Furnace Oil Vs. Gas Furnaces | Which is Better?

Furnace Oil Vs. Gas Furnaces

Fuel and choices of fuel have long been debated in humanity’s struggle to keep warm and comfortable. Long ago, humanity found that by burning coal instead of wood, the fuel would burn hotter, lessening the need for massive stockpiles of wood being harvested. The coal became a more efficient fuel for heating and homes all across the world switched to coal-burning ovens and stoves.

Just like this past fuel change, there is another change in the fuel that millions of homes are using for heat and warmth, that fuel is gas – or propane. With another choice in heating fuel, many are asking the question, “should I purchase an oil-burning furnace, or a gas-burning furnace?” While this choice hinges much on supply in your area, most homes DO have a choice in whether they want a gas or oil furnace. So which is better?

Is A Gas Furnace Better Than an Oil Furnace?

If only it were as simple as, “which type is better…” but it is not that simple. Both oil and gas furnaces have their benefits and their drawbacks. Both are actually quite affordable, though gas is slightly cheaper, which has led to the myth that heating oil is outrageously expensive. What is outrageously expensive is converting an oil furnace to a gas furnace – this can easily run $9000.00+! In newer homes that are setup with gas lines running into the home may be a bit cheaper of a conversion, but there is still a fairly high cost.

Are Oil Burning Furnaces Dirty or Bad for the Environment?

Not anymore. In the past, the oil was much dirtier and certainly led to pollution and bad air quality, but just as the technology behind furnaces has evolved over the years, so has the technology behind the heating oil itself. Today’s heating oil produces almost zero emissions, and modern oil-burning furnaces have “reburners” that burn “waste” from the initial burn stage to cut down on inefficiency and emissions even further. In actuality, while gas furnaces are great products and sometimes are the perfect fit for some homes, gas systems are not necessarily 100% clean burning and can contribute to global warming.

Drawbacks of Oil and Gas Furnaces

Again, both types of systems are great and offer many benefits between them, though both systems do have their own sets of drawbacks that a homeowner should be made aware of before purchasing either or. The fuel itself is a drawback for oil furnaces, as it has to be delivered in-advance and stored on the property with the furnace. This could be an issue for some, as the delivery of the fuel comes with its own schedule and expenses. The drawback of gas-furnaces is that they have a tendency to not live as long as the oil-burning furnaces which can have a lifespan of over thirty years; compare this to the 11-14 year life span of gas furnaces and it is easy to see the costs go up for replacement and repairs.

If you are looking into replacing or installing a furnace and you want to know more about your choices between heating fuels, Call Sheldon’s Services today and we can go further into the benefits and drawbacks of each type of furnace, and help you to make a solid decision based on the facts, the benefits, and the drawbacks of each.