Gas Versus Oil: Getting The Right Furnace For Your Home

As the winter months approach, having a quality furnace becomes more important. There are several things to look at when you shop, including the efficiency of the model and the kind of fuel it uses. Which type of furnace is really better? Here are some important facts to help you choose. 

Oil Furnaces: Efficiency and Cost

Oil furnaces typically have Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings between 80 and 90 percent, which means the furnace only loses around 10 to 20 percent of the energy used to create heat. While that means you're getting more heat out of your furnace than a unit that's 70 or even 60 percent efficient, the cost is that you end up paying more to run the unit due to the expense of oil. For more information, talk to a contractor like Shearman Oil Inc.

Gas Furnaces: Efficiency and Cost

Natural gas is a more affordable alternative to using oil to heat your home. The Energy Information Administration reports that gas costs an American consumer approximately $732 each winter on average. Oil heat, on the other hand, is impressively more expensive, costing the average consumer $2,535 for the same period of time. What's making oil cost so much? The oil used in the United States is primarily accessed from the Middle East, which has been unstable in the 2000s. Oil must also be refined before it can be used for energy, which costs more than using gas without that requirement. 

Which Furnace Type Is More Common in the United States?

Overall, natural gas and electricity power an overwhelming number of homes in the United States, with 85 percent of homes using these materials. Over 10 percent of homes use oil, and some others use a combination of two or three methods.Of the homes that use oil, 80 percent are located in the Northeast, where the weather tends to get the coldest in the entire U.S. Homes that use propane gas or oil might do so because of being unable to access natural gas distribution lines, which is something you should also consider before you purchase a furnace. You want to buy one that can be hooked up; your local area will typically use one or two methods, whether they are electric, natural gas, or oil. 

There are many different options for heating your home, but for the more efficiency, natural gas is the best choice. It costs less and tends to produce the most heat with the least amount of waste.