With the passing of the season and the colder months looming on the horizon, homeowners are starting to feel the cold breeze. It makes them wonder if they are indeed ready for the cool months ahead. People now start discussing furnace efficiency and how much homeowners spend to heat up their home. Hence, these discussions inevitably talk about whether a gas furnace installation is way better than the ones powered by oil.
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There are certain homeowners who argue that oil is better while others rave that there’s no better way to heat homes than with natural gas. Now, to better understand whether you should opt for a gas furnace installation or an oil-powered one, let’s go over the various pros and cons to help you make the best choice for your home.
Now as you consider your options and still looking at the wide array of furnaces out in the market today, the first consideration and the first thing you also have to look for in a furnace is its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. This rating will tell you an equipment’s combustion efficiency, and a higher rating likewise indicates a higher efficiency.
For oil furnaces, their AFUE ratings are around 80% up to 90%. For gas furnaces, the numbers are higher with their average furnace ratings at 89% up to 98%. Even if gas furnaces are considerably more efficient in contrast to oil furnaces, homeowners have to pay a hefty price to own one since these units are often 10% up to 25% more costly than its oil furnace counterparts. But the best thing is that whether it be a gas or oil furnace, modern units manufactured nowadays are undeniably more efficient that older models produced a decade or more ago. For some of them, the efficiency difference is as much as 30%.
And talking about fuel costs, it becomes more obvious that homeowners can have bigger savings if they go for a gas furnace installation. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, regular households spent around $690 for the entire season to heat up their home back in Winter 2012. But if you own an oil furnace, this expenditure can reach into the thousands, as much as $2,558. Let us also consider those homeowners who rely on propane and spend $1,448 that season. And lastly, those people who favor electricity spends around $964, which is still lower than either oil or propane.
Moreover, the price of oil in the market is not stable. It depends on the global supply and demand, unlike natural gas reserves that are plenty in North America. And maybe because of its easy access, as much as 50% of homes in America today uses gas and only 18% relies on oil.
Now, to make things easier for you, just check out the subsequent pros and cons of each furnace type. It can help you decide whether to go for a gas furnace installation or the other way around.
- An oil furnace gives off more heat for every BTU compared to another heating source. However, one must secure an on-site storage tank aside from also making arrangements for the oil’s delivery.
- An oil furnace can be constantly and easily maintained by the company that delivers the oil (secure a service contract first). However, it is more costly to maintain because of soot and dirt buildup, regular cleaning of the chimneys as well as replacement of the oil filters.
- An oil furnace is less pricey than a gas furnace. However, it is likewise less efficient, and the price of oil can be higher than that of gas.
- A natural gas furnace has a higher heating efficiency and fuel cost is also cheaper. However, you must be living in a place that already has an existing gas supply.
- A natural gas furnace requires minimal maintenance, and you don’t even need a service contract. However, gas offers you less heat for every BTU in contrast to oil.
- A natural gas furnace is cleaner and quieter but is generally more costly than oil furnaces.
So whether you go for a gas furnace installation or that of oil, consult with a reliable HVAC contractor and procure at least three quotes before deciding on what to buy for your home. Homeowners who finally decide to make an upgrade on their system can often avail of both private and public financing incentives and rebates, so choose wisely and exhaust all means before choosing the one that will work best for your home.