Tips to Keep Your Burner Running Efficiently

burner maintenanceAn oil burner is a critical component for your home’s heating system, and proper maintenance is essential for system efficiency and lifespan. A properly working oil burner can save you money on home heating oil costs. Since your oil burner is ultimately the component where all of the heat in your home begins, taking care of it, particularly during the winter, is essential for your family’s comfort.

What is an Oil Burner?

Although some homeowners might use the terms “boiler”, “burner”, and “furnace” interchangeably, and the components themselves are connected, they are, in fact, three distinctly separate parts. Let’s take a quick look at what an oil burner is and learn why it’s so essential to your home’s heating system.

As the name indicates, an oil burner ignites heating oil, which then heats air or water. This critical component is attached to an oil furnace, water boiler, or a boiler. Essentially, all of your home’s heat begins with the oil burner. Without an oil burner, your water boiler won’t produce hot water for showers or food, and the furnace won’t make hot air for heating your home.

Oil Burner Maintenance Tips

Most oil burner maintenance needs to be performed by a professional. The oil burner is a complex piece of machinery with many moving parts, and it requires specialized training to safely service. Inexperience can be very costly in terms of damage to your home’s heating system, not to mention a lack of heat during cold weather months. Here are some ways to improve your oil burner’s efficiency and a few trouble signs that indicate a potential problem.

  1. Keep the area around the unit clear. It’s generally best to keep at least several feet around your heating system components open. System fans need as much ventilation as possible to work efficiently. Fans that don’t get sufficient air work harder and don’t cool interior components, causing those components to overwork and overheat.
    You don’t want to keep anything flammable or any combustibles near the unit. It would be best if you kept paints and cleaning fluids far from the oil burner.
  2. Check underneath the oil burner for leaks. If you see an oil puddle under the burner, this means that the gaskets and seals will need replacing.
  3. Use your senses. Does the unit make odd noises? Does it vibrate excessively? Does the burner’s motor or fuel pump sound like it’s straining? Does the burner give off any smoke, or are the flame tips black?

Regular System Maintenance

Regularly scheduled maintenance can help your oil burner run for years without issues. Here are some tasks that a professional should perform on your oil burner as part of regular maintenance.

  1. Have the interior cleaned thoroughly. This can improve oil burner efficiency, increase its lifespan, and save any homeowner money. Soot build-up inside the burner prevents it from burning oil efficiently. 
  2. Check and replace the oil supply lines. Sludge-clogged lines can reduce unit efficiency and even cause the unit to shut down.
  3. Filter changes. As with nearly every component of your HVAC system, this simplest of tasks can help prevent the oil burner from overworking and overheating, causing part malfunctions or parts to break.
  4. Nozzle replacements for gun-type oil burners or “vaporizing gun burners”. Commonly used in American homes, gun burners have high-pressure oil pushed into the burner chamber through a nozzle, where it is atomized for ignition by an internal fan. That nozzle will require replacement occasionally because of the high-pressure feed.


Oil Burner Maintenance and Repair Service

When it’s time for you to get your oil burner thoroughly checked and cleaned, call the experts at Tragar. We offer a full range of professional repair services for oil heat and gas heat systems. Our parent company, Tragar, has been serving Nassau County and Suffolk County residents for over 60 years with our guaranteed 5-star customer service. For information about heating system upgrades or to schedule a COD oil delivery, call Tragar Express today at (516) 206-3805. You can also email us at