What Happens When The Furnace Runs Out Of Oil?

feeling chilly due to a furnace that ran out of oil

Homeowners always seem to be tackling household chores. As soon as one chore gets crossed off the list, another one is virtually guaranteed to take its place – if not two. If you aren’t busy repairing leaky bathroom pipes or restoring a rickety fence, you’re either changing out old light bulbs or folding laundry.

One very important thing on every oil-heat user’s to-do list is making sure that there’s ample heating oil in the heating oil tank. Homeowners who choose cash-on-delivery or will-call heating oil delivery will have to carefully monitor their heating oil tank levels. They will need to schedule an oil delivery when their oil tanks are approximately 30 percent full. However, what might happen if you get so busy that you overlook this important chore until your tank becomes completely empty. What happens when the furnace runs out of oil?

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Can You Damage Your Home Heating System by Letting Your Fuel Oil Tank Run Dry?

If you ever have the less than pleasurable experience of having a heating oil tank run dry, you may be worried about what the consequences of your oversight will ultimately be. You might be wondering if your furnace will be damaged by your empty heating oil tank, much like a car’s fuel injector can get damaged if you let your vehicle run completely out of gas.

What Will Happen If You Run Out of Heating Oil?

homeowner adjusting thermostat when oil furnace not working

Luckily, you aren’t going to damage your furnace by letting your oil tank run empty.

Even though this sounds like good news, it’s obviously far better to fill your tank. You won’t have to contend with the stress and inconvenience of not having fuel oil, especially if the outside temperatures are incredibly cold. Of course, your furnace isn’t going to work if your oil supply is gone. You won’t have any heat in your home until you order oil and your fuel delivery actually arrives. Thus, to avoid the hassle of having your home be without heat, it’s important to have a nice supply of fuel at all times.

When the heating oil runs completely out this doesn’t mean that your furnace is damaged or even broken. But, most people run out of fuel at incredibly inconvenient times. This will likely happen just when the outside weather grows frigid because your furnace will start using more oil. An already low oil supply is virtually guaranteed to run out. There are many reasons why this is bad, including the fact that a drafty home could result in illness. This is all the more true for aging adults, infants, and even small children.

Still, you don’t actually have to worry about damaging your furnace by having an empty tank. There aren’t any other safety issues to worry about either if your heating oil supply dwindles. This, however, doesn’t mean that having an empty heating oil tank is going to be absolutely problem-free.

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Replacing the HVAC Filter and Having the Fuel Oil Line Bled

image of an hvac contractor replacing oil furnace filter

If it is especially cold outdoors, frozen water pipes are going to be an issue as well. There are many problems that burst water pipes are bound to cause such as water damages, mold growth, and the need for high-cost repairs.

After you’ve replenished your oil supply, the furnace will need to be set, and you should probably change out your HVAC filter also. Running out the oil usually makes it necessary to have the line bled as well. When this is the case, this job should be handled by a seasoned HVAC professional who’s capable of bleeding the fuel line, and who can restart your furnace on your behalf.

Having the line bled is important due to the large amounts of contaminants that may have settled at the base of the heating oil tank. They could work their way back up into the actual fuel lines when the fuel is low or out. You certainly don’t want these contaminants to enter into the home heating system where they’ll cause costly blockages and other expensive problems. Thus, it’s a good idea to have your line bled after your fuel runs out.

Line bleeding services aren’t free and so, you should schedule a time for your HVAC contractor to perform this work. These appointments aren’t always super convenient, and this is definitely another argument for avoiding all of the hassles by keeping your fuel tank full all of the time.

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When To Order Heating Oil

In general, your fuel tank should be refilled when it reaches the 25 to 30 percent full mark. You might even want to schedule recurring fuel delivery (automatic heating oil delivery) of your home heating oil with a trusted heating oil delivery company so that you never run out.

Last, if you’re having furnace troubles or need furnace maintenance, calling an experienced technician is guaranteed to be the best bet. A licensed professional can visit your home and help you put everything in order.

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Call Lawes Company For Fast & Reliable Oil Deliveries

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Lawes Company offers trusted and affordable heating oil deliveries. We are known for our honest heating oil prices and skilled services. Not only that, but we also offer HVAC services which also impact how much fuel your system requires to keep your home warm and safe.

We offer different heating oil plans and financing options as a way to customize your fuel deliveries to meet your needs. Be sure to contact Lawes Company today to ask for more information or request service.

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