Upgrade Heating and Cooling Equipment
 

If your heating and cooling equipment is more than 10 years old, it may be time for a replacement. High-efficiency equipment can make your home more comfortable, efficient, and budget-friendly. The Sponsors of Mass Save® provide resources and rebates that help you upgrade.

Is this an emergency?


  • 1

    Work with a licensed HVAC professional to determine which equipment is right for your home

  • 2

    Browse our available equipment upgrades here.

  • 3

    Interested in 0% financing? Apply for a Mass Save HEAT Loan prior to installing your equipment.

Heating and Cooling Replacement Guide

All heating systems have three basic components. If your heating system is not working properly, one of these basic components could be the problem:

Heat Source

The heat source – most commonly a furnace, boiler or heat pump – provides warm air or water to heat the house.

Heat Distribution System

The heat distribution system – such as a forced air or radiators – move warm air, steam or hot water through the house.

Control System

The Control System – most commonly a thermostat – regulates the amount of heat that is distributed.

Fuel Type

It is important to compare fuel costs if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long-term if you use an alternate fuel type.

Select the type of equipment and see steps to replace:

It is important to compare fuel costs if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long-term if you use an alternate fuel type.



Step 1: Understanding Equipment

ENERGY STAR® Certified Smart and Programmable Thermostats

Programmable Thermostats

A programmable thermostat is a thermostat which is designed to adjust the temperature according to a series of programmed settings that take effect at different times of the day. Programmable thermostats are also known as setback thermostats or clock thermostats.

ENERGY STAR® Certified Smart Thermostats

A smart thermostat is a thermostat that can be controlled with a phone, tablet, smart speaker, or other internet-connected device. Smart thermostats typically allow you to schedule your desired temperature settings, and you can also incorporate them into home automation systems.

Shop at a Participating Retailer

Save instantly when you purchase an eligible ENERGY STAR® Certified Smart Thermostat or a Programmable Thermostat at a participating retailer. Simply follow the prompts to check your eligibility, and you will receive a text with a link to your rebate code. Show your code at the register and the rebate amount will be instantly subtracted from the price of the unit.

Or, Shop Our Online Catalog

Receive instant discounts on energy-saving smart and programmable thermostats, courtesy of the Sponsors of Mass Save®. You will not need to apply for a rebate, as our online store offers instant price discounts.

Step 2: Working with a Contractor

Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting one or more licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

Step 3: Installation Best Practices

ENERGY STAR® Certified Smart and Programmable Thermostats

Programmable Thermostats

Properly using a programmable thermostat in your home is one of the easiest ways you can save energy and money. Keep in mind as you are replacing that your old thermostat is likely to contain mercury, which can be harmful to the environment when not properly disposed. For Information on where to properly dispose of old thermostats near you, visit: Thermostat Recycling Corporation.

ENERGY STAR® Certified Smart Thermostats

Keep in mind as you are replacing that your old thermostat is likely to contain mercury, which can be harmful to the environment when not properly disposed. For Information on where to properly dispose of old thermostats near you, visit: Thermostat Recycling Corporation.

Many smart thermostats require additional wiring to operate your heating and cooling system correctly. If existing wiring is not adequate, new, or additional wiring must be installed to ensure proper functionality. Installing new wiring between the thermostat and your heating system may require the installer or contractor to make penetrations through finished building surfaces.  This is often referred to as the C-wire, or common wire, in smart thermostat literature.

Interested in No-Cost Installation?

Through our home energy assessment, residential customers can take advantage of our discounted prices and purchase Nest Thermostat E or Building 36™ Smart Thermostats for just $100. We will even install them at no cost to you. These easy-to-use, energy-saving thermostats adapt to your schedule and let you control your home's temperature from anywhere.

 

Call 866-527-SAVE (7283) today to schedule your Home Energy Assessment and learn more about the smart thermostat and installation incentive. You can also visit our FAQs.

 

The Nest Thermostat E and Building 36 Thermostat are compatible with a wide range of heating and air-conditioning systems, however, not all thermostats are compatible with all systems. Installation is subject to compatibility with your heating and cooling systems, and the offer is subject to change.

 

Interested in Purchasing a Different Smart Thermostat?

Rebates of up to $100 per smart thermostat (limit of 4 per customer account) are available. You can self-install the thermostats or hire a heating contractor or electrician to complete the installation (at your cost). No-cost installation is NOT available for rebates or online store purchases for any thermostat.

Step 4: Apply for Your Rebate

Step 5: Maintain the Equipment

ENERGY STAR® Certified Smart and Programmable Thermostats

ENERGY STAR® Certified Smart Thermostats

Many Smart Thermostats will automatically adjust the settings based on your family’s schedule (including when you are asleep or away) for significant savings all year long. If your Smart Thermostat does not have an E-Learning function, program these settings via an app provided by the manufacturer. These energy efficient thermostats are easy to set up and can save you five to 10% on your heating bills.

Programmable Thermostats

Adjust the settings based on your family’s schedule (including when you are asleep or away) for significant savings all year long. These energy efficient thermostats are easy to set up and can save you 5% to 10% on your heating bills.

Step 1: Understanding Equipment

Electric Heating and Cooling Equipment

Central Heat Pump

A central heat pump operates using the same type of duct system as a central Air Conditioning (AC) system or furnace, but is able to provide heating as well as cooling by using the difference between outdoor and indoor air temperatures to cool and heat your home, while saving you on energy costs. Mixed ducted systems also use ducts to distribute heating and cooling but involve the installation of new ducting dedicated specifically to the heat pump. Mixed ducted systems may be installed along with ductless units.

