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Five Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Heating Oil Furnace

Fixing the furnace

With proper maintenance, an oil-fired furnace can last a decade or more, depending on how well your equipment has been chosen, installed, and maintained. The problem, if you’re like most homeowners in our Massachusetts service area, is that you may not how old your furnace is, or how well the previous owners of your home cared for their equipment.

If you aren’t sure about your heating equipment’s past, it’s important to know the warning signs that your furnace has reached a point where an upgrade is a worthwhile investment. Here are five signs to look for as your heating system works hard to keep your family warm through another New England winter:

  1. Age – If your furnace is more than 10 to 12 years old and you’re experiencing lots of problems, it’s probably time to replace it. If you can’t find the age of furnace based on the model number, here’s a trick: look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s nameplate. The first letter in the serial number corresponds to its month of production; the first two numbers its year of production. For example, in the serial number F032738598, “F”, the sixth letter in the alphabet, corresponds to June, the sixth month. The number “03” represents the year. The furnace was produced in June 2003 – which means your furnace will probably need to be replaced very soon.
  2. Higher bills – If you’re experiencing rising energy bills – even after annual heating maintenance – it’s probably time to upgrade. A new high-efficiency heating oil furnace could save you enough to offset the cost of a replacement in just a few years.
  3. Regular repairs ­­– If you’re getting regular visits from your repairman year after year, it’s probably time to replace it rather than sink more money into another furnace repair.
  4. Strange noises – Stay alert for any noise that seems unusual coming from your furnace, including rattling, humming, screeching, or banging. A heating expert will can diagnose the problem, and advise you on sensible next steps.
  5. An unusual amount of dust – Excessive dust could simply be a sign that your furnace air filter is clogged and needs to be replaced – or it could be a more significant problem. If you check and change your air filter (something you should do about once a month during the winter) and your dust problem remains, it’s probably time for a heating system replacement – or a duct cleaning.

Seeing (or hearing) signs that it’s time for a furnace upgrade? We can help. Contact the heating specialists at Needham today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a new heating oil furnace your MA home.