Replacing An Oil Furnace: Ultimate Homeowner’s Guide

Replacing An Oil Furnace: Ultimate Homeowner’s Guide

Replacing An Oil Furnace: Ultimate Homeowner’s GuideWhen considering replacing a furnace replacement, oil vs. gas is a consideration. Maybe you want to go with a heat pump or an electric furnace. In this article, I will provide you with the ultimate homeowner’s guide or what you need to know about replacing an oil furnace.

I will cover the things that you need to know about replacing an oil furnace with a more modern oil furnace. But I will also give you some tips for what you need to consider if you are thinking about changing to a different fuel source.

As a fourth-generation family member working at John Cipollone, Inc., I have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information. I’ve gone through NATE certifications, factory training, and 15+ years of experience. I started helping out when I was 13, and haven’t looked back since.

If you are considering a new furnace for your home, give us a call at (610) 446-7877, or visit us online to learn a little more about a heating system replacement for your home. So let’s begin with when to replace your oil furnace.

Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Oil Furnace

20 Year Lifespan Is A Good Run

The expected lifespan of your oil furnace is about 20 years. That is assuming that you have maintained proper maintenance along the way. Obviously, certain systems may not last that long, and you may want to consider a heating upgrade long before you reach 20 years.

If You Find That You Run Out Of Heat

If you find that your system just isn’t producing the kind of heat that you are expecting, it could be because of clogged oil lines or defective heat exchangers. These are all signs of initial system failure.

A thorough inspection of your heating system can help you understand if you are ready for a new one or not. Because your oil furnace burns combustible fuel, a defective furnace does run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. While this is a rare occurrence, it can happen. So it is always a good idea to bring in a qualified service technician for a thorough inspection.

Heating Oil Furnace Replacement Costs

Oil furnace replacement costs include:

  • Oil furnace cost
  • Removal and disposal of the old furnace
  • Labor for installation, electrical work, and other general labor costs

Your contractor or licensed dealer should be able to give you an accurate estimate of the costs associated with replacement including:

  • Oil furnace prices by model
  • Running costs
  • Any permits and inspection fees
  • And emergency fuel delivery should you inadvertently run low.
  • Cost of old furnace removal

Factors Affecting Oil Furnace Replacement Costs

The main factors affecting oil furnace replacement costs are

  • Heat source – type of fuel
  • Efficiency of the furnace
  • Size of the furnace

Type of Heating Source

How Much Does A New Furnace Cost For Main Line, PA HomesThere are many types of heating options available in today’s market. Furnaces can be fueled by natural gas, diesel fuel, electric heaters and heat pumps as well as a hybrid system that can run a furnace alongside a hybrid heat pump.

With most of these fuel options such as natural gas or heat pumps, fuel or fuel source is delivered on demand. Fuel oil by contrast requires regular oil deliveries that can be scheduled on a regular basis.

Energy Efficiency

Today’s heating systems focus on energy efficiency. Each system comes with its own energy efficiency rating so you know if you have purchased a high efficiency furnace.

Oil furnaces have what is known as an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) or energy efficiency rating. The higher the AFUE rating, the higher efficiency of the furnace.

Always remember to ask your installer to provide you with a smart thermostat at installation. The newer smart thermostats are programmable and can save you energy costs by adjusting your heat for desired comfort levels.


It is important that your HVAC system is the proper unit for your home size. In this case bigger is not always better. Your furnace size should be based on your home size and the square footage it is required to heat.

Larger homes require more BTUs to heat. The British thermal unit (BTU) is the most common unit of measurement for HVAC equipment and refers to how much heat your oil furnace can produce. For furnaces, having a higher BTU means the unit has more heat capacity. The larger the capacity the bigger the expense so make sure that your technician has the proper square footage of your home.

Tank Removal or Replacement

There are times when your oil furnace’s oil tank needs removal or replacement. While a tank replacement can be an involved job, it is important that tanks run as designed and that the shutoff valve is functioning as it should.

Ways To Increase Your Heating Oil Furnace Efficiency

There are a few ways to increase the energy efficiency of your oil furnace. Check your home for adequate insulation and consider an insulation upgrade or window replacement if you feel the presence of drafts or leaky windows.

Regular maintenance such as changing out the air filter every 90 days, checking your thermostat and checking for leaky ductwork is another important way to make sure that air is not leaking out. Consider regular air duct cleaning as a way to improve the quality of your air.

If you need a hand with oil heat furnaces in Havertown, PA, we know what to do. We’ve been taking care of oil heat furnaces for 60+ years, and will continue to for years to come. Give us a call at (610) 446-7877!


I have put together the most frequently asked questions that we hear at John Cipollone Inc.

How long do oil furnaces last?

A well-maintained oil furnace has a 20-year lifespan. Without regular service, you’d be lucky to get to 12.

Are oil furnaces being phased out?

Climate concerns and fuel prices are moving people away from fuel oil, natural gas, and diesel fuel furnaces. Many oil furnace brands offer energy-efficient brands that provide a good value.

Does running out of oil damage your boiler?

While running out of heating oil does not damage your system, it does prevent you from heating your home. Consider a delivery upgrade to a regular schedule so that you never run out. Also – check your system warranty for possible requirements. 

As an aside – make sure that your fuel oil delivery person has site accessibility to your tank. Don’t let the presence of snow or debris prevent you from getting an oil delivery!

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