Written on: May 8, 2023
Did your service technician note signs of heating oil sludge during your most recent boiler or furnace tune-up? If so, that’s not something you should ignore and hope it goes away.
The main cause of heating system problems is heating oil sludge, which is a mixture of dirt, rust, and oxidized fuel. It appears black and thick and can block filters. This puts extra pressure on your equipment to give off heat, which leads to lower efficiency and increased energy costs.
Left unaddressed, sludge buildup can result in heating system failures. Sludge can cause blockages in your furnace or boiler supply line, lowering your system’s efficiency. If you don’t deal with the sludge buildup, it could cause your heating system to seize up and stop working, leaving you without heat. Repairing this issue can be costly.
With time, the accumulation inside your heating oil tank can result in corrosion and eventually cause the tank to fail. Between an emergency tank replacement and remediation costs for any spilled heating oil, that could be extremely expensive. One couple in Massachusetts recently faced a six-figure bill for their heating oil tank failure.
During summer, if your heating oil tank is not full, moisture condenses on the exposed inner walls of the tank. This water is denser than oil and tends to drip down to the tank’s bottom, creating a favorable environment for bacteria and other microorganisms to turn it into sediment or sludge. Over time, this sludge can corrode your tank.
To efficiently and safely remove sludge from your tank and avoid costly repairs and bigger issues, it’s recommended to consult with a waste-oil contractor. They can drain your tank in a timely manner and help improve its performance.
If your tank is old, it is recommended to replace it with a new one. Older tanks made of steel with different thicknesses and single-wall construction are more likely to get corroded. In contrast, the newer tanks made of plastic and fiberglass are less prone to sludge-related damage and can last up to 50 years or more.
Get your heating system maintained annually. This allows Mazzola Oil’s skilled service technicians to discover and resolve any sludge-related problems before they can lead to issues. We include an annual maintenance tune-up in all our heating oil service plans.
Pay attention to your heating oil tank. Keep an eye out for any indications that your old heating oil tank might fail soon. Warning signs may include rust, pinhole leaks, and condensation on the exterior of the tank, even long after a heating oil delivery. If your tank is over two decades old, it’s recommended that you begin making arrangements to replace it.
Keep the tank filled all year, even in summer. To prevent condensation, we suggest filling your heating oil tank before summer because warmer temperatures in those seasons cause tanks with more air than oil to develop condensation.
Now is a great time to fill your heating oil tank to prevent sludge buildup! Request a delivery from Mazzola Oil today.