How to Replace Your Oil Filter

Your oil heating system’s oil filter will need to be changed twice per heating season: once prior to the start of the season, and again halfway through. Learn how to replace your oil filter by following these steps.

  • Turn off power to the oil heating system.
  • Shut the oil shutoff valve positioned between the oil filter and fuel tank.
  • Place a drip pan below the filter housing to catch any oil that may drip or spill out during the maintenance process.
  • Locate the oil filter housing. Unscrew the bottom of the housing to remove the filter.
  • Pull out the old filter. The filter and any waste oil should be placed in a plastic bag and disposed of properly.
  • Clean the filter compartment, removing any sludge and debris sitting in the bottom of the housing.
  • Examine the filter housing to detect water contamination in your oil tank. If water or red, rust-colored sludge exists in the filter compartment, water contamination in your oil storage tank is likely.
  • Reinsert a new, clean oil filter of the same size and type. If reusable filters are used, perform a thorough cleaning per the manufacturer’s instructions and replace.
  • Change out oil filter gaskets, replacing the old ones with new ones.
  • Reposition the bottom of the filter housing and tighten it, securing it into place.
  • Open the oil shutoff valve.
  • Bleed air from the filter cannister by loosening the air bleeder screw at the top of the compartment. When you visualize oil flowing at the opening of the bleeder, replace the screw.
  • Reconnect electricity to the unit.
  • Allow the unit to run and visually check for oil leaks.
  • Properly dispose of any heating oil that was caught in the drip pan during the filter change process.