It’s a time that every homeowner with a boiler dreads – your oil-fired boiler breaks down, and you’re left with the decision to repair or replace it.
It could be tempting to take the cheapest and quickest way out, which often means opting for a repair. But “cheapest” is a tricky thing to define: in the long run, an older, unreliable boiler can quickly turn into a money pit of breakdowns and emergency heating service.
Heating equipment repairs aren’t the only cost associated with keeping an old boiler round: An older boiler – especially one that hasn’t been properly maintained – will already be losing efficiency (about five percent a year if you skip your preventive heating system maintenance). That means that even after you’ve recovered from the boiler repair bill and the frustration of a system breakdown, you’ll still be battling high energy bills.
By replacing an older boiler with a new high-efficiency model, you could save 20-30 percent on your annual heating costs – which could be enough to offset the investment in a new unit in just a few years.
If you’re on the repair/replace fence, here are some rules of thumb to help you decide whether to replace or repair your boiler:
Replace your boiler if:
Repair your system if: