Should I Repair or Replace My Heating Oil System?

Written on: August 23, 2021

oil furnace repair new yorkIf your oil boiler or oil furnace is at least 15 years old, consider replacing your heating system soon; the performance and reliability of heating equipment typically deteriorates after 15 years (sooner if maintenance has been neglected). And just like computers and smartphones, heating equipment becomes outdated over time.

With better technology, 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. After that, you can start adding up all of your energy savings!

At 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.

What Is the Cost to Repair vs. Cost To Replace?

If you’re not dealing with small, easy and inexpensive repairs, it’s time to crunch some numbers. If the cost to repair your heating oil system is at least half the cost of replacement, it makes sense to invest in a replacement system.

How Much Will I Gain in 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 systems, which tend to operate at 85% efficiency or higher. If you can gain a lot in efficiency, it may be best to replace now and reap the energy cost savings in the years ahead.

How Well Has Your Current System Been Maintained?

Heating oil systems can have longer lifespans if the equipment has been properly installed and maintained. Regular preventive maintenance for every HVAC 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.

What Size System Does My Home Need?

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 work to your house – or plan to – your heating (and cooling) system needs to be able meet the demands of a larger load. Your heating oil service provider or HVAC contractor can help you determine what size system is best for your home comfort.

Should I Go With the Lowest Bid?

More than half of the new HVAC systems installed in the U.S. are not sized properly, and a mismatch means you’ll pay more every year for a system that performs below expectations. Poorly-sized heating systems may cost less to install because in order to offer a cheap price, many contractors cut corners during the installation process. This usually results in problems down the road with system longevity, poor comfort performance and/or premature break downs. In many cases, a poor installation will result in no energy savings and possibly increased energy costs.

Adding It All Up

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 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. If you’re ready for a new boiler or furnace replacement, you can learn more here.

When you replace your old heating oil system with a new one, you may be eligible for rebates on qualifying high-efficiency heating oil systems. Remember, not only will you be adding value to your Hudson Valley 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 of the benefits of clean-burning, highly efficient Bioheat® fuel.

Read more about New York State heating oil rebates.