Malfunctions in an oil-fired heating system, just like other heating systems, may exhibit themselves in the form of strange noises. That is why you should be aware of the normal sounds your oil-fired heating system makes while running so that you can immediately know if something is wrong. Here are some strange sounds that mean a technician should look into your heating system:
Shrieking or Grinding Noises from the Motor or Pump
Both the electric motor and the oil pump may generate a little noise (such as a little humming) even when they are operating optimally because they are electromechanical parts. However, shrieking or grinding noises from the motor or pump is not normal and indicate a malfunction. In most cases, such noises are caused by mechanical movements that lack adequate lubrication, which may be the case if a motor bearing has failed or there is a damage that is causing too much friction.
Banging Noises during Startup
Noises during startup may also indicate serious problems depending on the nature of the noises. You should particularly be concerned about banging noises during startup, especially if they are coming from the direction of the chimney. Such noises may be caused by puffback, a phenomenon where smoke or soot is released and pushed back through various heating equipment openings. The puffback may cause an unwanted ignition that may send sparks and combustion gases flying everywhere so an immediate professional intervention is needed.
Rumbling Noises after Shutdown
Your oil heater should go silent once it has been shut down because all its operations should cease after shutdown. So, you should be seriously concerned if you can still hear noises from the system after shutdown; your concerns should be even greater if they are rumbling noises. Rumbling noises after shutdown usually mean that fuel is still flowing into the combustion chamber. That is a huge risk for an unwanted ignition and explosion that can cause severe damage to the system or injuries.
Roaring Noises from the Chimney
Lastly, your suspicion should also be aroused if you can hear roaring noises from the chimney. While loud noises from the chimney are usually a bad omen but roaring noises like those made by freight trains mean you should turn off the heat and run out of the house, literally speaking. This is because such noises usually herald a chimney fire, which spreads fast and are pretty dangerous. Don't forget to call the emergency services once you have secured your safety.
To be energy efficient, it's important to keep up with your heating maintenance. Hopefully, the above tips have helped you understand when it's time to call a professional.