If your boiler or furnace stops running properly, should you pay to fix it, or simply invest in a new system? The answer to this question will vary from family to family based on your own priorities, but there are some general guidelines that can help you make the right choice.
To make the most cost-effective choice, a homeowner should (a) consult their Oilheat supplier, and (b) weigh the ongoing cost of heating against the cost of system replacement. An Oilheat technician can run a test to determine the efficiency of the system and help you understand how much an upgrade could save you.
For example, if your current system is achieving efficiency of 65 percent and you're using 900 gallons of oil a year, an upgrade could deliver meaningful savings. If you upgraded to an 87 percent efficient unit, you could save 25 percent or about 228 gallons of oil per year. If you upgraded more aggressively to a 91 percent efficient unit, you could save 29 percent or about 258 gallons a year.
The U.S. ENERGY STAR® program recommends that homeowners consider replacing any boiler or furnace that is 15 years old or older.