The onset of colder winter months means figuring out how to keep your house warm and should be a top concern for all homeowners. After all, the amount that you pay in heating costs can greatly increase when temperatures reach below zero. 

Some of the best ways to keep your house warm in the winter, while keeping utility bills low, is a combination of things easily done by a homeowner, while other strategies are best done by a professional home heating service.

Cochran Oil can help you in both ways. Our home heating experts not only know how to keep your heating system running in top shape – we identify areas throughout the house where homeowners can take charge.

We’ve listed several of those things our home heating specialists might suggest to any homeowner. Focus on insulatingyour home – it’s the most important part of keeping it warm throughout the winter, and you’ll be surprised by how many small projects can effectively help you do this.

Ways to Keep Your House Warm This Winter


ai_keephousewarm_2Some of the suggestions may seem obvious, but they have been tried and tested by homeowners and home heating specialists for decades.

1. Rugs – Carpeting increases the insulation capabilities of a home, which means less heat escapes.

Wood and linoleum flooring get very cold in the winter when the heat isn’t blasting. That means your heating system is working overtime to overcome the cold emanating from your floors.

Large rugs or wall-to-wall carpeting, helps keep cold emanating from the floors, which then cools the air further. Plus, walking on carpets in the wintertime is much more enjoyable than walking on wood or linoleum.

2. Curtains – Windows are one of the leading sources of “heat bleed” – the act of heat produced by your heating system escaping through openings in your home.

Thick curtains keep heat from reaching the windows, which means less heat escapes. If used in tandem with heavy drapes, this will result in helping to keep your house warm in extreme cold.

3. Blocking Gaps – Blocking gaps is a simple approach to battling heat bleed.

Whether you install a plastic or fabric door bottom to seal a gap between a door and the floor, or you roll plastic over windowsills to isolate the window from the inside space, you’re blocking gaps.

ai_keephousewarm_3You may not know that there can be gaps throughout your home. For instance, the attic is one of the spaces in your home most responsible for losing heat. 

Very often, people think that these measures are enough to keep a house warm in extreme cold, but the value of an end-to-end heating inspection of your home – from the gaps in your attic to the need for a new boiler – cannot be understated.

How to Keep Your House Warm in the Winter

Heating Professionals

Heating professionals approach the insulation and optimization of your heating system in a different way than the homeowner.

Heating technicians at Cochran Oil come to every home with only one goal in mind – saving you money on utilities, either immediately or in the long run.

With that said, heating professionals have a wide variety of options to choose from when trying to keep your house warm during the winter.

1. The Boiler – In many cases, the boiler in a home may be old.

Older boilers may not running at peak efficiency, most likely need maintenance, or need to be replaced outright.

A properly maintained boiler will run at peak efficiency, delivering heat throughout the home in the desired manner.

If a new boiler is needed, there could be significant up-front costs., Yet, over the lifetime of your new oil or gas boiler, you’ll see substantial savings. If you are not planning to leave your home anytime soon, a new and more efficient boiler will pay for itself over time.

2. Fireplaces and Chimneys – Do you have a fireplace in your home? If you do, you could be losing a large amount of heat.

Unless fireplace plugs are installed, or fireplace caps are outfitted to the top of the chimney, heat will escape to the outside in a big way. This will cause your heating bills to go up as your heating system tries to make up for all the lost heat exiting the house through the fireplace or chimney.

Also, you’ll want to have your chimney inspected. Soot and ash can build up and contaminate the air of your home, posing a health risk to you and your family.

3. Dampers – Dampers are mechanisms that control air flow through a home heating duct system.

Greater airflow from the heating source will increase the temperature throughout the home, while less airflow will lower the temperature. Home heating specialists can either repair or install dampers to give you more control over the heating in your home.

Also, if your home already has dampers installed, home heating specialists at Cochran Oil will be able to ensure it is working properly, from the joints that hold it together, to the motor for your home heating system.  ai_keephousewarm_4 

4. Thermostats – Sometimes thermostats outlive their usefulness. They will either need to be repaired or replaced.

Over time, thermostats can start delivering incorrect information to your heating system. For instance, if the home is colder than usual, it might be because the thermostat is not sending the correct signal to the heating system.

