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Service NY 516.783.1000


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Oil-fired heating system guide.

How it works:

Every oil-fired heating system distributes heat throughout the home in one of three ways:

  1. Warm air through vents
  2. Hot water through baseboards
  3. Steam through radiators
How oil fired heating systems work infographic

If a house’s temperature drops under the temperature set on a thermostat (which senses room temperature), it triggers the heating system to switch on and get the heat back up to the temperature set on the thermostat.

When the oil burner in your heating system comes on, the oil in the system goes from the tank to the burner through a pump. During this process, the oil becomes a fine mist mixed with air, which is injected into the burner where it is ignited in the combustion chamber.

Types of oil-fired heating systems:

The system works differently to disperse heat throughout your home depending on the type of system you have:

Water-based systems.

These function when water is heated in either a cast iron or steel boiler before it is dispersed throughout your home and there are two main types of water-based systems:

  • Hot water systems - with this system, the heated water is circulated through radiators or baseboards
  • Steam systems – in this system, the water turns to steam and rises through pipes to the radiators

Warm air systems.

These systems function by the furnace heating air. A blower then sends the heated air 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.

Emissions from the combustion of fuel and air exit the system through a flue pipe that runs out of your home through the chimney.

Long Island: 516-783-1000

Pennsylvania: 215-943-3500

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