Factors To Consider When Buying An Oil Boiler

Nothing lasts forever. Oil boilers are known for their excellent longevity but they cannot keep working indefinitely. After many years of service, they will succumb to wear and tear. You may not notice the decline right away but the difference will eventually become too big to ignore. Frequent breakdowns will cost a fortune to repair. Homeowners may find it more economical to opt for an oil boiler installation. This will also be a chance to upgrade to a modern boiler with improved features. Let’s talk about the factors to consider when buying an oil boiler.

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What to Look for in an Oil Boiler

There is a lot to think about when replacing a hydronic heating system. Don’t rush the selection process. Take things slowly while you study your options and examine their compatibility with your home. Get help from an HVAC specialist so that you can have a reliable resource person. If you have questions, then you can ask them and finally have your answers. Their advice should allow you to make smart decisions for this major purchase. Discuss the following while evaluating possible boiler replacements:

1. Oil Boiler Type

image of an oil-fired boiler and boiler room

There are two main types of designs to choose from hot water boilers and steam boilers. Although these have multiple similarities, they have differences that are worth pointing out. Steam boilers can provide higher heating temperatures while needing only a few accessories. However, some people prefer hot water boilers because these can provide higher energy efficiency and safer operation. The right choice will also depend on the size of the home with larger ones typically needing the power of steam boilers. Both can run on natural gas or heating oil with the latter being the preferred fuel in central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, thanks to affordability and availability.

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2. Heating Oil Boiler Size

Size does matter but that doesn’t mean bigger is always better. Every home has its own heating requirements which the boiler should match. Putting a massive boiler in a small home will only result in short-cycling, a situation in which the house gets warm too quickly causing the heating system to shut off right away. This is not ideal since it stresses the components and results in premature breakdowns. It is common for people to stick to the same size as their oil boiler but it is more prudent to conduct load calculations to see if there is a better match. There, be aware of boiler size as it impacts your comfort, heating costs, fuel consumption, and efficiency.

3. Oil Boiler Efficiency

energy efficiency graph depicting efficient oil boiler systems

People cannot be faulted for seeking affordable boilers. However, the true cost of a heating system cannot be measured from the price of the unit alone. These consume a great deal of energy which translates to high fuel costs. If you can find a system with high efficiency, then you will be able to keep energy expenses low. Efficient units may cost a bit more but they end up saving you money throughout their lifespan. Check the AFUE in the specifications as this is the measure of the heating system’s capacity to turn fuel to heat over a season. Go for the highly-rated units which also tend to come with an Energy Star label.

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4. Oil-fired Boiler Maintenance

Heating equipment will take care of the home as long as the owners take care of it. With regular maintenance, boilers will be able to extend their service life and stay consistent with their performance. The kind of maintenance necessary will depend on the boiler. Read more about these to see whether you are ready for the responsibilities that come with each unit. Some of the maintenance work are easy enough for anyone to do while others demand professional care. It is a good idea to get yearly expert maintenance service from trained HVAC technicians.


5. Boiler Venting Requirements

Boilers produce exhaust gasses while burning fuel. They need ventilation to push these out of the home. Consider different methods of ventilation and pick the one that goes well with the design of your house. For example, chimney-vented boilers have a vertical stack that allows low-density gasses to float up by themselves. There are also power-vented boilers that leave nothing to chance. They use a blower to push out the fumes so these can move out through the walls. This is suited for homes without a chimney, although it requires a large open space with a good amount of air. Lastly, there are direct-vented boilers that can go inside small spaces because they don’t need indoor air to push fumes out.

6. Regional Climate

house in winter that uses oil heat

External factors such as regional climate should also be considered. This will determine the load of the heating system. There are areas that only get uncomfortably cold in the winter. They do not need a boiler for spring, summer, and fall. Other places may be cold enough to require a boiler 365 days a year. It is important to select a unit that can handle the load.

7. Oil Boiler Brand Name

Boiler companies do their best to outdo each other and rise to the top of the industry. Throughout the decades, there are names that consistently deliver where it matters. Buyers should think about their priorities and find brands that are known for these qualities. These could include durability, efficiency, reliability, performance, customer service, and so on. Seek out reviews and recommendations from trusted sources. Ask your HVAC contractor for advice as well.

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Every home has its own heating needs. List these specific requirements with the help of a respected local HVAC contractor and look for a boiler that can rise to the occasion. Homes that are currently using heating oil should stick to this fuel to lower the boiler replacement cost.

Tevis Energy’s sister company, Modern Comfort, performs HVAC installations, replacements, tune-ups, and more. Our technicians can provide you with expert HVAC services to ensure that your system provides you with the comfort and efficiency you deserve. Call now to schedule an appointment.

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Tevis Energy provides high-quality HVAC services in central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. We employ only the best professionally certified technicians for all your excellent heating and cooling service needs, including boiler tune-ups, AC repairs, furnace installations, and more. All our friendly techs are experienced and knowledgeable to ensure accurate HVAC services at all times.

Our company has highly affordable heating and cooling service rates in the area. Our maintenance services can enhance your comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality while reducing your energy expenses. When you need to repair or replace your HVAC system, we can recommend the best solutions within your needs and budget. All our work comes with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. Schedule a service appointment by calling Tevis Energy today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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