What Happens When The Furnace Runs Out Of Oil?

house in winter waiting for an oil delivery

Owning your own home can sometimes feel like a burden with its seemingly endless to-do list. As you complete one task, several more arise. If you’re not repairing a fence or switching out broken light bulbs, you’re playing the role of a plumber fixing leaky bathroom pipes.

Another item that’s likely on your growing list of chores is monitoring your heating oil levels to ensure the tank doesn’t run dry. If you opted for a C.O.D. or will-call heating oil delivery service, it’s crucial to regularly check your supply and call for a refill when the tank reaches the 30% mark. However, you might be wondering what happens if life gets super busy or you forget to check or schedule a heating oil delivery? What happens when furnace runs out of oil?

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Can You Damage Your Heating System By Running Out Of Oil?

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably worry about the possible consequences of running out of heating oil. For example, can it damage your furnace like running out of gasoline can damage your car’s fuel injector?

What Exactly Does Running Out Of Fuel Do To An Oil Furnace?

feeling chilly due to a furnace that ran out of oilThankfully, running out of heating oil won’t do any damage to your furnace.

However, it’s best to keep your fuel oil tank full since there are other downsides, such as your furnace not working. This can be a horrible inconvenience, especially when the weather turns cold and you can no longer heat your home. You’ll have to order more heating oil and wait for delivery until you can use your furnace again. Monitoring your fuel levels to guarantee your supply remains constant can help you avoid unnecessary periods of interruption to your heat.

It’s also important to note that while your furnace isn’t damaged or broken if you run out of oil, running out of fuel does tend to happen at the most inopportune times. For example, your furnace uses more oil to heat your home when the temperature drops. If you’re already running low, the chances are that your supply will completely run dry. This isn’t great news if you have a drafty house since it’ll leave you vulnerable to getting sick. This is especially true for children or elderly people living in the home.

Ultimately, you don’t have to fear that your furnace will sustain damage if your oil tank is empty. You also don’t need to feel concerned over potential safety issues. What you should keep in mind, though, is that an empty heating oil tank doesn’t mean that there aren’t any problems at all.

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Bleeding The Fuel Line & Replacing The Oil Heating System’s Filter

image of a boiler room

If it’s freezing outside, you might find that you have frozen water pipes. Costly repairs, water damage, and mold growth are just a few of the issues that crop up when water pipes burst.

After stocking up on oil, you need to reset your furnace. This is the perfect time to replace your heating system’s filter, as well. One disadvantage to running out of oil is that it may mean you need to bleed your fuel line. If this happens, you need to hire a professional with experience to bleed the line and fire up your boiler or furnace once again.

This process is necessary to clear out any lingering contaminants that enter your fuel line when you run out of oil. The main reason is that you don’t want the impurities that settle on the bottom of your tank to enter your heating system. They tend to cause blockages and damage that can lead to exorbitant furnace repair bills. Therefore, hiring a professional service to bleed your line and change your filter when you run out of heating oil is the way to go.

Unfortunately, this type of service call isn’t free, which is why you need to select a suitable time for the HVAC contractor to do the job. If your schedule is packed, you might find this inconvenient—one of the many reasons to avoid the situation by keeping your tank appropriately filled in the first place.

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The Best Time to Order Your Oil

As mentioned earlier, consider refilling your oil tank when it hits the 30% mark. Start making a habit of it so that it becomes second nature and you don’t easily forget. For the sake of convenience, schedule an automatic home heating oil delivery with a reliable heating oil provider, like Wilcox Energy.

Lastly, always contact a qualified, experienced technician if your furnace is having issues or requires maintenance. A professional will visit your property, assess the situation, fix any problems, and help get your furnace fully functional again.


Call Wilcox Energy For Reliable Heating Oil Deliveries & HVAC Services


For top-notch service and competitive prices on heating oil deliveries and HVAC services, contact Wilcox Energy as soon as possible.

We offer a broad range of fuel delivery plans and financing options, which allow you to customize your oil deliveries to meet your specific needs. We also deliver Bioheat® heating oil, a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil and biodiesel. This liquid renewable fuel makes your home more eco-friendly and your heating system more efficient. It comes to you without any added cost. In addition, we perform heating system repairs and maintenance for the purpose of enhancing the overall efficiency and functionality of all your home heating equipment. Contact Wilcox Energy for all of your residential heating needs.

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For more information about our heating oil deliveries, oil tank installations, or HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us or call us at (860) 399-6218. Call now!