Equipment Age and Frequency of Repairs Are Factors
If your heating oil boiler or heating oil furnace is 15-20 years old and repairs are becoming a frequent occurrence, you should take a serious look at your replacement options. Keep in mind that the performance and reliability of heating equipment typically deteriorates after 15-20 years (sooner if maintenance has been neglected).
A new high-efficiency heating oil system can often pay for itself within a relatively short period of time with the money you save each year on heating costs.
At a minimum, a new system should help you save up to 20% on your annual heating costs. (If you significantly improve system efficiency, savings can be even higher.) You’ll feel the difference in comfort too. You’ll also save on repairs because you’ll minimize the potential of a system breakdown, a common problem with old systems.
Besides the age of your heating oil system, here are other factors you should take into consideration.
Cost to Repair vs. Cost to Replace
If the cost to repair your old heating oil system is at least half the cost of replacement, it makes sense to invest in a replacement system.
Improvements in Heating System Efficiency
An older heating oil system could be operating at around 70% efficiency levels—or even less. That means nearly one-third of the heat that’s generated for your home will get wasted. Compare that with new heating oil systems, which tend to operate at 85% efficiency or higher. If you can gain a lot in efficiency, it may be best to replace your heating oil boiler or heating oil furnace now and reap the energy cost savings in the years ahead.
Lack of Maintenance Shortens Equipment Life
Heating oil systems can have longer lifespans if the equipment has been properly installed and maintained. Regular preventive maintenance for every heating system is highly recommended. Proper maintenance may enable you to put off replacing your system for a few years; but do keep in mind that no amount of maintenance will make your equipment more efficient than it was when you first bought it.
Determining Heating Load
Be aware that structural remodeling of your house, (a room addition, finished basement, etc.), will likely affect the “load” of your HVAC systems – the amount of energy needed to keep your home comfortable. If you’ve done renovation work in your house – or plan to – your heating system needs to be able meet the demands of a larger load. Your heating oil full service provider can help you determine what size system, in terms of BTU power, is best for your home comfort.
When to Choose Repairs Over Replacement
When you weigh the costs and benefits of repairing or replacing older equipment with more efficient HVAC equipment, it’s clear that there are significant advantages to replacing an older system. So, when is a repair ever a viable option? Here are a few reasons.
- Your system is less than five years old.
- You’re planning to move soon and expect that the next homeowner will make structural changes to the house that will change the load of the existing system (remodeling, additions, etc.)
- New equipment, technology, or incentive options are available or soon will be.
Your home’s HVAC system should be considered a long-term investment whose components work together to ensure your comfort. Like any investment, you need to do your research to find the best way to spend your money. You should also look into opportunities for savings.
For instance, when you replace your old heating oil system with a new one, you may be eligible for New Jersey equipment rebates and federal tax credits on qualifying high-efficiency heating oil systems.
Remember, not only will you be adding value to your New Jersey home when you upgrade your system, you could also be cutting your annual heating costs by 20% or more. You’ll also continue to enjoy all the benefits of clean burning, safe, and highly efficient Bioheat® fuel.
If you’re ready to explore new heating oil system options for your New Jersey home, your local full-service heating oil company will be happy to help. Please remember to ask about current rebate opportunities for heating oil equipment in New Jersey.