite visit by our service technician.

  • Banging, whistling, howling, or the sound of rushing water in your pipes. These are common symptoms of air in the pipes, insufficient water flow, or a build-up of sludge.
  • Booming or rumbling burner. It’s normal to hear a burner “kick on,” but if it makes a loud boom, also known as a “hard start,” the burner is not igniting properly. It needs to be serviced as soon as possible.
  • Straining sound from the fuel pump. This means that there is a clog somewhere in the delivery system, for instance, in a filter or supply line.

If you are experiencing problems or have questions about reducing your heating costs or simply using energy around your home in smarter ways, please contact Wilson Oil and Propane for advice.