Mini-Split Heat Pumps

A heat pump is a device that moves heat from one place to another. It works much like an Air Conditioner (AC) or a refrigerator. While a refrigerator moves heat from your fridge to your kitchen, a heat pump moves heat from your home to the outside, or vice versa. Today's heat pump can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to electric resistance heating, such as furnaces and baseboard heaters.

Mini-split heat pumps provide dependable heating and cooling and can save up to 30% in energy costs by moving heat rather than working overtime to generate it. In the hot summer months, heat is moved from inside to outside, while in winter the process runs in reverse, extracting energy from outside air and converting it into heat for your home.

A new, high-efficiency mini-split heat pump delivers warm or cool air directly into different zones of your home, allowing you to avoid the energy losses associated with the ductwork of central forced air systems. Mini-split heat pumps can cost-effectively replace baseboard electric heating and window AC units.

Integrated Controls

For customers who heat their homes with oil or propane, effectively using heat pumps with your existing heating system can reduce your heating costs. By installing an integrated control, the system can automatically switch from heating with your heat pump to your conventional heating system based on a preselected outdoor temperature. This allows for maximum comfort and cost savings throughout the winter months. For multiple mini split systems, your home may require multiple controllers. An integrated control also may require additional sensors or wiring to your mini split setup, various components can make up an integrated control system.

Step 2: Working with a Contractor

Work with a licensed HVAC contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider the following:


Is your contractor measureQuick trained?

A measureQuick trained contractor ensures that equipment is installed to manufacturer specifications. Systems that are properly installed work at peak efficiency, increasing the comfort and savings in your home.

Step 3: Installation Best Practices

Electric Heating and Cooling Equipment

Central Heat Pump

Work with a licensed HVAC contractor to determine if central heat pumps are right for your home. Before installation, consider the following:

  • Duct sealing: Proper duct sealing can reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 15%.

  • Airflow: A measureQuick trained contractor will check that your system has proper refrigerant change and airflow to get the most from your system.

  • Sizing: Oversized equipment costs more, uses more energy, and can fail to properly dehumidify your home. Your contractor should make sure you have the right system for your space.

  • If an existing duct system is to be used with a heat pump, the ductwork should be sealed and insulated to an R-value* of eight. If a new duct system is being installed, as much of it as possible should be installed indoors, and not in the attic (most ventilated attics are subject to extreme temperatures). If wall units are the units of choice, it is important to choose the appropriate size. Despite the variable speed nature of modern heat pumps, oversized units may not dehumidify properly, as they will cool the rooms rapidly. All heat pumps should be sized based on a Manual J load calculation**, as oversized systems will cost more, require larger ductwork to function properly, and may not dehumidify effectively.

     

    *R-value is a measure of how well a two-dimensional barrier, such as a layer of insulation, a window or a complete wall or ceiling, resists the conductive flow of heat.

    **A Manual J load calculation factors in the different characteristics of your home (such as square footage, position of your walls, building materials, etc.) to determine how much heating or cooling capacity your home needs.

    Mini-Split Heat Pumps

    Work with a licensed HVAC contractor to determine if mini-split heat pumps are right for your home. Before installation, consider the following:

    • Determine the need: mini-split heat pumps are used for different reasons, from heating and cooling a whole house to an individual room. For whole house use, make sure you have enough capacity and that indoor units are placed appropriately to cover all zones. Multi-head, cold climate models are a good option for whole house heating and cooling, and function efficiently down to very low temperatures.

    • Use with your existing heating system: Using mini-split heat pumps in the winter to complement your existing heating system can reduce your overall heating costs without sacrificing comfort. The highest cost savings occur when mini-split heat pumps serve as the primary source of heat for an entire zone or zones currently heated by a baseboard electric or propane heating system. Based on current fuel prices, if your existing heating system is oil or propane fueled, you can still save money by operating the mini-split as the primary source of heat when outdoor temperatures are above 25°Fahrenheit.

    • Proper sizing: To provide optimum performance, have your contractor size the system to meet your needs. A system that is too large wastes energy and a system that is too small will not provide proper comfort.

    Integrated Controls

    Installation of integrated controls will vary greatly depending upon the system and devices chosen. It is best to work with your HVAC contractor to have this properly installed.

    Step 4: Apply for Your Rebate

    Electric Heating and Cooling Equipment

    Central Heat Pump

    Sponsors of Mass Save® offer enhanced incentives when displacing delivered fuel with a Heat Pump. For more information review the Fuel Optimization requirements on the Rebate Page.

    Mini-Split Heat Pumps

    Sponsors of Mass Save® offer enhanced incentives when displacing delivered fuel with a Heat Pump. For more information review the Fuel Optimization requirements on the Rebate Page.

    Integrated Controls

    Integrated Controls must be selected from the Integrated Controls Qualified Products List to be eligible for rebate.

    Step 5: Maintain the Equipment

    Electric Heating and Cooling Equipment

    Central Heat Pump

    Heat pumps operate for 1,200 to 1,500 hours per year. The outdoor condenser should be cleaned every year, preferably in the fall. The indoor blowers (central or wall/cassette units) have filters that should be cleaned regularly. Clean filters every month, one-inch pleated filters three to four- times per year, and media filters twice per year (spring and fall). Check condensate pump and lines for proper operation and replace humidifier pads annually.

    Mini-Split Heat Pumps

    Once your mini-split system is installed, set it and forget it! Leaving this system on full-time optimizes your home’s comfort and efficiency. Designed to run continuously, the system will auto-adjust as the room reaches the desired temperature setting.

    To maximize your savings and comfort, our savings guide will let you know how to best use your heat pump for heating and cooling your home.

