Benefits of keeping your oil fired heating system serviced

Benefits of keeping your oil fired heating system serviced

Making sure your oil fired boiler and heating system is kept serviced regularly will keep it at its most efficient. This will help save money on unexpected breakdowns, plumber call out charges and of course reduces your fuel bill. Most equipment manufacturers recommend it is serviced at least once a year.

For a oil fired boiler to remain efficient servicing prevents many of the problems that commonly causing your system to become inefficient and more likely to break down. Some of the main reasons for this are mentioned below:-

The Boiler

  • Partially burnt fuel deposits and excessive smoke can cause a build up of soot in the boiler heat exchanger, this will restrict the amount of heat that can be transferred into the heating system water. The cleaner the heat exchanger, the more efficient the boiler will be.


  • Oil nozzles regulate how much oil passes through the burner. The nozzles are a consumable item that do wear over time, this will effect the combustion rate and lower the boilers efficiency. If these are not replaced on a regular basis they could cause “sooting up” of the heat exchanger due to too much fuel passing through the burner.


  • Photocells can glaze over with deposits. Photocells are an important safety feature which detects whether the boiler has lit. If a photocell is dirty it may not be able to detect the burner flame correctly and could cause the boiler to shut down randomly. Boilers frequently switching on and off will be less efficient than those constantly running.


  • Electrodes can wear and attract soot and deposits. Electrodes produce a spark to light the fuel, if they are worn or in poor condition the boiler may not light. This causes inefficiency, inconvenience and increasing fuel costs.

The oil Storage Tank

Oil storage tanks also require some maintenance to keep the efficiently supplying your boiler with constant clean, usable oil. Water has been known to build up in oil storage tanks over time, this can cause frozen pipe work and frozen blocked filters if the temperature gets low enough. It is recommended that water should be extracted from the tank, filter elements should be cleaned and or replaced and fittings and pipework checked for oil leaks. Steal Tanks also require repainting to prevent corrosion. Any sight gauges or contents gauges should be cleaned and checked to ensure correct operation to prevent you from running out of fuel unexpectedly. Replacement Sight gauges, filter elements and contents gauges can be purchased purchased from our website.

Servicing Your Heating System

During the service;

All appliances should be inspected, cleaned and components replaced as required. If your boiler is not serviced annually it is at higher risk of breaking down and costing you more money. Cleaning the boiler provides a better chance to look for tell tale signs that parts of the boiler may need replacing and an opportunity to inspect the boiler chamber for the condition of the material and welds. Old steel heat exchangers will often leave rust marks, which can give a warning that the boiler will soon need to be replaced. This approach can limit the possibility of water damage occurring and enables replacement work to be planned rather than having the inconvenience of trying to arrange boiler replacements at short notice when the heat exchanger unexpectedly fails.

Long term damage can also occur if the boiler is not serviced regularly. During the combustion process, deposits will build up on the internal surfaces of the heat exchanger and the baffles which can decrease the boiler efficiency. If left for a number of years, these deposits can harden and with some designs of heat exchanger render it impossible to remove the baffles without destroying them. A replacement baffle will come at a significant cost on top of the routine service charge.

Carbon Monoxide ! 

As with any fossil fuel burning appliance, poor or inadequate servicing can cause the generation of carbon monoxide. Therefor, it is absolutely vital that your oil boiler is checked and serviced at least annually. Carbon monoxide is a highly toxic poisonous gas. It is odourless, colourless and tasteless and therefor difficult to detect. Some symptoms of carbon monoxide are as follows :

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

It is advisable to fit an audible carbon monoxide detector.

Peace Of Mind

For Safety, peace of mind, to minimise fuel costs and reduce risk of unexpected breakdowns, OFTEC would recommend that oil users contact the services of local OFTEC Registered technicians to service their oil installations at least annually. The OFTEC website enables you to locate your nearest registered technicians. OFTEC Registered Technicians are appropriately qualified and insured to work in your home. They can also advise on energy efficiency.

You can also find a list of Registered Technicians under the OFTEC logo in the “Heating Engineers” section of your local pages.