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How to clean oil furnace nozzles

Updated February 21, 2017

Regular maintenance must be performed if you wish to keep your oil furnace operating as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Part of your furnace's yearly, routine maintenance must include a check of the burner nozzle. If the nozzle is clogged or dirty, it will decrease the performance of the furnace and make it more difficult to heat your home. Thus, a clogged nozzle will inevitably lead to the use and waste of excess oil, resulting in a higher heating bill. Fortunately, cleaning the nozzle on your furnace should prove a relatively simple job.

Shut off the power supply to the oil furnace. For most furnaces, this will involve locating the proper breaker in your house's circuit box. Once you've located the necessary breaker, turn it off.

Remove the nozzle from the furnace. The nozzle will be located at the end of the furnace's burner gun. The precise method to remove the burner gun and nozzle will, however, vary depending upon the type of furnace you own. In most cases, you will need a wrench to remove several bolts to loosen the entire assembly that holds the burner motor, blower and gun in place. Once you have access to the nozzle, you should be able to unscrew it by hand.

Pour some kerosene or diesel fuel into a metal container or coffee can. The container will need to be large enough to fully submerge the nozzle in fuel.

Place the nozzle into the diesel fuel or kerosene. Wait approximately 30 minutes. As the nozzle soaks, dirt, deposits and any other gunk that has accumulated within the nozzle will dissolve or loosen.

Remove the nozzle from the fuel and wipe it clean with a lint-free cloth. Unscrew the filter at the end of the nozzle and take out the brass screw pin.

Use an air compressor or canister of compressed air to spray pressurised air into the nozzle and filter. The pressurised air will help dislodge any loose debris left in the nozzle or filter.

Reattach the screw pin and filter to the nozzle. Reconnect the nozzle to the burner and gun. Reattach the burner motor, blower and burner gun assembly to the oil furnace.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Metal container
  • Kerosene or diesel fuel
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Air compressor or canister of compressed air
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About the Author

Arthur Barnhouse has written numerous short stories, contributed content to various websites and was an invited speaker at a university symposium on creative writing. He began writing in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Barnhouse has driven across the United States numerous times and draws upon his travel experiences in his writing.