    Integrated Controls

    Integrated controls often have a Wi-Fi component to work with your HVAC systems. Of these, many Smart Thermostats offer E-Learning, and will automatically adjust the settings based on your family’s schedule (including when you are asleep or away) for significant savings all year long. The integrated control also uses manual input stats and records to learn, until it learns what setpoints you are comfortable with. If your integrated control does not have a Wi-Fi or E-Learning function, program a schedule using a guide provided by the manufacturer.

    Step 1: Understanding Equipment

    A heat pump water heater works much like an Air Conditioner (AC) or a refrigerator, moving heat from the surrounding air into the hot water tank. Most heat pump water heaters include an integrated hot water tank and a “hybrid” mode, allowing them to run as standard electric water heaters if necessary.

    Video 1: How Do Heat Pump Water Heaters Work?

     

    Video 2: Find the right Heat Pump Water Heaters

    Step 2: Working with a Contractor

    Work with a licensed plumber to install a qualifying product. Equipment must replace an existing residential electric storage tank water heater or be new construction (gas, oil, or propane replacement not eligible)


    Is your contractor measureQuick trained?

    A measureQuick trained contractor ensures that equipment is installed to manufacturer specifications. Systems that are properly installed work at peak efficiency, increasing the comfort and savings in your home.

    Step 3: Installation Best Practices

    Heat pump water heaters need to be installed in open, semi-conditioned spaces at a minimum of 50°F or higher. They should not be placed in a closet, even if using a louvered door. If the HPWH must be in a confined space, a specific duct assembly kit must be mounted to the unit to provide required air exchanges to the unit. These kits are available through select HPWH manufacturers. The capacity of a 50-gallon tank can be extended by installing a mixing valve (anti-scald device required), which allows storing the water in the heater at a higher temperature, while still delivering water to the faucets at safe temperatures. The higher stored water temperature can "increase" the tank capacity by 10-12 gallons, or 20%.

    Step 4: Apply for Your Rebate

    Step 5: Maintain the Equipment

    Heat pump water heaters have washable filters that must be cleaned every month or as recommended by the manufacturer. Let the filter dry before reinstalling it in the water heater. Any condensate drain lines or pumps should be checked annually and cleaned as well to prevent leaks.

     

    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on our blog

    Step 1: Understanding Equipment

    Natural Gas Heating

    Gas Boilers

    Condensing boilers are gas-fired boilers that achieve efficiency by condensing water vapor in exhaust gases and recovering latent heat that would normally be lost up the flue. By doing so, they can achieve efficiency of 90% or higher (when the system is designed and installed as recommended by the manufacturer).  

    Condensing boiler technology is designed to maintain temperature in your home just like the cruise control option on your vehicle maintains a constant speed and conserves fuel.  

    While conventional boilers only stop or go at full capacity, your condensing boiler can run at 20% of capacity, 100% of capacity, or anywhere in between depending on demand. The ability to modulate is especially efficient when your system features an indirect domestic hot water heater, which will require year-round operation. Learn more information on  the Mass Save blog.

    Gas Furnaces

    Not only do modern furnaces save energy, they pollute less and boost comfort by producing heat more steadily than older furnaces. Choosing an energy efficient option can make a big difference! While the lowest efficiency allowed by current federal standards is 78%, high efficiency gas furnaces can hit efficiencies of 95% or more.


    Save Even More with an Efficient Furnace Fan

    Often referred to as a brushless direct current (DC) electric motor or a permanent magnet motor, an electronically commutated motor (ECM) uses a built-in inverter and a magnet rotor to achieve greater efficiency than alternating current (AC) motors. Used in furnace blower fans or hot water circulation pumps, ECMs can more than double the efficiency of non-ECM fans or circulation pumps. Most efficient furnaces today have these fans already built in.

    Outdoor Reset Controls

    A boiler reset control is a device that automatically controls the boiler water temperature based on the outdoor temperature. The water can be cooler during fall and spring, and hotter during the coldest days of the winter. This improves boiler efficiency along with indoor comfort by setting a better match between boiler output and space heating needs. A boiler distribution system is designed to keep a home warm on the coldest days of the year. Because a boiler seldom operates in design conditions, turning down the boiler water temperature can:

    • Improve boiler efficiency by reducing heat temperature needed
    • Improve indoor comfort with more consistent or less intense heat coming off radiators
    • Reduce standby losses from pipes

    Natural Gas Water Heating

    Condensing Water Heaters

    A condensing water heater functions similarly to a condensing boiler, trapping heat from exhaust before it escapes. It is highly efficient but will also require venting and drainage. Look for an efficiency rating of at least 95%.

    If your gas water heater is nearing its end of life—typically after 10 years—it is time to think about replacing it. Ideally you want to do this before it breaks and leaves you with no hot water, an expensive repair bill, and a headache.

     

    Visit our blog to learn more about replacement options.

    Indirect Water Heaters

    An indirect water heater circulates water through a heat exchanger in your existing boiler. This heated water then flows to an insulated storage tank. When an indirect water heater is used with a highly efficient boiler, the combination may provide one of the least expensive methods of water heating.

     

    If your gas water heater is nearing its end of life—typically after 10 years—it is time to think about replacing it. Ideally you want to do this before it breaks and leaves you with no hot water, an expensive repair bill, and a headache.

     

    Visit our blog to learn more about replacement options.

    Storage Water Heaters

    A storage water heater preheats water and stores it in a tank. Despite improvements in insulation, storage water heaters are the least efficient option for most people. Look for an ENERGY STAR® certified storage water heater, which will have an EF* of at least 0.67.


    *A water heater's energy efficiency is determined by the energy factor (EF), which is based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day.

