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Time to check the …. furnace?!

After last month’s heat wave, the last thing you might be thinking about is your furnace, but now is a great time to consider furnace repairs. Boston forecasters are keeping their eyes on a currently weak El Nino that could produce below average temperatures and above-average snowfalls during the 2013-14 winter. Similar conditions in the past produced record snowfalls in Boston, including major storms in 2005 and 2010.

What does this mean for homeowners in Boston? Heating system maintenance and repairs should be added to your list of priorities now! The coldest, snowiest part of the winter probably won’t arrive in Boston until November, but that’s no reason to put off inspections and routine maintenance on your existing furnace or boiler.

If you’re looking to replace your heating equipment or convert from heating oil to natural gas, now is also a great time to make the switch. Currently, the price of heating oil is about $3.65 per gallon. The peak price for heating oil last winter was about $4.35 per gallon. Those costs alone might make conversion to natural gas a highly desirable alternative!

Gas Networks’ rebate programs can help defray the cost of replacing a highly inefficient working, older furnace or boiler. High efficiency units cost less to replace than you might think and use less fuel during operation. That means you save when you install a new gas furnace or boiler and you save each time you heat your home. With a high efficiency unit, most of the fuel it uses is converted to heat for your home. With older, inefficient models, most of the fuel it uses is sent up the chimney!

Gas Networks’ rebates on furnaces and boilers have varying deadlines. Early boiler replacement rebates are only available through September, and a site inspection must take place before August 31, 2013 to qualify, so you may need to act now if you want to take advantage of one of these excellent rebate opportunities. As an added incentive, your high-efficiency heating equipment purchase may also qualify you for 2013 residential energy tax credits on your federal income tax return.

Ultimately, forecasters don’t yet know what the winter of 2013-14 will bring, but making sure your heating system is ready for the coming cold is never a bad idea! Give us at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating a call at (617) 288-2911 to set up an inspection and maintenance appointment on your heating equipment. Whether you heat with a boiler or furnace, we can help! We can also consult with you on oil-to-gas conversion and perform the inspections required to take advantage of the Gas Networks rebate program.

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