Do I need a new oil furnace?

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  #1  
Old 11-15-12, 06:28 AM
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Do I need a new oil furnace?

My house is 37 years old (2240 sq ft). Current furnace is 21 years old. Forced hot water baseboard heating. Just had it serviced and I will need $1700 worth of new parts including Aquastat Dual Burner/Circulator, new pressure guage, pressure relief valve. I use Service Experts who I know do good work and I do trust them although I know they are pricey. My question is, should I go ahead with the repairs or spend approx $5000 for a new furnace (boiler). Their repair man also said the unit is too big for the house and that the Becket burner does not match the Utica boiler. He feels If I am planning on selling the house in the next two years I should go with a new system. Also I am using about 1000 gallons of oil a year in upstate NY. Can anyone out there give me some guidance?
 
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  #2  
Old 11-15-12, 01:11 PM
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Most the parts you list are relatively inexpensive. The circulator, if it works OK, shouldn't need replacement, the cost of a new one would be less than $100, plus labor. Not sure about the burner.

You won't achieve a 2-year payback on a new boiler. I think the service person is pushing a new boiler because he will get a commission. Additional insulation would likely produce a better payback.
 
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Old 11-15-12, 01:54 PM
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get a second opinion for sure
 
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Old 11-15-12, 03:12 PM
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Could you see any gray hair sticking out from under the sheep's clothing? Did he have pointy teeth and big ears?

WHY does it need a new aquastat? What problem did he identify as reason?

Aquastat is about $150-$200 bucks online... techs probably pay even less than that.

Pressure gauge, maybe $20-$25.

Relief valve, maybe $30 tops.

Two hours work maybe... ok, let's be generous and give him three... at say 150/hour.

Add typical markup of double price on parts...

$400 aquastat
$50 gauge
$60 relief valve
$450 labor

hmmmm... that don't quite add up to $1700 do it?

Yes, time for a second opinion.

Let me ask you this:

How handy are you? Afraid of electricity or water? Have tools?
 
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Old 11-15-12, 03:17 PM
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Their repair man also said the unit is too big for the house and that the Becket burner does not match the Utica boiler. He feels If I am planning on selling the house in the next two years I should go with a new system.
Of course the boiler is too big for the house. I would venture to say that ALL boilers installed 20 years ago were... in fact almost every heating system installed since the flu epidemic in 1917 when people left windows open all winter were too large. That's not enough reason to replace.

What on earth does he mean that the burner doesn't 'match' the boiler? That sounds like a salesman's pitch to me.

I'm with Gil... he's more salesman than he is tech.

Be cautious, be VERY cautious!
 
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Old 11-15-12, 03:19 PM
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1000 gallons of oil a year in upstate NY
How many square feet is your home?

How many floors?

How old is it?

How is the insulation?
 
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Old 11-15-12, 04:22 PM
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Do I need a new furnace

2240 sq feet 2 floors well insulated 37 years old. This furnace is 20 years old. The Aquastat has a cracked circuit board. I knew this a couple of years ago from my old service guy who has since moved out of the area. The temp pressure guage reads a constant 180 degrees. He also suggested putting in a mixing valve setup so I could adjust the hot water temp for the shower etc.
OK..That being said I did get a private contractor who works on his own. He is not a salesman and does not sell oil. His price for replace all those parts is $800, less than half of the other guys. He did agree with the first guy that the burner is not really the correct match for the boiler but it works. He quoted me $3800 for an entire new system. His feeling on a new furnace is if I were going to sell the house within two years, it would be a selling point. He also feels it is like an old car. You can fix it today and something else might go tomorrow.
 
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Old 11-15-12, 07:05 PM
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How much bigger than 60K BTUH is your existing boiler?

His feeling on a new furnace is if I were going to sell the house within two years, it would be a selling point.
I think that if you did some research you might find that's not as true as you might think.

He also feels it is like an old car. You can fix it today and something else might go tomorrow.
I'll give ya $400 for the Eldorado.
 
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Old 11-16-12, 03:47 AM
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a new roof would be a good selling point lol

when i look at a house, i look at the roof, the boiler, the age of the kitchen, and baths

most people who buy a 20 year old house expect to do some upgrades

they're looking more for a good deal as compared to buying a new house

where i live here, to build my house now as compared to 22 years ago, you're looking at $100 grand more for the same house

if you put too much in your house now, you may not get some of it back at closing

now you can all post and tell me why i'm wrong ? lol
 

Last edited by boilernut; 11-16-12 at 06:14 AM.
  #10  
Old 11-16-12, 04:47 AM
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Too late NJ Trooper. My Eldorado blew the head gasket last year. Talk about a money pit!!! lol
 
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Old 11-16-12, 05:02 AM
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boilernut,
You missed electrical, windows and door upgrades. Electrical may not be as big of a deal on a 30yrs old house.

A new boiler would be a hit or miss on ROI if you are selling in ~2yrs.
I did however notice you mentioned it's an oil burner. Is Natural gas available in your area? If yes, the ROI outlook would be much different. Oil heat (atleast in my area) is considered an old system, particularly of natural gas is available.

If natural gas is not available, a well maintained (with records), cleanly setup boiler system may be more then enough.
Going back to the car comparison, if a seller has a vehicle that looks good, and a pile of maintenance records to accompany.... It'll look just as good as a newer vehicle to most buyers.
 
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Old 11-16-12, 06:08 AM
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Yeah, i did miss windows n stuff, but on a 20 year old house they're probably at least double glaze

my house is 22 years old and has 53 Andersen low e windows in it...3 failed just before the 20 year warranty went out...lost their charge inside
 
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