    Tankless Water Heaters

    A tankless water heater (also called an on-demand water heater) heats water as it is requested, rather than preheating and storing it. Because of this, tankless water heaters do not have the standby efficiency losses of a storage water heater and never run out of hot water. However, their flow rate is limited, so one tankless water heater may not be able to handle multiple simultaneous uses. Look for an EF* of at least 0.82.


    Visit the our blog to learn more about replacement options.


    *A water heater's energy efficiency is determined by the energy factor (EF), which is based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day.

    Step 2: Working with a Contractor

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting more than one licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

    Step 3: Installation Best Practices

    Natural Gas Heating

    Gas Boilers

    Boilers are typically identified by several factors

    1. Distribution: Steam or hot water
    2. Fuel Source: Natural gas, oil, propane, wood/pellets, or rarely coal
    3. Existing Venting: Chimney or direct vent
    4. Number of heating zones

    The best replacement option will be based on these factors or proposed changes to the existing installation. High efficiency (>90% AFUE*) gas boilers can be direct vented through a sidewall or roof, if accessible. These should always be two-pipe installations, taking combustion from the outside and delivering combustion gas to the outside. Installing a direct vent heating product without outside combustion air can depressurize the mechanical space and reverse the flue of any existing chimney vented appliances, such as a gas water heater. Any condensing boiler (typically natural gas or propane) will condense moisture from the flue gasses. This must be discharged to a freeze-proof location via a condensate pump. Most codes require neutralizer cartridges to prevent acidic corrosion of cast iron drain and sewer piping as part of the condensate pump installation.


    *Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a measure of how efficiently your furnace can utilize its fuel. The more efficient your furnace, the more heat you will get per unit of fuel.

    Gas Furnaces

    It is best to leave major repairs, installation, and replacement to your trusted home heating professional.

    Outdoor Reset Controls

    Properly installed outdoor boiler reset controls help your boiler anticipate demand, which prevents the unnecessary combustion of fuel. It is best to install these controls on a north-facing wall and out of direct sunlight to ensure proper function. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions.

    Natural Gas Water Heating

    Condensing Water Heaters

    Proper installation and maintenance of your condensing water heater can optimize its energy efficiency.

    Proper installation depends on many factors. These factors include fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of gas-fired water heaters. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified heating and plumbing professional install your condensing water heater.

    If you are determined to install your water heater yourself, first consult the manufacturer. Manufacturers usually have the necessary installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your local municipality for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes.

    Indirect Water Heaters

    Proper installation and maintenance of your water heater can optimize its energy efficiency.

    Proper installation depends on many factors. These factors include fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of gas-fired water heaters. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified heating and plumbing professional install your indirect water heater.

    If you are determined to install your water heater yourself, first consult the manufacturer. Manufacturers usually have the necessary installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your local municipality for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes.

    Contractor Installation Tips

    Indirect water heaters are installed to new or existing hot water boilers, as a "heating zone"—either a zone pump, zone valve or control relay will be needed. These are very good choices when installed to an efficient hot water boiler, especially in homes with large hot water requirements, such as multiple bathrooms. Indirect water heaters are typically available from 30- to 120-gallon capacity. Indirect water heaters are available in multiple styles: glass-lined, stone- or cement-lined, or stainless steel. Most have R10 foam insulation*. The use of an anti-scald rated mixing valve can also provide protection at the tap and increase capacity if water is stored.


    *For use as general purpose insulation for roofing, wall and foundation applications. XPS insulation can be used as continuous insulation on interior or exterior walls to help increase the R-value of the walls, and improve the energy efficiency of the entire home or building.

    Storage Water Heaters

    Proper installation and maintenance of your storage water heater can optimize its energy efficiency.

    Proper installation depends on many factors. These factors include fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of gas-fired water heaters. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified heating and plumbing professional install your storage water heater.

    If you are determined to install your water heater yourself, first consult the manufacturer. Manufacturers usually have the necessary installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your local municipality for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes.

    Tankless Water Heaters

    Proper installation and maintenance of your on-demand water heater can optimize its energy efficiency.

    Proper installation depends on many factors. These factors include fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of gas-fired water heaters. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified heating and plumbing professional install your on-demand water heater.

    If you are determined to install your water heater yourself, first consult the manufacturer. Manufacturers usually have the necessary installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your local municipality for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes.

    Step 4: Apply for Your Rebate

    Natural Gas Heating

    Gas Boilers

    Sponsors of Mass Save® offer enhanced incentives when displacing delivered fuel with a Heat Pump. For more information review the Fuel Optimization requirements on the Rebate Page.

    Gas Furnaces

    Sponsors of Mass Save® offer enhanced incentives when displacing delivered fuel with a Heat Pump. For more information review the Fuel Optimization requirements on the Rebate Page.

    Outdoor Reset Controls

    Outdoor Reset Controls do not have a direct rebate however this will improve your system performance. See other rebates here:

    Step 5: Maintain the Equipment

    Natural Gas Heating

    Gas Boilers

    Boilers should be professionally serviced every heating season. The boiler should be inspected for signs of corrosion due to condensation, acidic water, and other potential causes, such as failed gaskets or joints due to expansion and contraction. Any condensate drain lines or pumps should be checked and cleaned to prevent leaks, and any condensate neutralizer media should be replaced.

    Gas Furnaces

    To ensure your heating system is ready to go for fall and winter, start with a professional evaluation. An HVAC specialist will inspect your system to make sure it is in good working order. He or she will also clean your system to ensure it operates efficiently. Making the investment in annual professional maintenance can help prolong the life of your system, helping you ward off large repair bills or system replacement.


