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No Heat? How to Troubleshoot Before Calling for Service

Posted: October 30, 2018

Cold inside the house

Last winter brought Maine some of the lowest, prolonged temperatures in many years. However, Maine oilheat dealers are no strangers to dealing with these type of conditions and they are well-prepared to take care of their customers this winter, no matter what happens in the months ahead.

Of course, when temperatures take a deep drop into the single digits, the number of no-heat calls soars. That’s the bad news. The good news is, if this happens to you, you may be able to solve the problem by yourself.

What should I do if I lose my heat?

Before calling your service company, try these steps to see if you can get your furnace or boiler to start generating heat again:

  • Make sure you have fuel in your tank.
  • Check to see if the power switch for the heating system is turned on.
  • Look for a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.
  • Confirm that your thermostat is set above room temperature; check the batteries too.
  • Push the reset button on your oil burner—but not more than once or you may flood the system with oil.

If you still can’t get heat, it’s time to call in an oilheat professional.

Avoiding fuel run-outs

A common reason for losing your heat is running out of heating oil. During periods of extreme cold, check your fuel tank level often, even if you are enrolled in automatic delivery. Last winter, oilheat consumers burned about 20% more fuel than normal because of the record-cold temperatures.

Your oilheat dealer does not want you to run out! If you notice your oil tank level has reached 1/8, please contact your oilheat company immediately and they will get a delivery truck to your home as soon as possible.

Please note: when there’s a storm coming, your oilheat company will accelerate their delivery schedule to fit in extra deliveries ahead of time. However, they typically can only do that for automatic-delivery customers. If you don’t get automatic deliveries, please consider that option. Read more about what your full service oilheat dealer can do for you.

Clearing your driveway

Just because your car can get in and out of your driveway after a snow storm doesn’t necessarily mean that fuel trucks can. Oil delivery vehicles need a 9-foot- to 10-foot-wide clear path in your driveway to allow enough room for maneuvering. Your heating oil provider cannot make a delivery if a driveway is not clear, so please make sure that this is done. Driveways need to be salted too. You should also maintain a clear path to your oil tank and fill pipe.

Please contact your oilheat company if you have any concerns about staying safe and warm as another New England winter heads our way.