Oil furnaces use oil warmed on its burners to heat up an entire house. They spray oil into a small combustion chamber which is then lit up by a fire produced by the furnace. Once the oil is hot, the heat is propelled through the house by way of a furnace fan. Oil furnaces will heat automatically. There's no sticking a match into the machine to light the oil or a pilot light, but if it is not igniting, you can check a few things to make sure.

Step 1

Check to make sure your machine is turned on. While an obvious step, it may prevent a needless visit from the repairman.

Step 2

Check the oil tank to make sure that it is full. If the tank has no oil, then you will have to refill it before the fire will ignite.

Step 3

Unplug the machine and plug it back in. If the machine does not start automatically, hit the reset button once. This should spark a fire. Only hit the button once to prevent a buildup of oil.

Step 4

If none of these solutions work, you may have some issues with your oil furnace. See the Resources below for some other ways to troubleshoot your oil furnace. Call a furnace repairman if your furnace is still not lighting.