What Happens When The Furnace Runs Out Of Oil?

image of a house in winter that uses heating oil

Most homeowners feel as though they’re constantly moving through a never-ending list of maintenance tasks. Once one chore has been completed, two new chores pop up to add to the list. If you aren’t busy repairing a leaking pipe in your kitchen or bathroom or fixing a broken fence, then you’re putting new light bulbs in or giving your washing machine a deep cleaning.

Checking to ensure that you have enough heating oil is but another item on your ongoing list of chores. Homeowners who choose to use C.O.D. or will-call delivery have to constantly check the levels of oil in their heating oil tank. This way, they can request services when the tank is approximately 30 percent full. But what happens if you get too busy and then suddenly notice that your tank has run completely dry? What happens when furnace runs out of oil?

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Can My Heating System Become Damaged If I Run Completely Out Of Heating Oil?

Like many people who’ve run out of heating oil, you might be wondering what the consequences of this oversight are. For instance, you may be worried that having the tank run empty will damage your furnace, much like running out of gasoline can cause harm to your vehicle’s fuel injector.

What Happens To Furnaces When They Don’t Have Any Fuel?

homeowner feeling chilly due to running out of fuel oil

The good news is that your furnace won’t be damaged if your heating oil tank runs dry.

Even though this is certainly fortunate, it is obviously best to make sure that your heating oil tank stays full. This will eliminate the stress and inconvenience of running out, especially if the outside temperatures are very cold. Obviously, your furnace won’t be able to do its job without fuel. Until your place an order for oil, your home will be without heat. So, to prevent an interruption in heating, you should always make sure that you have an adequate amount of fuel.

Not having any oil doesn’t mean that your furnace is damaged or outright broken. However, it’s generally the case that people run out of heater fuel right when they need it the most. For instance, just as the outside temperatures plummet, your furnace will start using greater amounts of oil, and if you already have a low oil supply, you’re virtually guaranteed to run out. This can be a problem for numerous reasons, including the fact that living in a drafty home can make you more susceptible to certain forms of illness. This is all the more true for aging adults and very young children.

Notwithstanding these things, you don’t have to worry about furnace damage due to an empty oil tank. There aren’t any safety issues to fret over if the heating oil supply runs dry. However, this doesn’t mean that having an empty oil tank won’t pose other problems.

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Replacing The HVAC Filter And Bleeding The Line

prime and start heating oil lines

If it is especially cold, your water pipes might freeze. Water pipes that burst due to freezing temperatures can create numerous problems including water damage to the building, mold issues, and expensive repairs.

After you’ve replenished your heating oil supply, your furnace will need to be reset and you should also take this opportunity to change out your HVAC filter. When you run out of oil, the line may need to be bled as well. If this turns out to be necessary, have it done by a seasoned professional who can additionally restart the boiler or furnace for you.

Bleeding the line is something that you might have to do if contaminants have settled at the bottom of the oil tank and then find their way into the actual fuel lines after the fuel has run out. These contaminants should not be allowed to enter the heating system because if they do, they can create blockages and lead to costly furnace repairs. As such, this is often an essential service after your heating oil tank runs dry.

This isn’t a free appointment and thus, you should search for a good time for your HVAC company to arrive. These appointments aren’t always set at the most convenient of times, and this is another good reason to avoid needing your line bled by simply making sure that your heating oil tank always has enough fuel.

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Setting Up Your Fuel Oil Delivery Schedule

image of a heating oil delivery in new jersey

In general, your heating oil tank should be refilled when it reaches the 25 to 30 percent full level. You might even want to have recurring or automatic heating oil delivery set up for your home to make sure that you never run out.

Finally, if your furnace needs to be maintained or repaired, call a licensed and experienced technician. An HVAC professional can come to your home and restore your heating equipment back to working order.

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Call Point Bay Fuel For Superior Home Comfort Solutions


Point Bay Fuel offers superior heating oil deliveries and HVAC services in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, New Jersey. Our heating oil deliveries are fast, reliable, and affordable, with your safety in mind. Likewise, we hire the best-certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

Point Bay Fuel guarantees the most competitive home comfort service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort and energy efficiency while reducing your home HVAC costs. If you are interested in improving your indoor air quality, then look no further. Our experts know the most advanced solutions to achieve all of your home comfort needs. All of our services are backed with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule an appointment, give Point Bay Fuel a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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