The Superbowl of Home Heating: Oil vs. Gas

Oil versus Gas Furnaces

Our country loves the Superbowl, so much so that we use this unofficial holiday to pit other things against each other, from beers to chicken wings to puppies.

We’re not immune to this trend either. Consider this blog post the Superbowl of home heating, where we put oil heat up against gas.

Both types of heat offer pluses and minuses, so it’s important to review your furnace installation options before you make your pick.

Oil heat

Filling residential oil tank

Oil heat has typically been much more costly than gas heat, with annual heating bills in the range of $2,000-$2,500.

We should note, however, that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects home heating costs to drop a bit this winter due to warmer overall temperatures. On average, natural gas and electric bills will decline by one percent, while home heating oil costs could drop by four percent.

Heating oil tends to cost more because much of it comes from overseas, making its prices subject to a host of international market influences.

However, oil remains a reliable fuel source – especially for customers in colder climates – because it offers more heat per BTU than other fuels.

It’s also a convenient heating source for people in remote areas. You may not be able to tap into a gas line, but as long as your property has room for an oil storage tank, you’ll have heat.

Just keep in mind that oil furnaces will need more maintenance than their gas counterparts due to dirt/soot accumulation. Plan to spend a few hundred dollars each year getting your chimney cleaned and your filters replaced.

Gas heat

Gas Furnace Flames

Gas furnaces may cost more in terms of installation, but fuel prices tend to be lower and more steady than oil prices, because most natural gas comes from North America.

Gas is a far more common form of home heating in America, with about half of all households using it (compared to oil, which accounts for less than 10 percent).

You won’t need much maintenance with gas furnaces, and because they connect to a gas line, you won’t need to have a storage tank on your property.

Gas furnaces offer better heating efficiency than their oil counterparts and run quieter and cleaner. However, your home must be in an area where gas is available.

With a gas furnace, you can attach a permanent generator to your home that’s connected to your natural gas line. If your power goes out, you’ll be able to operate your generator and run your appliances without having to worry about fuel shortages.

Efficiency ratings

Eficiency Rating

If you’re looking for a new furnace installation, pay attention to its AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating, which indicates how efficient the furnace is compared to other models. The higher the score, the greater the efficiency.

Most oil furnaces have an AFUE rating between 80 and 90 percent, while gas furnaces carry a rating between 89 and 98 percent.

You may also want to look into Pennsylvania’s Home Heating Equipment Rebate Program, which offers rebates to customers who purchase energy-efficient gas and oil furnaces.

If you’re looking for a new furnace installation and want to make the switch from oil to natural gas, All Seasons Comfort Control can help.

Our heating repair and service team is ready to help keep your home warm and comfortable this winter with our complete selection of American Standard heaters, the country’s number one brand.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our furnace installation options for your home.