Should I Repair or Replace My Home Heating System?

Guidelines to Help You Decide

heating system service wisconsinMuch like your car, regular preventive maintenance goes a long way in extending the lifespan of your heating oil equipment, whether it’s an oil furnace or oil boiler. But even the best-maintained heating equipment eventually wears out.

You will then reach a point where repairs will cost more than they’re worth since an old furnace or boiler will continue to have low fuel efficiency – along with poor performance and a greater chance for further breakdown.

How To Decide Whether To Fix Your Heater

So how do you determine whether to repair or replace your home heating oil system? Here are some guidelines.

  1. The age of your heating system – If your heating system is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing it soon. It’s better to invest your money into a new high-efficiency system with the latest technology– which will lower your annual fuel costs– rather than putting your money into an aging system with worn parts prone to failure.
  2. Compare repair and replacement costs – A new oil furnace or oil-powered boiler represents a significant investment for your home. But repair costs can be high, too – and with a repair, you have to consider the possibility of the problem happening again in the future. Here’s a rule of thumb: if your heating system repair exceeds 50% of replacement costs – especially on an older unit – you should probably replace it.
  3. Consider system efficiency – Old heating systems burn more fuel because of their inefficiencies, which means you’ll get higher bills. An old heating unit could have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of less than 70%. A replacement model can be 85% efficient or higher.
  4. Consider Wisconsin heating oil equipment rebates – Current rebates for energy-efficient heating systems could save you hundreds of dollars on new equipment – perhaps enough to tip the scales in favor of replacement. Read more.

Ensure a Proper Installation

Once you have selected a new system, your heating oil service expert will install it the right way. This requires skilled technicians with specialized training. The bottom line: installing a new heating system will increase energy efficiency and save you money, as long as the boiler or furnace is sized and installed correctly.


You can expect to reduce your annual fuel expenses by 20% or more—depending on the age and efficiency of your current system—not to mention virtually eliminating high repair bills, with a replacement system.

A new heating oil system is also a green choice. Emissions from an old system can be significantly reduced by upgrading to a high-efficiency heating oil system. Today’s heating oil systems are efficient and their emissions are negligible. Advances include systems with reduced fuel-firing rates. Plus, today’s greater use of Bioheat® fuel is reducing emissions even further.

Don’t wait until your heating system fails on the coldest day next winter! Start doing your research now.