    In addition to having your system serviced professionally, there are a few things you can do on your own to improve the efficiency and comfort of your home’s heating system. Check out blog for more information.

    Outdoor Reset Controls

    Check on the outdoor controller annually to clear any debris from the sensor.

    Natural Gas Water Heating

    Condensing Water Heaters

    Flush your water heater every six months or so. Drain your tank and remove sediment from the bottom of the tank. Check your anode rod regularly as it is an important part of the water heater. Test the pressure release valve annually. If you notice your water heater leaking, it may be caused by a loose drain valve or pressure relief valve. Contact your plumber if the pressure relief valve is leaking. If you leave town, change your water heater to its vacation setting.


    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on our blog.

    Indirect Water Heaters

    Indirect hot water systems do not require much routine maintenance; however the controls and pumps should be checked during annual boiler service. Also, a flush of the tank should be performed annually to clear out any sediment from the bottom of the tank.


    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on our blog.

    Storage Water Heaters

    Storage water heaters will need regular burner service (oil, natural gas, or propane).

    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on our blog.

    Tankless Water Heaters

    Tankless water heaters can be drained and flushed much like a conventional storage water heater. They can also be maintained annually by checking any condensation piping and if needed, a system descaling. Scale build-up in the heat exchanger may result in reduced flow rate. Periodic descaling may be necessary in areas where the water supply is highly mineralized to prevent flow rate reduction.

    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on the Mass Save blog.

    Step 1: Understanding Equipment

    Oil Heating

    Oil Boilers

    Before replacing your boiler, it is important to consider fuel options and cost if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long term if you use fuel alternate to oil.  Adding an electric Heat Pump not only helps as an alternate fuel option to save on energy costs, it can also add comfort and the option of improved cooling to your home.

    Condensing boilers are boilers that achieve efficiency by condensing water vapor in exhaust gases and recovering latent heat that would normally be lost up the flue. By doing so, they can achieve efficiency of 90% or higher, but this is only true if the system is designed and installed as recommended.

    Condensing boiler technology is designed to maintain temperature in your home just like the cruise control option on your vehicle maintains a constant speed and conserves fuel.

    While conventional boilers only stop or go at full capacity, your condensing boiler can run at 20% of capacity, 100% of capacity, or anywhere in between depending on demand. The ability to modulate is especially efficient when your system features an indirect domestic hot water heater, which will require year-round operation. See more information at our blog.

    Oil Furnaces

    Before replacing your furnace, it is important to consider fuel options and cost if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long term if you use fuel alternate to oil. Adding an electric Heat Pump not only helps as an alternate fuel option to save on energy costs, it can also add comfort and the option of improved cooling to your home.

    Not only do modern furnaces save energy, they pollute less and boost comfort by producing heat more steadily than older furnaces. Choosing an energy efficient option can make a big difference in your furnace’s efficiency. While the lowest efficiency allowed by current federal standards is 78%, high-efficiency oil furnaces can hit efficiencies of 86% or more.

    Save Even More with an Efficient Furnace Fan

    Often referred to as a brushless direct current (DC) electric motor or a permanent magnet motor, an electronically commutated motor (ECM) uses a built-in inverter and a magnet rotor to achieve greater efficiency than Air Conditioning (AC) motors. Used in furnace fans or boiler pumps, ECMs can more than double the efficiency of non-ECM fans or pumps. Most efficient furnaces today have these fans built in.

    Oil Outdoor Reset Controls

    A boiler outdoor reset control is a device that automatically controls the boiler water temperature based on the outdoor temperature. The water can be cooler during fall and spring, and hotter during the coldest days of the winter. This improves boiler efficiency along with indoor comfort by creating a better match between boiler output and space heating needs. A boiler distribution system is designed to keep a home warm on the coldest days of the year.

    Oil Water Heating

    Oil Indirect Water Heaters

    An indirect water heater circulates water through a heat exchanger in your existing boiler. This heated water then flows to an insulated storage tank. When an indirect water heater is used with a highly efficient boiler, the combination may provide one of the least expensive methods of water heating.


    If your oil water heater is nearing its end of life—typically after 10 years—it is time to think about replacing it. Before replacing your water heater, it is important to consider fuel options and cost if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long term if you use fuel alternate to oil.


    Visit our blog for more information on replacement options.

    Step 2: Working with a Contractor

    Oil Heating

    Oil Boilers

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider using alternative fuel options and equipment such as Heat Pumps. If replacing equipment using Heat Pumps, review the following:


    Is your contractor measureQuick trained?

    A measureQuick trained contractor ensures that equipment is installed to manufacturer specifications. Systems that are properly installed work at peak efficiency, increasing the comfort and savings in your home.

    Oil Furnaces

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider using alternative fuel options and equipment such as Heat Pumps. If replacing equipment using Heat Pumps, review the following:

    Is your contractor measureQuick trained?

    A measureQuick trained contractor ensures that equipment is installed to manufacturer specifications. Systems that are properly installed work at peak efficiency, increasing the comfort and savings in your home.

    Oil Outdoor Reset Controls

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider using alternative fuel options and equipment such as Heat Pumps. If replacing equipment using Heat Pumps, review the following:


    Is your contractor measureQuick trained?

    A measureQuick trained contractor ensures that equipment is installed to manufacturer specifications. Systems that are properly installed work at peak efficiency, increasing the comfort and savings in your home.

    Oil Water Heating

    Oil Indirect Water Heaters

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting more than one licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

    Step 3: Installation Best Practices

    Oil Heating

    Oil Boilers

    Boilers are typically identified by several factors  

    1. Distribution: Steam or hot water
    2. Fuel Source: Natural gas, oil, propane, wood/pellets, or rarely coal
    3. Existing Venting: Chimney or direct vent
    4. Number of heating zones

    The best replacement option will be based on these factors or proposed changes to the existing installation. Oil boilers can be power vented, and many offer outside combustion air options for chimney vented installations, which is a valuable upgrade.  

