The Importance Of Regular Heating Oil Filter Replacements

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Heating can be expensive. After all, it accounts for almost 50% of the monthly energy expenses in US homes, which is much more than other appliances. Focus on heating to have bigger energy savings. This includes learning how you can improve your efficiency. Several approaches are more effective than others, like regular heating oil filter replacements. This article discusses all you need to know about this energy-saving habit.

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The Importance Of Regular Heating Oil Filter Replacements

Learn more about oil filter replacements and why they are crucial to your system’s performance, service life, and heating bills.

Related Article: 10 Ways to Save Money on Heating Oil Costs

What is a Heating Oil Filter?

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Homes with fuel oil-powered appliances are equipped with heating oil filters. The fuel passes through this cartridge to eliminate contaminants before it gets to the burner. Its presence keeps moisture and dirt from causing a clog on the fuel nozzle. It also ensures the pump operates properly. An operational filter is essential to prevent system lockouts and equipment damage.

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Why Regular Heating Oil Filter Replacements Are Important

Filters capture dirt, but their surfaces get less porous over time. The flow rate of oil significantly decreases until it stops. Some particles may get into the system and create clogs. You should change the oil filter before this occurs. Keep in mind that the fresh oil filter replacement will go through the same ordeal, so you’ll have to change it again eventually. It should become part of your regular maintenance. Fortunately, replacing filters is quick and easy and comes with several benefits.

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The Benefits of Replacing Your Heating Oil Filter

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Doing this task consistently will magnify the benefits. It may seem trivial to replace your oil filters, but HVAC professionals state that it is crucial for all oil furnace or boiler owners. Don’t underestimate how this task can help you. Here are several pros you will receive when you replace your heating oil filter regularly:

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Improve Heating Oil Equipment Reliability

Heating systems require a steady flow of clean oil to operate as expected. Any interference, like a dirty filter, can reduce its performance. Your heating oil system may work harder to provide adequate heating. Worse, it may break down and leave your family freezing during the winter. Ensure that this doesn’t occur in your home. Maintaining your system regularly can help ensure that your heating system has improved reliability. Replace the filter at regular intervals for smooth operation.

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Maintain High Heating Efficiency

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The system efficiency on the label won’t last. Components get worn out, and dirt will accumulate, causing the efficiency to drop. Inefficient furnaces use more fuel during heat generation. This is bad for the environment that’s already negatively affected by high carbon emissions. Book annual professional maintenance to ensure your system’s efficiency remains high. HVAC technicians will conduct a thorough checkup during their visit. Make sure you change the oil filter per the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. This way, your HVAC system can stay running as good as new.

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Prolong HVAC Service Life

New oil filters ensure that the heating system stays clean. The system will have an easier time avoiding hazards like dangerous clogs. They also help lower the stress on individual parts so they have a longer lifespan. This is advantageous for the heating system as it will also have a prolonged service life. It can operate reliably for over a decade, so you don’t need to spend a hefty sum on premature HVAC system replacement. You can keep more of your money and enjoy exceptional HVAC performance.

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Save Significant Money

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Apart from helping the environment with reduced emissions, clean oil filters also help lower your energy bills. Fresh oil filters help reduce your energy use, which is welcome when there is low fuel oil supply and high fuel oil costs. This helps ensure your heating costs remain manageable each year.

Related Article: Oil Tank Condensation: What You Ought To Be Aware Of

How Often You Should Change the Heating Oil Filter

At a minimum, it is recommended that you replace the oil filter once a year. Change it before the start of the heating season so your system can filter the oil flawlessly. Increase the oil filter replacement frequency to two times a year if you encounter filter clogs. Prevent it from recurring by replacing the filter halfway through the season.

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How to Tell When Your Oil Filter Needs a Replacement

Here are several signs the oil filter needs to be replaced:

  • Slow Starts: You know the behavior of your furnace or boiler when you’ve been using it for some time. Be on the lookout for strange behaviors, such as odd sounds and slow starts. A clogged filter may be causing your system to experience some difficulties. 
  • Dark Smoke: It is normal for your system to emit light-colored smoke. However, it is concerning if you see dark smoke coming out from the chimney. This indicates that water is passing through the oil filter. When was the last time you changed the oil filter? The oil filter may be clogged with debris and moisture. Therefore, you should take it out and replace it.
  • Subpar Performance: Does it feel cold in your home? Are there any changes when you increase the thermostat settings? You likely have a dirty oil filter if your heating system doesn’t provide sufficient warmth to your home. It can also cause the system to switch off suddenly. The clog may be on the filter or a component near it.

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How to Change a Heating Oil Filter

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Here are the steps to changing your heating oil filter:

  1. To ensure your safety, switch off the power before doing anything to the system.
  2. Place a pan under the filter to avoid any mess, as the pan will catch oil drops. 
  3. Turn off the heating oil tank’s shut-off valve to prevent soil flow. 
  4. Take out the oil filter canister’s base.
  5. Remove the used cartridge and gaskets.
  6. Clean the filter canister and pump strainer before placing in a new filter.
  7. Assemble the canister again before mounting it in place.
  8. Open the supply valve and switch on the power.
  9. Loosen the screw on the air bleeder to allow gas to escape.
  10. Run the oil burner and check its behavior.
  11. Conduct a thorough system check to look for oil leaks.
  12. Once everything is in order, dispose of the old filter to finish the task.
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Tips for Heating Oil Filter Replacement

Here are several useful tips when replacing your heating oil filter:

  • Remember that oil can irritate your skin. Therefore, you must protect your arms and hands by wearing gloves. You should also wear an apron or something similar to prevent fabric stains.
  • Handle the canister carefully. Make sure your hands support it properly so it doesn’t drop and get damaged.
  • The rings and washers must be appropriately organized. They are small but crucial filter components, so do not lose them.
  • Remain vigilant. Leaks don’t always occur immediately. They may only become evident after 48 hours have passed. 
  • Changing the oil filter is a messy and dangerous task. If you are wary about doing it, hire a professional to help you.

Related Article: Best Ways To Maintain Your Hydronic Heating System


Oil filters ensure that our furnaces do not clog. They also help ensure our heating unit runs smoothly. However, it only works for a limited time. They must be replaced constantly to maintain high performance, reliability, and efficiency. Make sure that you conduct regular filter replacements. If you are unsure how to do it, contact a reputable professional to help you achieve a stress-free replacement.

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For All Home Heating Needs, Give R.F. Ohl A Call

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R.F. Ohl is a reputable HVAC company, as well as a discount supplier of heating oil in northeastern Pennsylvania. You’ll find that we offer competitively priced heating oil that’s very affordable. At R.F. Ohl, our goal is to provide products and services designed to meet the needs of each client. When you choose us for your home heating oil needs, you’ll get on-time and accurate deliveries with the best available prices for heating oil.

As mentioned, R.F. Ohl also has technicians on their staff who are professionally certified to address any HVAC needs you might have. Our professionals bring the skills, experience, and training needed to ensure reliable and accurate service. From installation and repairs to maintenance and tune-ups, R.F. Ohl offers affordable prices and superior HVAC solutions. Give us a call now and get more information regarding the products and services we offer.

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