What is an Oil Furnace?
Not everyone understands what an oil furnace is and how it operates, especially those living in temperate climates. On the reverse side, homeowners living in the northeast region where temperatures plummet are sure to have knowledge of these home heating systems. Energy efficient oil furnaces keep your dollars in your wallet with lower monthly utility bills when comparing to the costs of a gas furnace installation. They’re also ultra-quiet much like an electric furnace unit which adds to the total comfort of your home.
Oil furnaces provide a reliable heat source and this is especially helpful for homes that may not have access to other fuel options such as gas or propane furnaces. Oil furnaces are a wise investment that should provide a positive ROI “Return on Investment” with a long lifetime for as many as 20 years when well maintained.
Oil Furnace Brands
Installing a quality oil burning furnace brand is an important factor in choosing a new furnace replacement. The furnace brand choice will also effect the total installation cost for your HVAC system. Here is a run down of some of the best oil furnace brands on the market:
Affordable Brands ($1000 to $1,800):
- Rheem Furnace Units
Mid to High Tier Brands: ($1,800 to $2,400):
See our full list of the best furnace brands with cost comparisons, descriptions, and more.
|Oil Furnace Brands||Oil Furnace Unit Costs||Oil Furnace Installation Costs|
|Average Oil Furnace Prices:||$1,836||$5,780|
Oil Furnace Installations
You might be thinking that oil furnaces only run on oil but there are also hybrid models that use a heat pump creating a dual fuel system that can be installed in your home.
Whether you choose a traditional oil furnace installation with basic functionality, install a hybrid system, or one with additional features in your home, the result is radiated warmth during the winter, and cool and refreshed air moving throughout your home during the summer.
An oil furnace can also work all year-round to keep your home aerated by constantly circulating the air in your home.
Oil furnaces have what is known as an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) or energy efficiency rating. The rating is a measure of the furnace’s efficiency level in converting its fuel source to energy. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system operates. Keep this in mind when shopping for a new oil furnace or replacing an older model furnace.
Hiring an Oil Furnace Installer
Oil burning furnace installation is a niche type of furnace compared to other types of HVAC systems. When hiring an oil furnace contractor there are a few things you can do to make the process easier on yourself:
- Ask for several bids from local oil furnace installers in order to get the best prices. It’s best practice to not always go with the lowest quoted price, as you could potentially get inferior service or HVAC equipment..
- Ask your HVAC contractors what their equipment markup is. A cheaper labor cost might include hidden markups in the overall oil furnace equipment price.
- Ask your oil furnace installer about installing a new thermostat as well. Often, newer technologies require newer devices to run them.
- Ask for a detailed cost list or proposal that outlines the entire scope of the oil furnace installation job including furnace manufacturers used with model numbers and have scheduled completion dates agreed on.
- Ask the contractor to go over your new oil furnace price quote including mathematical calculations used to size the oil furnace. Verify that their size calculations are correct to avoid buying an incorrect oil furnace for your home.
- Ask for name brand furnace equipment. Cheap knockoffs can be risky investments that might fail early on and leave you without heat until repaired.
A lot goes into installing a new oil burning furnace and it’s important to choose the best HVAC contractor for the job. Being thorough and doing your homework will increase the chances of an easy electric furnace installation or repair. Use this step by step HVAC contractor checklist during your HVAC installation to make things easier on you.
New Oil Furnaces – What to Look for:
First and foremost, do your homework and learn the basics before setting foot inside a retail or business establishment that sells oil furnaces. This also holds true if you plan to purchase the heating system and have it installed through a private contractor. Businesses are in the business to make money and if you’re not prepared and don’t know what size system you need for your home, you may end up buying more than you need.
When you decide to purchase a brand from a dealer or contractor, they should perform a computerized calculation to determine unit size. If they don’t do this, the dealer or contractor will be making a random guess and that will result in an inaccurate sizing.
When purchasing an oil furnace, there are two things that should be presented to you. First, the dealer or contractor should provide you with a purchase agreement. It should be one that is all-inclusive, meaning it covers all taxes, parts, and labor for installation. Second, there should be warranty and registration forms to fill out. In some cases, there may be forms that need to be filled out by the manufacturer. These forms are required by most brands in order to validate the warranty.
It goes without saying that you should only be dealing with certified and licensed dealers or contractors to install an oil furnace. If working with a private contractor, ask for proof of a current license.
You should not be asked for full payment before the job is completed which also includes an inspection of the system by you.
Oil Furnace Maintenance Tips
As the homeowner, it’s to your advantage to inspect the installation and make sure the basic steps have been provided using a checklist.
- There should be easy access to the air filter
- Inspect that duct connections are sealed
- There should be no duct tape used to seal duct connections
- Ensure the unit is mounted on rubber pads
- Oil furnaces installed in a basement should be placed on blocks allowing several inches above flooring
- Ensure that a new thermostat was installed versus reusing an old model
- Look for a shutoff valve next to the furnace to shutoff the oil
- There should be nothing blocking access to the shutoff valve
- All vent pipes should be securely supported to eliminate sagging
- High efficiency furnaces have both an intake and exhaust pipe
- Run the system to make sure it is operating properly
After inspecting the furnace along with the installer/contractor, and if a test run doesn’t produce any problems with operation and you’re confident the system is working properly, then it’s okay to sign the check.