    CAUTION: Oil burners operating above 87.5% AFUE* will condense moisture in the chimney, potentially damaging the masonry construction due to acidic condensate reacting with the lime in mortar.  

    A storage or separate water heater may be a beneficial add-on to oil systems. However, it is important to exercise caution because these cast iron systems will experience expansion and contraction. During the cooling season, the boiler will remain cool. The boiler will then fire up to create domestic hot water only. This modulation may result in leaks or early corrosion due to condensation on the heat exchanger itself.  

    *Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a measure of how efficiently your furnace can utilize its fuel. The more efficient your furnace, the more heat you will get per unit of fuel.

    Oil Furnaces

    It is best to leave major repairs, installation, and replacement to your trusted home heating professional. Do not forget to schedule yearly maintenance on your furnace to ensure everything is working properly. As a result of annual maintenance, you will save on monthly heating costs, and prolong the life of your furnace.

    Oil Outdoor Reset Controls

    Properly installed outdoor boiler reset controls help your condensing boiler anticipate demand, which prevents the unnecessary combustion of fuel. It signals the boiler water to run slightly cooler in mild temperatures and slightly hotter during the coldest parts of the winter. This allows for maximum boiler efficiency and indoor comfort.

    Oil Water Heating

    Oil Indirect Water Heaters

    Proper installation and maintenance of your demand water heater can optimize its energy efficiency.

    Proper installation depends on many factors. These factors include fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of oil-fired water heaters. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified heating and plumbing professional install your indirect water heater. 

    Contractor Installation Tips

    Indirect water heaters are installed to new or existing hot water boilers, as a "heating zone" - either a zone pump, zone valve or control relay will be needed. These are very good choices when installed to an efficient hot water boiler, especially in homes with large hot water requirements, such as multiple bathrooms. Indirect water heaters are typically available from 30- to 120-gallon capacity. Indirect water heaters are available in multiple styles: glass-lined, stone- or cement-lined, or stainless steel. Most have R10 foam insulation*. The use of an anti-scald rated mixing valve can also provide protection at the tap and increase capacity if water is stored.

    If you are determined to install your water heater yourself, first consult the manufacturer. Manufacturers usually have the necessary installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your local municipality for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes. 

    *R10 foam insulation - For use as general purpose insulation for roofing, wall and foundation applications. Foam board insulation can be used as continuous insulation on interior or exterior walls to help increase the R-value of the walls, and improve the energy efficiency of the entire home or building. 

    Step 4: Apply for Your Rebate

    Oil Heating

    Oil Boilers

    Sponsors of Mass Save® offer enhanced incentives when displacing delivered fuel with a Heat Pump. For more information review the Fuel Optimization requirements on the Rebate Page.

    Oil Furnaces

    Sponsors of Mass Save® offer enhanced incentives when displacing delivered fuel with a Heat Pump. For more information review the Fuel Optimization requirements on the Rebate Page.

    Oil Outdoor Reset Controls

    Outdoor Reset Controls do not have a direct rebate however this will improve your system performance. See all other rebates here:

    Step 5: Maintain the Equipment

    Oil Heating

    Oil Boilers

    Boilers should be professionally serviced every heating season. The boiler can be looked over for signs of corrosion due to condensation, acidic water, and other potential causes, such as failed gaskets or joints due to expansion and contraction. Any condensate drain lines or pumps should be checked/cleaned to prevent leaks and any condensate neutralizer media should be replaced annually.

    Oil Furnaces

    To ensure your heating system is ready to go for fall and winter, start with a professional evaluation. A licensed contractor will inspect your system to make sure it is in good working order. He or she will also clean your system to ensure it operates efficiently. Making the investment in annual professional maintenance can help prolong the life of your system, helping you ward off large repair bills or system replacement.


    In addition to having your system serviced professionally, there are a few things you can do on your own to improve the efficiency and comfort of your home’s heating system. Check out our blog for more information.

    Oil Outdoor Reset Controls

    Check on the outdoor controller annually to clear any debris from the sensor. 

    Because a boiler seldom operates in design conditions, turning down the boiler water temperature can: 

    • Improve boiler efficiency by reducing heat temperature needed 
    • Improve indoor comfort with more consistent or less intense heat coming off radiators
    • Reduce standby losses from pipes
    •  

    Oil Water Heating

    Oil Indirect Water Heaters

    Indirect hot water systems do not require much routine maintenance; however, the controls and pumps should be checked during annual boiler service. Also, a flush of the tank can also be performed annually to clear out any sediment from the bottom of the tank. 

    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on the Mass Save blog.

    Step 1: Understanding Equipment

    Propane Heating

    Outdoor Reset Controls

    A boiler outdoor reset control is a device that automatically controls the boiler water temperature based on outdoor temperature. The water can be cooler during fall and spring, and hotter during the coldest days of the winter. This improves boiler efficiency along with indoor comfort by creating a better match between boiler output and space heating needs. A boiler distribution system is designed to keep a home warm on the coldest days of the year.

    Propane Boilers

    Before replacing your boiler, it is important to consider fuel options and cost if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long term if you use fuel alternate to propane.  Adding an electric Heat Pump not only helps as an alternate fuel option to save on energy costs, it can also add comfort and the option of improved cooling to your home.

