There are many types of furnaces in the heating industry but two of them stand out: gas furnaces and oil furnaces. While some people find the former to be more appealing, many homes are still heated by an oil furnace. To compare these two heat sources, the following four factors must be looked into.
Gas furnaces are much more efficient than oil furnaces. However, this is a comparison of furnaces of the same age. It is important to note that a new oil furnace my be much more efficient than an old gas furnace. High efficiency translates to greater value for money, making gas furnaces more desirable.
Oil furnaces are much cheaper than gas furnaces (around 30% cheaper). Therefore, consumers must weigh between efficiency and cost. They can either settle for an efficient gas furnace and pay a little bit more for the device, or choose a more affordable oil furnace that is a little bit less efficient compared to a gas furnace.
Both gas and oil furnaces need fuel. With the former, natural gas flowing in underground gas lines is supplied to the home through a thin gas pipe. With an oil furnace, the homeowner has to buy heating oil and keep it in a storage tank. Since natural gas is much cheaper compared to heating oil, gas furnaces are considered more attractive. Unfortunately, not all towns and counties have a well-established gas infrastructure. Where gas lines do not exist, installing an oil furnace of propane heater makes sense. It is important to note that natural gas is produced locally, so prices are usually stable. On the other hand, heating oil is derived from crude oil, an international commodity, so prices are determined by global factors. This means that prices may become prohibitive at times.
Natural gas burns more efficiently than heating oil, producing less harmful emissions in the process. It is therefore more friendly to the environment, unlike heating oil.
After weighing these factors, it is easy to appreciate why some homeowners use oil furnaces while others have converted to gas furnaces. Each has its own merits, so it is up to consumers to decide.