Oil vs. Gas Furnaces: Understand the Difference
Even in Orlando’s mild climate, a reliable and efficient furnace can do a lot to keep you comfortable. Both oil and gas heating equipment can stave off the cold, but each has its pros and cons.
Heating with Natural Gas
Gas is the most commonly used heating fuel in the U.S., but to use a gas furnace, you’ll need to live near municipal gas mains to which you can connect your home. While natural gas is generally safe, a leak does pose the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and explosion.
Gas furnaces are the most energy efficient fuel-burning heating systems available, with high-efficiency models achieving up to 98.5 AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). While the price of natural gas is increasing, it’s doing so less quickly than the price of heating oil. Gas prices are also more stable than oil prices. If you’re looking for low monthly bills, natural gas is usually the better choice.
Heating with Oil
While oil furnaces are less common, they’re favored in remote locations where homes can’t access a gas main. Oil can be stored in a tank on your property and supplied by a fuel company that fills the tank at your request.
Oil furnaces cost less to install than gas models, but they’re less efficient and the fuel cost is higher. These models also require more routine maintenance than gas models due to the buildup of dirt and soot. Not only are oil prices rising faster than gas prices, but they’re also less predictable. While oil contains more heat per BTU (British thermal unit) than gas, this is a benefit primarily in colder climates.
Heating oil is overall safer than natural gas because it’s highly unlikely to explode and the fumes aren’t a carbon monoxide risk. Furthermore, oil heating produces only a small amount of emissions, so it’s better for the environment than gas.
If you already use oil or no gas company services your area, oil may be the best option for you.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Amy Walters/Shutterstock”