    Condensing boilers achieve efficiency by condensing water vapor in exhaust gases and recovering latent heat that would normally be lost up the flue. By doing so, they can achieve efficiency of 90% or higher, but this is only true if the system is designed and installed as intended.

    Condensing boiler technology is designed to maintain temperature in your home just like the cruise control option on your vehicle maintains a constant speed and conserves fuel.

    While conventional boilers only stop or go at full capacity, your condensing boiler can run at 20% of capacity, 100% of capacity, or anywhere in between, depending on demand. The ability to modulate is especially efficient when your system features an indirect domestic hot water heater, which will require year-round operation. See more information on our blog.

    Propane Furnaces

    Before replacing your furnace, it is important to consider fuel options and cost if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long term if you use fuel alternate to propane. Adding an electric Heat Pump not only helps as an alternate fuel option to save on energy costs, it can also add comfort and the option of improved cooling to your home. 

    Not only do modern furnaces save energy, they pollute less and boost comfort by producing heat more steadily than older furnaces. Choosing an energy efficient option can make a big difference! While the lowest efficiency allowed by current federal standards is 78%, high efficiency propane furnaces can hit efficiencies of 95% or more.

    Save Even More with an Efficient Furnace Fan

    Often referred to as a brushless direct current (DC) electric motor or a permanent magnet motor, an electronically commutated motor (ECM) uses a built-in inverter and a magnet rotor to achieve greater efficiency than alternating current (AC) motors. Used in furnace fans or boiler pumps, ECMs can more than double the efficiency of non-ECM fans or pumps. Most efficient furnaces today have these fans already built in.

    Propane Water Heating

    Condensing Water Heaters

    A condensing water heater functions similarly to a condensing boiler, trapping heat from exhaust before it escapes. It is highly efficient but will also require venting and drainage. Look for an efficiency of at least 95%.


    If your propane water heater is nearing its end of life—typically after 10 years—it is time to think about replacing it. Before replacing your water heater, it is important to consider fuel options and cost if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long term if you use fuel alternate to propane.

    Indirect Water Heaters

    An indirect water heater circulates water through a heat exchanger in your existing boiler. This heated water then flows to an insulated storage tank. When an indirect water heater is used with a highly efficient boiler, the combination may provide one of the least expensive methods of water heating.


    If your propane water heater is nearing its end of life—typically after 10 years—it is time to think about replacing it. Before replacing your water heater, it is important to consider fuel options and cost if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long term if you use fuel alternate to propane.

    Storage Water Heaters

    A storage water heater preheats water and stores it in a tank. Despite improvements in insulation, storage water heaters are the least efficient option for most people. Look for an ENERGY STAR® certified storage water heater, which will have an EF* of at least 0.67.


    If your propane water heater is nearing its end of life—typically after 10 years—it is time to think about replacing it. Before replacing your water heater, it is important to consider fuel options and cost if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long term if you use fuel alternate to propane.


    *A water heater's energy efficiency is determined by the energy factor (EF), which is based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day.

    Tankless Water Heaters

    A tankless water heater (also called an on-demand water heater) heats water as it is requested, rather than preheating and storing it. Because of this, it does not have the standby efficiency losses of a storage water heater, and never runs out of hot water. However, its flow rate is limited, so one tankless water heater may not be able to handle multiple simultaneous uses. Look for an EF* of at least 0.82.


    Visit our blog to learn about replacement options.


    Before replacing your water heater, it is important to consider fuel options and cost if you have more than one option available. You may find that you will save more money in the long term if you use fuel alternate to propane.


    *A water heater's energy efficiency is determined by the energy factor (EF), which is based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day.

    Step 2: Working with a Contractor

    Propane Heating

    Outdoor Reset Controls

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting more than one licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

    Propane Boilers

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting more than one licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

    Is your contractor measureQuick trained?

    A measureQuick trained contractor ensures that equipment is installed to manufacturer specifications. Systems that are properly installed work at peak efficiency, increasing the comfort and savings in your home.

    Propane Furnaces

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting more than one licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

    Is your contractor measureQuick trained?

    A measureQuick trained contractor ensures that equipment is installed to manufacturer specifications. Systems that are properly installed work at peak efficiency, increasing the comfort and savings in your home.

    Propane Water Heating

    Condensing Water Heaters

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting more than one licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

    Indirect Water Heaters

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting more than one licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

    Storage Water Heaters

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting more than one licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

    Tankless Water Heaters

    Work with a licensed contractor to determine which equipment is right for your home. Before installation, consider contacting more than one licensed heating contractor(s) or plumbers of your choice for quotes.

    Step 3: Installation Best Practices

    Propane Heating

    Outdoor Reset Controls

    Properly installed outdoor boiler reset controls help your condensing boiler anticipate demand, which prevents the unnecessary combustion of fuel. The outdoor reset control signals the boiler water to run slightly cooler in mild temperatures and slightly hotter during the coldest parts of the winter. This allows for maximum boiler efficiency and indoor comfort, all year long.

    Propane Boilers

    The best replacement option will be based on these factors or proposed changes to the existing installation. High efficiency (>90% AFUE*) propane boilers can be direct vented through a sidewall or roof, if accessible. These should always be two-pipe installations, taking combustion air from the outside and delivering combustion gas to the outside. Installing a direct vent heating product without outside combustion air can depressurize the mechanical space and reverse the flue of any existing chimney vented appliances, such as a propane water heater. Any condensing boiler (typically natural gas or propane) will condense moisture from the flue gases. This must be discharged to a freeze-proof location via a condensate pump. Most codes require neutralizer cartridges to prevent acidic corrosion of cast iron drain and sewer piping as part of the condensate pump installation.


