What You Need to Know Before You Replace Your Oil Furnace or Boiler
Most homeowners give little thought to their home heating system beyond the annual maintenance and fuel deliveries, but if your oil furnace or boiler was installed more than 12 years ago, you may want to start preparing to buy a new one.
According to the manufacturers, oil furnaces and boilers, last between 12 and 20 years. If you’ve taken care of your heating system and had regular maintenance done, you will likely get more than 12 years out of your system. For homeowners that don’t know the age of their furnace or boiler, or are having heating issues, chances are the time to replace it is nearing.
Purchasing a new furnace or boiler is one of the biggest investments a homeowner will make. Fortunately, the cost of the unit is somewhat off-set by the savings you’ll see in fuel costs over the next 12 to 20 years. New oil furnaces and boilers are highly efficient, providing warmth all winter long with less fuel than units from decades ago.
Look for the warning signs
It’s rare for a homeowner to wake up and discover the furnace is no longer working. There are often warning signs in the months and sometimes years before a unit reaches the end of its life. If your furnace or boiler is older than 12 years, here are some signs to watch for.
Are you using more oil? Have you noticed that the oil tank doesn’t last as long as it used to? Furnaces and boilers lose their efficiency as they get older, especially if maintenance has been neglected. A drop in efficiency could mean the system is wearing down.
Are you paying for more repairs? When was the last time you needed maintenance on the furnace, outside of the annual check? If you’re noticing clunking sounds, strange noises or other concerning problems with your unit, it’s likely nearing the end of its life. As with most machines, the older it gets, the more repairs it needs. Calling a repair service more than once a year is expensive; you could be putting that cash toward a more efficient system.
Is your house comfortable? Everyone expects some level of dryness when winter comes, but if the air seems stale, dusty or especially dry, it could be the result of an old furnace or boiler. Older systems can be connected to poor ventilation. Older systems also are at greater risk for crack in the heat exchange, which can allow carbon monoxide into the home. All homes should have a carbon monoxide detector, but updating your furnace provides an added preventative step.
Is your thermostat working? If it seems like your house is cold no matter how high you turn up the heat, or are finding one room is far warmer than another, it could be a heating system problem. When furnaces and boilers get older, they may not be able to distribute heat as thoroughly as they once did. Make sure to eliminate drafts and leaky windows as the cause. Then examine how well the heating system does throughout the home.
I need a new furnace. Now what?
To get the maximum efficiency and effectiveness out of your new boiler or furnace, you should call a professional to determine your home heating needs. You will also need someone to get rid of your old oil unit, and may want a general inspection of ductwork and other components done at the same time.
Furnaces and boilers are sized to fit specific homes, which can affect price. The efficiency and brand can also influence cost. While it is a sizeable investment, a new unit over time can save in fuel and repair costs. For more information about buying a new oil furnace or boiler, call M.L. Halle Oil today.