How Do Oil Heating Systems Work?

Home heating

Today’s oil-fired heating systems can feature some pretty advanced technology (one of the reasons you should always call for professional heating service when you need repairs with your heating equipment), but in the end the job they do is pretty simple.

That job, of course, is to keep your house warm by distributing heat.

With oil-fired equipment, this can be done in one of three ways: by circulating warm air through vents (a forced air or warm air system), hot water through baseboards, or steam through radiators.

The thermostat: your heating system starting point

The process of heating your home starts with your thermostat, which senses when the room temperature has dropped below your preferred setting; when it does, the thermostat sends a signal to engage the oil burner.

Once the oil burner is engaged, heating oil travels from the tank to the burner via a pump, where it is vaporized and mixed with air. The fuel/air mixture is then injected into the burner where it is ignited in a combustion chamber, where it heats water or air for distribution.

Heating system types

The next step in the home heating process is to distribute heat throughout your home. The way it accomplishes this depends on whether your system is water- or air-based.

There are two main types of water-based systems: hot water systems and steam systems. In both system types, water is heated in a boiler before it is distributed throughout your home.

  • In a hot water system, the heated water is circulated through radiators or baseboards.
  • In a steam system, the water turns to steam and rises through pipes to the radiators.

In a warm air system, a furnace heats air; a blower then sends the heated air up through the ducts and out of vents in your floors or walls. The air gets drawn back to the furnace through a return duct and the cycle repeats.

Finally, in all the systems mentioned, the emissions from the combustion of fuel and air exit the system through a flue pipe that runs out of your home through the chimney.

The basics may be simple, but keeping your oil-fired heating equipment working right is a job for the experienced, highly trained technicians at Burt’s Reliable. For expert service – including heating repairs, heating equipment installations, and routine maintenance service for all your oil-fired heating equipment – trust the pros at Burt’s.

Contact us today to learn about our heating services for your Suffolk County home.

Burt’s reliable – Proudly serving Long Island’s North Fork and East End, including the towns of Southold, Greenport, Cutchogue, Mattituck, Riverhead, Jamesport, Hampton Bays, and Wading River.