If your home has been heated with a rickety or temperamental oil furnace for years, you may have found yourself anxiously awaiting the furnace's final death knell so that you could upgrade to a more efficient model. But even if your old furnace is well beyond repair, replacing this furnace with a new, non-oil burning one may not always be the right decision. Read on to learn more about some of the factors to consider when deciding whether to upgrade to an entirely new type of heat source or to simply invest in a newer oil furnace.
The Price of Heat
Heating oil can fluctuate wildly in price from year to year, and the price per gallon tends to rapidly rise during the winter months. For homes with older, inefficient furnaces, this can often mean an expensive mid-winter heating bill if you have to have your tank refilled before the spring thaw arrives. But there are some alternatives to paying for factory-delivered heating oil, including recycling cooking oil to make biodiesel that can power an oil-burning furnace at a much lower cost. You may also be able to invest in an ultra-efficient furnace that allows you to stock up on oil during the summer months and avoid the mid-winter price spike.
Your Home's Size and Energy Efficiency
Whenever you're shopping for a replacement furnace, it's important to keep your home's size, layout, and general efficiency in mind. The right heating source for a small or centrally-oriented home can be much different from one designed for a sprawled-out home. By that same token, a home that hasn't had new windows for several decades or that lacks insulation between the roof and ceiling may require a much larger-capacity heater to maintain a comfortable interior temperature than square footage readings might otherwise suggest.
It often makes sense to make these energy-efficiency improvements before investing in a new heater, as you'll then be able to buy a heater that's suited for your home instead of one that must compensate for its inefficiencies.
Comparable Homes in Your Neighborhood
Even if you're not too worried about resale value, it can be a good idea to keep your neighbors' homes and setups in mind. If all the other houses in your neighborhood have upgraded to natural gas heating or electric baseboard heat, maintaining the only oil furnace on the block could make your house harder to sell or even lower its value. By ensuring you don't go too far afield of what your neighbors are doing, you'll be able to preserve your home's value and marketability.
To learn more what to do with your outdated furnace, contact local heating repair contractors.