Thermostats are mechanical and electronic instruments, which means training is required to service them. It is strongly advised that you only let a trained home heating professional work on your thermostats to keep them in top operating order.

5. Filters – Filters in ductwork and throughout home heating systems keep the air you breathe safe and clean.

Particulates and pollutants travel throughout the house and, through a properly installed filter, will always be cleaned as it passes through.

Conversely, an improperly installed heating system filter will potentially bleed heat through the sides. Or, if it is too dirty, will release pollutants and particulates into the air.

A filter that is too clogged with particulates and pollutants will not ventilate heat properly, which will result in a colder home for you and your family.

Most often, a home heating professional will suggest replacing filters, and having them properly installed by a trained technician. This ensures your air is clean, there is proper airflow throughout the home, and that you are benefiting from all the heating fuel you’re paying for.


ai_keephousewarm_5It’s clear that bringing a home heating professional into your home is the best way to ensure that your home stays warm this winter. 

Extreme cold taxes heating systems greatly, and year-over-year, elements of your home heating system will need to be repaired or replaced.

Home heating specialists can offer many suggestions to a homeowner to help them lower their heating bills – suggesting rugs, covering up windows with plastic and curtains, and more.

But many of the most effective ways of heating your home require investments in your home heating infrastructure. Your boiler, thermostats, ductwork, and fireplaces all fit into this category.

If you’re worried about how you can keep your home warm this winter, Cochran Oil. With decades of experience in the field, our home heating specialists have seen everything. That means your comfort, your family, and your home are in good hands.

Without a doubt, the home furnace is one of the most crucial systems in your home.

Yet, just like any complex system, things go wrong. The many working parts of home furnace systems can break down, wear away, and stop working as they’re supposed to. Without proper maintenance, these types of issues can start popping up too often to keep up with – that’s why hiring a professional home furnace repair service is absolutely essential.

A Complex System

Your home’s oil-furnace or gas-furnace system is a collection of complicated and varied components. Some of these components, like the boiler, are large and durable enough to withstand many years of use.ai_furnacesystems_4

But, many of the smaller parts of a home furnace system are prone to breaking down. And, when something does need repair or replacement, it’s hard to tell where to start without the proper training and experience.

Most all issues with home furnace systems are caused by a lack of maintenance and tune-ups. A full, end-to-end home furnace tune-up will ensure all components are operating at optimal efficiency and clearly indicate what furnace repair parts are needed.

In this furnace troubleshooting article, we’ll explore the ten most common issues homeowners experience with home furnace systems. You’ll understand more clearly why your furnace isn’t working, and the importance of proper maintenance and whole-system tune-ups to save you money and keep your home comfortable year-round.

The 10 Most Common Issues with Home Furnace Systems

Have you ever found your home furnace system doesn’t work properly, or stopped working altogether?

Many homeowners will at some point experience one of these problems with their home furnace system. If you have any further questions about issues with your heating system, contact us today – our experienced heating system technicians can pinpoint any of these problems, and many more that are not so common.

