Oil filter is a very important part of your oil heat systems. It stops all particles that can be found in the oil, preventing the nozzle from clogging. These filters work almost the same as oil or gas filters in your car, which prevent the engine from damage due to impurities in the fuel. To prevent any damage to your system, the oil filter needs to be cleaned or replaced regularly.

Most commonly, the filter is found on the tank, and looks like an oil filter on a motor vehicle. Replacement filters are inexpensive, and the whole operation is easy, not requiring to hire anyone. You just need to know these basics to be able to replace it:

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• Find the filter housing on the top of your oil tank. It is usually mounted on the tank’s oil outlet and there is a shutoff valve between the filter housing and the tank.

• Turn off the valve to stop flowing of oil between the tank and the filter. Once you close that valve, the oil won’t spill once you remove the filter.

oil-filter• Put a small pan below the filter housing to pick up drops of oil and prevent oil stains on the floor. A paint roller pan would be the best for that.

• Find the retaining bolt on the filter housing. It’s usually on the top center of it. Take a wrench and remove the bolt with it, while holding the filter housing with your other hand. Lower the housing and remove the filter cartridge from it.

• Place the new filter, and replace the old filter housing gasket with a new one. Put a small amount of oil on the new gasket and then raise the filter and its housing back to their position.

• Put back the retaining bolt and tighten it using your wrench. Then turn on the valve slowly to see if there are any leaks, and find out whether it’s done properly. Once you make sure there are no leaks, open the valve fully. You need to make sure there is no remaining air in the filter.

• Locate the filter bleeder. It’s a small bolt on the top of the filter housing. Opening it will make all the excess air leave the filter housing. Once you notice a steady leak of oil through the bleeder, close it tightly.

• Bleed the oil line at the oil burner. Pick up the remaining oil and put it in the pan together with the old filter. Contact your local garbage disposal or recycling company for disposing of the old filter.

Filters need to be replaced before the season, and checked periodocally to ensure they are in good condition.

Here’s a video demonstrating the whole process: