When To Replace Your Furnace Or Boiler

Evaluate and Upgrade: If you are looking to improve the heating efficiency of your home, first carefully evaluate your options. While it may be more cost-effective to improve the insulation and air-tightness of your home, repair or insulate ductwork, or tune up your system, there are times when a new furnace or boiler is the best option. A highly qualified home performance or heating contractor can help you evaluate your existing system. They may suggest replacing your heating system if your furnace or boiler is:

  • older than 20 years
  • an old coal burner that was previously switched over to oil or gas
  • an old gas furnace without electronic ignition. If it has a pilot light, it was probably installed prior to 1992 and has an efficiency of about 65% (the least efficient systems today are 80%)
  • an old gas furnace without vent dampers or an induced draft fan (which limit the flow of heated air up the chimney when the heating system is off)

In June 2014, the Department of Energy released new performance standards for furnace fans (the electrically-powered device used in residential HVAC systems that circulate air through duct work) that will have a large impact on the efficiency of the fans. As these new energy efficient fans make their way into the market, consumers stand to save hundreds of dollars over the product's lifespan.
Learn more at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.