  1. Thermostat – Most all home heating furnace systems are run by a thermostat, and sometimes this thermostat appears to not be working.What happens often is that homeowners forget to turn on their thermostat. Simply flipping the switch to “On” will reactivate your home heating system, returning your home to a comfortable temperature.ai_furnacesystems_1The thermostat could also stop working altogether. Whether it doesn’t read the switches correctly or stops sending a signal to a home heating system, these types of fixes are best done by a trained professional.
  2. Circuit Breaker – Older homes will have circuit breakers that are easily tripped, meaning they turn off when they are overloaded with power demand.You can check your circuit breaker by opening up your electrical circuit breaker box and seeing if any of the switches are tripped. This is indicated by whether any of the switches are pointing toward the “Off” position.If you have an old home, you may need a new circuit board, or a furnace system that doesn’t demand as much power. For a full furnace system replacement, make sure to call a professional home heating service.
  3. Safety Switch – Also known as the “limit switch,” this safety feature turns off the furnace if there is a risk of overheating.Overheating often happens to older systems, especially if additions have been added to a home with an outdated heating system. If you haven’t replaced your home heating system since having an addition – or it’s a very old system – it may need to be completely replaced.
  4. Clogged Filter – Your home heating furnace’s filter captures allergens in the air and keeps emissions from filling up your home.ai_furnacesystems_2A clogged filter – meaning one that is overloaded with particulates from the air – will block warm air from flowing throughout the home. Additionally, filters that have been ignored for a long time become a safety concern. If you suspect this could be the main issue with your home heating system, contact us as soon as possible.
  5. Furnace Placement Upkeep – The area around your furnace must be clean and free from debris at all times.Most furnaces are placed in basements within homes, and basements are often not as regularly cleaned as the rest of the house. Moisture and dust wear down metal components, while also risking a potential fire hazard.Make sure, as part of annual maintenance, to thoroughly clean the area around the furnace. Additionally, placing any storage items in or around your furnace makes maintenance and servicing more difficult for yourself and qualified technicians.
  6. Burner Flame – A furnace is only as valuable as its properly working burner flame. Without a consistent and steady burner flame, your home will not be heated, and your home furnace system will begin wasting fuel.Proper maintenance of the burner flame mechanism includes a thorough cleaning, replacement of non-working components, and a complete functionality check.Best done by qualified professionals, maintenance of your burner flame mechanism will save you money and ensure year-round home comfort.
  7. Furnace Blower – The purpose of your furnace blower is to circulate heat generated by the furnace throughout your home. If the motor or fan are not working properly, a home furnace system can overheat.ai_furnacesystems_3To save on fuel and potentially large repair costs, monitoring the activity of your furnace blower is crucial. A trained technician checks the electrical supply, along with the flow of heated air throughout your duct system.
  8. Vents and Ducts – The way your home furnace system transfers heat throughout the home is through ducts and vents.Sometimes a duct can be torn or dislodged, allowing heat to escape to spaces in the walls and attic. This puts a larger burden on your home heating system as it uses more fuel to heat your home properly.If a vent is blocked by debris or not working properly, it will not transfer the heat generated by your furnace. This also will result in higher fuel costs.
  9. Electric Ignition or Pilot Control – Have you ever forgot to turn on the water when you’re boiling something? Without a properly functioning pilot or ignition, your home furnace system ceases to do its job – heat your home.Crucial elements to check when maintaining your electric ignition or pilot control include ensuring the power source is unimpeded, and on-and-off switches are completely opening and closing the flow of fuel.Overlooking this key component to any home heating system could cause your home to become uncomfortable very quickly – especially in winter. To avoid having the ignition or pilot stop working at the worst time, have a technician complete an end-to-end furnace check that includes this component.
  10. Heating and Rapid Cycling – Your furnace starts and stops all the time according to the work needed to heat your home.The heating cycle is a succession of starts and stops that allow heat to build up, then be moved from the furnace system to the rest of your home. If your home is heated too quickly, your system will stop producing warm air fast enough. This results in deep temperature drops throughout the day. This is known as “rapid cycling”.A proper heating cycle will not be too quick, the length of which is determined by the size of the home. This is an adjustment made when the furnace system is installed, and best done by a trained technician.

The Right Person for the Job

If your furnace is not working, you might be thinking to yourself, “I could do that!”.

Yet, having trained and experienced technicians is a safety consideration along with a financial one. If any of these above issues are not dealt with correctly you could face extensive repairs or possibly replacement of your entire oil furnace or gas furnace system.

At Cochran Oil, we are here to help. With a track record for long-lasting and affordable home heating solutions, we can ensure every component is running properly and safely – saving you money and giving you peace of mind. We come ready with all furnace repair parts to offer you the most efficient solution to your home comfort needs.