What Do I Do If My Furnace Runs Out of Oil?

Winter is upon us, and it’s time to crank up the heat, cozy up in front of the fireplace, and get the furnace going. Preparing for winter is important to staying warm and comfortable throughout the season.

Depending on how long the cold lasts, how big your home is, and how much heat you’re using, you may run out of heating oil in the middle of a frosty winter night.

As long as you’re properly prepared, though, there’s no need to panic or resign yourself to a night huddled under a mountain of blankets. Read on to make sure you’re prepared when your furnace runs out of oil.

First, Double-Check You’re Out of Oil

Make sure a lack of oil is the issue. We’ve seen cases from time to time of a supposed empty tank that turned out to be a bungled gauge paired with a different problem. This can mean a lot of frustration and stress for you, so familiarize yourself with how to read your tank accurately.

Notify Your Fuel Supplier

If you work with an automated or scheduled delivery, your first order of business is to contact them and schedule a delivery as soon as possible. This reduces the time your tank sits empty, which prevents the need to bleed the line and reduces the possibility of sludge buildup.

We do not recommend bleeding the line on your own. This can be dangerous and expose you to health and home hazards. If you want to be self-sufficient, get trained by a professional to teach you how to bleed your line. It’s not something we would leave up to online tutorials.

Can I Use Kerosene or Diesel Fuel?

In a pinch, you sure can. Both of these fuel types are very safe, and diesel is quite close to your standard heating oil. It’s wise to keep a set of blue (kerosene) or yellow (diesel) fuel containers for this purpose specifically. Get a fair bit of fuel since you can’t be certain when your supplier can get back to you.

You can keep alternative fuels on hand for the winter, but avoid keeping these fuels for more than six months — a year with fuel additives — because they’ll degrade over time.

The alternative fuel can simply be added to your tank. Give it about 10 to 15 minutes to settle, and then fire up your oil furnace. If all is right, you should get heat like normal until your supplier can get there.

Furnace Services in Allentown, PA With Jack Lehr

Having trouble with your oil furnace or need trained experts to provide oil furnace maintenance after your tank runs out?

Call us any time or contact us online today to get trusted service that puts your needs first.

Questions or need more information?

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When you choose Jack Lehr Heating, Cooling & Electric, you’ll benefit from our:

When you choose Jack Lehr Heating, Cooling & Electric, you’ll benefit from our:

  • 45+ years of experience
  • Your satisfaction, is our priority
  • Top-of-the-line products
  • Respect for your home or business
  • Financing options
  • And much more!
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