In our region, homeowners have a choice between gas- or oil-burning furnaces. Which one is better?
In any discussion of gas vs. oil furnaces, the price and availability of fuel are paramount. Currently, the price of natural gas is low. Oil is generally the most expensive type of home-heating fuel, followed by propane, then electricity and then, natural gas.
The price of oil tends to be volatile, as it depends on world markets, while the price of gas, which is produced in the U.S. and Canada, is more stable. About 50 percent of American homes are heated by natural gas as opposed to 8 percent heated by oil.
Benefits of Oil Heating
Some benefits of heating by oil, include:
• Oil furnaces give more heat per BTU.
• Furnaces may be easily serviced by oil delivery personnel.
• Furnaces cost less.
Some of disadvantages of oil heating, include:
• On-site tanks are needed for storage.
• Soot and dirt build up extensively, so considerable maintenance is required, including frequent filter changes.
• Oil costs more and furnace fuel efficiency is lower. Most newer, efficient models are rated at a maximum of 90 percent AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency).
Benefits of Gas Heating
Some benefits of heating with gas, include:
• Gas costs less than other types of fuel, and furnaces are more efficient with newer models attaining as much as 98 percent AFUE.
• Less furnace maintenance is needed.
• Furnaces are cleaner and quieter than oil-burning models.
Some disadvantages of gas heating, include:
• A home has to be where gas is available.
• Gas creates fewer BTUs than an equivalent amount of oil.
• Gas furnaces cost more than oil-burning models.
When considering a gas or oil furnace, remember that newer models are more efficient than they were even 10 years ago. An oil-burning furnace with an AFUE of between 80 and 90 percent is more efficient than most of the older gas-burning furnaces installed in homes throughout the country today.
Ask an expert at Detmer and Sons, Inc. to weigh in on the gas vs. oil furnace discussion. We’ve been serving heating and air conditioning needs in the Dayton and Springfield area since 1978.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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