Comparing Gas and Oil Furnaces

If your current furnace is breaking down frequently, no longer operating as efficiently as it should, or simply getting on in years, it’s time to think about replacing it. When replacing a furnace, many people decide to continue using the fuel they are currently using. While oil furnaces are more common in the northeast, it’s still important to have all the facts! There are some reasons why you might want to switch from oil to gas or vice versa. Before making the decision, you should consider upfront costs, long-term operating costs, and the environmental impact.

Upfront Costs

Whether you choose an oil or gas furnace, there are models available at varying price points to choose from. In general, however, if you compare a gas furnace to an oil furnace at the same capacity size, the gas furnace will be priced a little higher. If you’re switching fuel types, you’ll also have to consider the cost of switching the hookup. A heating and cooling technician can give you an estimate for the fee.

Long-Term Operating Costs

Although gas furnaces can be more expensive to purchase, the fuel tends to be cheaper. Fuel prices vary by region and they are subject to fluctuations over time. In general, however, the cost of fueling a gas furnace will be less than the cost for an oil unit. It’s also worth noting that the supply of natural gas tends to be more stable, since North America has a strong natural gas production industry. In contrast, oil prices tend to fluctuate more frequently because they are subjected to changes in the global market.

Environmental Impact

For many homeowners, cost is the most important factor to consider. However, it’s also worth taking a look at the environmental impact of the diff10erent units. One way to measure environmental impact is by analyzing energy efficiency. Always check the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating on furnaces before buying one. The higher the AFUE rating, the better. Gas furnaces tend to have higher ratings than their oil counterparts.

Not sure what to do? The experts at B & J Refrigeration Inc. – Heating and Cooling can help! We provide a full menu of residential and commercial heating and cooling services, including maintenance and repairs. Our office in Tucson is available at (520) 355-4857.