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Author: admin Date: July 31, 2009

The Ins and Outs of Replacing Your Oil Heat System



Whether you're stepping into your new home for the rst time or you want to further invest in your household of many years, the decision to purchase a new heating system could very well be right around the corner. There are many reasons why someone might consider a heating system replacement: breakdowns, repair bills, age, and nances to name a few. But whatever the reasons might be, pursuing a new system is a serious and important jump that needs careful consideration. By following this guide, you'll learn the need-to-know basics of heating system replacement. The Three Oil Heating Systems It's important to rst know the speci c type of heating system your home relies on. There are three kinds that are provided from the use of no. 2 fuel oil: hot air, steam, and hot water.

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A hot air system heats air in a furnace and then circulates it through a system of ducts, eventually blowing it through vents, which provides warmth throughout the house. These systems are becoming less and less common, but older homes use them in conjunction with humidi ers to add moisture to combat the dry air produced by the furnace. A steam system works a lot like a hot air system, but heats and evaporates water instead of heating air. Once the water is evaporated, the heated steam rises through piping and lls the home's radiators, providing warmth. Steam, though more common than hot air systems, is still a relatively old heating method and is found primarily in older homes. Hot water systems are the most contemporary trend of oil heating in newly built houses; it's also reported to be the most comfortable. Instead of being turned into steam, water is simply heated to high temperatures by a boiler and circulated through piping into radiators throughout a house, eventually returning to the boiler. One advantage of hot water systems is the ability to heat di erent areas of a home at di erent temperatures, which is called "zoning." For more information on how di erent heating systems work, see the article, "How Oil Heating Systems Work." Finding the Right Replacement When you're sure of the system type that heats your house, that's what you should stick with. A shift from one system to another can only be accomplished through expensive renovations, as a home would have to be gutted in order to install all of the proper equipment for a new system type. If renovations are on your agenda, it would be a wise consideration to replace a hot air system for hot water, for example. But if you're only looking to replace an old furnace or boiler, stick with the existing system type. Because there are several brands on the market for boilers and furnaces, one piece of data that is important to know when considering a replacement is the annual fuel utilization e ciency (AFUE). The AFUE indicates the percentage of fuel oil that is successfully converted into actual heat for a home. The higher the AFUE percentage is, the better the conversion rate from oil to heat. For example, an AFUE of 85 percent means that 85 percent of fuel is being successfully used to heat a home, while the remaining 15 percent is lost, in the form of exhaust. Another important fact to consider when choosing a new furnace or boiler is the size of your home. The standard measurement used in determining the heating power of a furnace or boiler is the British Thermal Unit (BTU). The BTU indicates the amount of heat needed to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. The higher the BTU rating is on a furnace or boiler,

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the greater the device's heating power. A smaller home might need 85,000 BTUs, while larger homes might require 150,000 BTUs. A safe average is usually around 120,000 to 130,000 BTUs. Though there are many di erent brands on the market for boilers and furnaces, here are some reputable names to consider when searching for a replacement: Boilers: Weil-McLain has been in business since 1881. Headquartered in Michigan City, Indiana, WeilMcLain o er boilers for both hot water and steam systems; their AFUE ratings average around 86 percent. Burnham Hydronics is a product line of Burnham Holdings, Inc., which provides a full range of heating equipment. Burnham Hydronics speci cally provides both steam and hot water boilers. Their newer models have an AFUE rating of about 86 to 87 percent, while the ratings of their older models oat around 80 percent. Peerless has a strong reputation for providing a solid variety of both steam and hot water boilers. The AFUE ratings of Peerless products average around 87 percent; one model, the Peerless Pinnacle, reaches all the way to 93 percent. Utica Boilers is a product line owned by ECR International, which has been around since 1928. Utica o ers a selection of hot water and steam boilers with AFUE ratings averaging around 85 to 86 percent. New Yorker is a subsidiary of Burnham Holdings, Inc., and is based in Hat eld, Pennsylvania. New Yorker's steam and hot water boilers have a much wider AUFE average, ranging from about 82 to 87 percent. Buderus has a company history of almost 275 years, having started in Germany. With American headquarters in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Buderus provides quality boilers with some of the highest AFUE ratings, most of them over 86 percent. Furnaces: Thermo Pride is also owned by Burnham Holdings, Inc., and has been in business for over 50 years. Their furnaces are some of the most dependable systems, with AFUE ratings averaging in the low 80s.

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Lennox has a company history that dates all the way back to 1895, and is still making hot air systems for today's homes. Their furnaces average an AFUE rating around 83 percent. Rheem is another brand worth looking into. They've been in business since the 1920s and carry furnaces with AFUE percentages around 80. York was founded in 1874 in York, Pennsylvania, and have expanded worldwide ever since. Their furnaces have AFUE percentages in the low 80s. When Your Old Furnace or Boiler is on the Fritz: Problems to Watch For For homeowners questioning the age and functionality of their furnace or boiler, it's di cult to pinpoint de nite signs that a heating system is beyond the point of repair and needs to be replaced. Because both furnaces and boilers are complex systems, problems can range from minor glitches to serious issues. However, there are still some telltale signs to look out for when wondering if there's a problem with your furnace or boiler. While these might be signs of smaller mechanical issues, they might also indicate that it is time for a complete replacement. · If there are water leaks in or around your boiler, it could be an indication that the equipment is wearing down. · You should never smell fuel oil. If the odor of oil is detected at any time, it's a problem that should be addressed immediately. · Look for visible signs of rusting. Rust could be a sign that a furnace or boiler might need replacing sooner than rather than later. · Frequent breakdowns are something else to consider, but this is a tip that needs some judgment. For instance, if a furnace or boiler is only a few years old but is continuously breaking down, chances are there's a repairable problem and a replacement is not necessary. But if a system is pushing 15 years or more in age, it could very well be permanently wearing out. Final Decisions When the time arrives to replace your furnace or boiler, price will be the rst variable to consider. For a hot air furnace, expect a general price range of $4,000 to $4,500. A new standard boiler for hot water and steam systems will probably cost between $4,500 and $5,200. Boilers from high-end manufacturers with higher AFUE ratings usually carry an additional premium of up to $2,500. The most important consideration for a homeowner looking to replace a furnace or boiler is to nd a trustworthy full-service heating oil dealer. The Better Business Bureau and your state's

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Department of Consumer A airs are great sources for checking out the reliability of dealers in your area. Reputable and dependable dealers have an invested interest in installing and repairing your furnace or boiler as well as providing your fuel oil. Establishing this kind of professional relationship is your best resource for guring out the brand and model right for you, having it installed safely and securely, and having reliable technical support down the road.

This article was posted on Friday, July 31, 2009 at 5:52 pm and is filed under Articles, HVAC, Heating Oil, Heating Oil Equipment To read more articles like this one visit Canal Street Station Box 1547 New York, NY 10013 © 2009 LLC



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