Purchasing new home heating equipment is a major investment, and it can be difficult to decide whether a gas or oil furnace is your best option. To help you weigh the pros and cons and make an informed choice, let’s compare oil and gas furnaces based on some critically-important factors.
Furnaces are given an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating that reflects their fuel combustion efficiency, and higher ratings mean greater efficiency. Oil furnaces on the market have AFUEs from 80 to 90 percent, while available gas furnaces offer higher ratings ranging between 89 and 98 percent.
Oil furnaces produce more warmth for each British thermal unit (BTU) of fuel burned, so their heat energy output is greater than comparable gas furnaces.
Most cities and towns have gas mains in place, but if you live in a rural area without access to a line, this type of heating won’t be an option. In comparison, heating oil is delivered by truck and it’s widely available from a number of suppliers.
The sticker prices on oil furnaces are 10 to 25 percent less than similarly-sized gas units, and there are additional upfront costs with both types of heating. You’ll need to have a storage tank placed on your property to run an oil furnace. With natural gas, you’ll need to get a service line and meter installed.
You’ll face two main ongoing costs over the service life of a new furnace:
- Fuel. You can expect to pay 30 to 50 percent more annually when heating with oil compared to natural gas. The price of oil is based on world crude supply and demand, so it tends to fluctuate more than natural gas that’s produced in the U.S. and Canada.
- Maintenance. Oil furnaces need an in-depth yearly cleaning and regular filter changes due to soot accumulations, while gas furnaces burn fuel cleanly, so maintenance isn’t as time consuming.
For expert advice about whether an oil or gas furnace is the right choice for your Dayton home, contact us today at Detmer and Sons.
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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