When winter strikes, it can really put a chill in your home. No matter how well insulated your walls are, some of the cold will seep in through the foundation, windows, attic and more. Having a good heater, especially in areas with long, chilly or snowy winters, is an absolute must. If you are investing in a new heater, you may need to consider the pros and cons of gas heating versus oil heating in order to make an informed decision.
No matter which fuel you choose, you will need a furnace. The cost and efficiency of each furnace are among the most important facts you should consider before making a final decision. In the case of gas, these units are quite a bit more efficient than their oil counterparts. This means the fuel lasts longer and provides more heat in BTUs, which keeps your home warmer for longer. Though they are more efficient, these heaters also cost up to 25 percent more than their oil counterparts, so that cost needs to be taken into account.
Since oil ones are cheaper, and a lot of people cannot afford the higher cost up front, many people still tend to go this route. However, this decision also comes with its own caveat. That is that you will need to install a separate tank to hold the fuel. This tank is usually stored somewhere outside the home, with a pump used to get it into the furnace mechanically. Once the tank starts running low, you have to get it refilled.
Those refills can be quite costly, as it requires you to sign on for a service contract with a provider. You are generally locked into this, so if you decide to switch furnaces, you may have to still pay. Another thing to consider is that your oil furnace will have to be services on a semi regular basis, usually when you get the delivery done. This is because oils used for heat often cause the buildup of soot and other dirt that can cause blockages in the pump or line.
On the other hand, a natural gas one does not need the same type of cleaning and causes no soot. This is great if you live in a city or suburb that has a nearby provider. However, if you want to live in a more rural area, there likely is no utility provider to get you gas service, so this may not be an option for you.
The actual cost of the fuel is another thing you must consider. With gas, the cost is significantly lower. This is likely because of unstable oil prices caused by the instability of the regions where the refineries are located.
Natural gas is much more of a local product. Much of it comes from North America, specifically the United States and Canada. That means less money to get it shipped to you, with the savings on transportation often being passed to the consumer in the way of lower prices.
No matter which you choose, consider keeping up with any advances in technology. Newer models of either type of furnace can save you up to 35 percent per year on costs due to more efficiency and technological advancements.