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What Happens When an Oilheat Technician Does a Tune-Up on Your Furnace or Boiler?

Date: September 19, 2017

Heating system tune-up

The key to saving energy and money is improving efficiency! And when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of your heating system, one of the best things you can do is schedule an annual system tune-up. You should plan your tune-up service either before winter arrives or right after winter ends.

Tune-ups (sometimes called “system cleanings”) are typically recommended once a year. Not only do they ensure that the system is running properly, but they will ensure that the system is operating at peak efficiency. In fact, a tune-up can help reduce heating oil usage by up to 10%!*

Your oilheat company will do many tests to measure your system’s efficiency during the tune-up service. What they find indicates what adjustments are needed. By doing this, they can save you money on your annual heating costs. These tests may include:

  • Draft overfire and stack temperature: These two tests measure the volume of air and amount of heat going up your chimney.
  • Draft at breech: This measures the draft inside the system; a weak draft won’t vent combustion products properly. If the draft is too strong, however, heat will be pulled out of your home.
  • CO2: Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels will be tested to see how airtight your system is. If a high level is found, your oilheat technician will know your system has air leaks. He will find these leaks and seal them.
  • Smoke reading: Smoke indicates that not all of your fuel is turning into heat when burned. Smoke also forms a layer of build-up in your system, reducing efficiency.
  • Total efficiency: This testing combines all of the readings taken to give an overall efficiency rating of your system. If the reading is too low, it may be time to replace your system.

* National Oilheat Research Alliance