    *Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a measure of how efficiently your furnace can utilize its fuel. The more efficient your furnace, the more heat you will get per unit of fuel.

    Propane Furnaces

    It is best to leave major repairs, installation, and replacement to your trusted home heating professional.

    Propane Water Heating

    Condensing Water Heaters

    Proper installation and maintenance of your water heater can optimize its energy efficiency.


    Proper installation depends on many factors. These factors include fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of gas-fired water heaters. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified heating and plumbing professional install your demand water heater.


    If you are determined to install your water heater yourself, first consult the manufacturer. Manufacturers usually have the necessary installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your local municipality for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes.

    Indirect Water Heaters

    Proper installation and maintenance of your water heater can optimize its energy efficiency.


    Proper installation depends on many factors. These factors include fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of propanefired water heaters. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified heating and plumbing professional install your indirect water heater.


    If you are determined to install your water heater yourself, first consult the manufacturer. Manufacturers usually have the necessary installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your local municipality for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes.


    Contractor Installation Tips

    Indirect water heaters are installed to new or existing hot water boilers, as a "heating zone"—either a zone pump, zone valve or control relay will be needed. These are very good choices when installed to an efficient hot water boiler, especially in homes with large hot water requirements, such as multiple bathrooms. Indirect water heaters are typically available from 30- to 120-gallon capacity. Indirect water heaters are available in multiple styles: glass-lined, stone- or cement-lined, or stainless steel. Most have R10 foam insulation*. The use of an anti-scald rated mixing valve can also provide protection at the tap and increase capacity if water is stored.

    *R10 foam insulation - For use as general purpose insulation for roofing, wall and foundation applications. Foam board insulation can be used as continuous insulation on interior or exterior walls to help increase the R-value of the walls, and improve the energy efficiency of the entire home or building.

    Storage Water Heaters

    Proper installation and maintenance of your water heater can optimize its energy efficiency.


    Proper installation depends on many factors. These factors include fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of propane-fired water heaters. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified heating and plumbing professional install your water heater.


    If you are determined to install your water heater yourself, first consult the manufacturer. Manufacturers usually have the necessary installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your local municipality for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes.

    Tankless Water Heaters

    Proper installation and maintenance of your water heater can optimize its energy efficiency.


    Proper installation depends on many factors. These factors include fuel type, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of propane-fired water heaters. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified heating and plumbing professional install your demand water heater.


    If you are determined to install your water heater yourself, first consult the manufacturer. Manufacturers usually have the necessary installation and instruction manuals. Also, contact your local municipality for information about obtaining a permit, if necessary, and about local water heater installation codes.

    Step 4: Apply for Your Rebate

    Propane Heating

    Outdoor Reset Controls

    Outdoor Reset Controls do not have a direct rebate however this will improve your syetem performance. See other rebate here:

    Propane Boilers

    Sponsors of Mass Save® offer enhanced incentives when displacing delivered fuel with a Heat Pump. For more information review the Fuel Optimization requirements on the Rebate Page.

    Propane Furnaces

    Sponsors of Mass Save® offer enhanced incentives when displacing delivered fuel with a Heat Pump. For more information review the Fuel Optimization requirements on the Rebate Page.

    Step 5: Maintain the Equipment

    Propane Heating

    Outdoor Reset Controls

    Check on the outdoor controller annually to clear any debris from the sensor.

    Because a boiler seldom operates in design conditions, turning down the boiler water temperature can:

    • Improve boiler efficiency by reducing heat temperature needed
    • Improve indoor comfort with more consistent or less intense heat coming off radiators
    • Reduce standby losses from pipes

    Propane Boilers

    Boilers should be professionally serviced every heating season. The boiler can be looked over for signs of corrosion due to condensation, acidic water, and other potential causes such as failed gaskets or joints due to expansion and contraction. Any condensate drain lines or pumps should be checked/cleaned to prevent leaks and any condensate neutralizer media can be replaced.

    Propane Furnaces

    To ensure your heating system is ready to go for fall and winter, start with a professional evaluation. An HVAC specialist will inspect your system to make sure it is in good working order. He or she will also clean your system to ensure it operates efficiently. Making the investment in annual professional maintenance can help prolong the life of your system, helping you ward off large repair bills or system replacement.


    In addition to having your system serviced professionally, there are a few things you can do on your own to improve the efficiency and comfort of your home’s heating system. Check out our blog for more information.

    Propane Water Heating

    Condensing Water Heaters

    Flush your water heater every six months or so. Drain your tank and remove sediment for the bottom of the tank. Check your anode rod regularly, as it is an important part of the water heater. Test the pressure release valve annually. If you notice your water heater leaking, it may be caused by a loose drain valve or pressure relief valve. Contact your plumber if the pressure relief valve is leaking. If you leave town, change your water heater to its vacation setting.


    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on our blog.

    Indirect Water Heaters

    Indirect hot water systems do not require much routine maintenance; however, the controls and pumps should be checked during annual boiler service. Also, a flush of the tank should be performed annually to clear out any sediment from the bottom of the tank.


    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on the Mass Save blog.

    Storage Water Heaters

    Storage water heaters will need regular burner service (oil, natural gas, propane).


    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on our blog.

    Tankless Water Heaters

    Tankless water heaters can be drained and flushed much like a conventional storage water heater. They can also be maintained annually by checking any condensation piping and conducting a system descaling, if needed. Scale build up in the heat exchanger may result in reduced flow rate. Periodic descaling may be necessary in areas where the water supply is highly mineralized.


    Read about five easy ways to help keep your water heater maintained on our blog.

    Have a questions?

    Call or email us your questions, we are here to help.

    Call 1-800-232-0672 or Email [email protected]

     

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