Improve, Don’t Remove
Why upgrading your oil furnace or boiler beats converting to a different home heating system.
If your gas or oil-burning furnace or boiler was installed before 1992, you are probably wasting 30% or more of your energy dollars in addition to pumping up to 4 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
State-of-the-art oil boilers and furnaces are robust, dependable, durable, easy to maintain and repair, have many interchangeable parts, and best of all, are super efficient, with efficiency ratings at 95%. Modern oil heating systems in well-insulated homes now allow homeowners to achieve the same amount of warmth using 40% less fuel, further reducing emissions and lowering heating costs. Advancement in equipment technologies has further reduced consumption by 40% from 25 years ago. Using less fuel reduces your total bill and has less impact on the environment.
Reasons to Upgrade
- Cut fuel costs with a high-efficiency boiler or heat and hot water system
- Improve comfort with quieter operation
- Cut greenhouse gas emissions
- Replace an older boiler or furnace that is no longer reliable or has failed
- Improve home comfort
- Expanded use requires more heat or hot water output (such as a growing family or an addition to your home)
- Improve comfort and efficiency with pools or spas
- Improve home resale value
When to Replace
1.) Frequent Repair Costs
It’s normal for a heater to eventually need a new belt or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much mending along the way. Calling the service technician frequently for the same problem and/or needing several visits during the same heating season are indicators that the system may be in need of replacing. A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50 percent of the present value of the heater, then it’s likely time to replace.
2.) Energy Efficiency
Are your energy bills a little more than you remember them being? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system is weakening. Most companies can provide a residential energy audit, which can point to easily remedied inefficiencies like weather-stripping around doors and windows or attic insulation. It may also be the first step in determining if your heating unit is going out.
3.) Old Age
Heating units were never designed to last forever. The average life expectancy of an oil heat appliance is about 30 years when properly maintained, over double that of the 11-14 years promised for natural gas furnaces. But keep in mind many old furnaces operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent or less. A replacement that’s been qualified with the Energy Star rating can be up to 30 percent more efficient.
4.) Excessive Noise
Noises like squealing, jolting, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. It could be as easy as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of the unit has loosened or come completely separated. If noise pollution is an issue for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer equipment, which often operates nearly noiselessly.
5.) Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you have to constantly adjust the thermostat to keep things in the house comfy, that should be a major warning that it’s time to re-evaluate your heating system.
6.) Humidity Issues
Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this important balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating system.
7.) Air Quality Issues
A number of issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed HVAC system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, mold, ozone and even plain old dust, consulting a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road toward fixing them.
A New Furnace Is Right For You… Now What?
After you’ve done all your homework, the next step is to get a quote from a local, trusted oil dealer. Need a suggestion? Find an oil dealer in your area here.
To get an estimate and more details concerning the cost to replace a boiler or furnace in your area, visit HomeAdvisor.com.
In the meantime, click here to learn about easy improvements you can make around your house to further lower your energy bill and get the most bang for your buck with.