February 5, 2018

Oil vs. Gas Heat: Which Is Better For Your Home?

Now that winter is here, and you’re seeing your heating bills go up, you might be wondering: Is gas or oil heat a better choice for my home?
Let’s run through a quick definition of each home heating solution:

Oil heat:

  • Burns home heating oil (HHO) from an oil tank on your property to produce heat
  • Air systems: Heats air in a plenum that a fan forces through your air ducts
  • Boiler systems: Heats water in a tank that a pump pushes through upright or base-board radiators throughout your home

Gas heat:

  • Burns natural gas provided by a local utility company to produce heat
  • Works similarly to oil heat for air and boiler systems, the difference is the heat source

So which solution is better for your home? At MoreVent, we service every kind of heater on the market, but our experience has been that gas heat is far more efficient for most homes. For a 2,000-square-foot home set at an average of 70 degrees, a gas furnace could save you 45-60% on your heating bill compared to oil heat.
Here are the advantages of gas heat for your home:

1. Technology Advancements

Since gas heating systems tend to be newer, they are more efficient overall. Also, their heat is more evenly distributed throughout your home, saving you money on your utility bill and keeping you comfortable all winter long.

2. Maintenance Costs

No matter what heating system you have, you should always have a cleaning and tune-up at the beginning of the season to keep your HVAC unit in the best shape. Unfortunately, oil heat systems cost up to 2.5 times more for an annual cleaning, because more parts must be cleaned or replaced.

3. Convenience Considerations

Oil heat requires more time and maintenance effort. Checking oil levels, scheduling for a delivery and refilling your oil tank all take time (and money for delivery charges). Also, if your tank runs out of oil before your next delivery, then you’re left in the cold and you have to call a technician to prime your system before you have heat again. With a gas furnace, you’re billed monthly and never need to worry about fuel.

4. Tank Troubles

With oil heat, the oil tank needs to be near your furnace or boiler, which usually means inside your home. If any of the pipes or nozzles aren’t sealed correctly, you run the risk of your home smelling like oil. Having that much oil in or near your house also carries health or environmental concerns for people with certain allergies or sensitivities.

5. Home Value

Having gas heat increases the re-sale value of your home. Most home buyers don’t want to heat their house with oil because they know it’s more expensive, so they might overlook your home in a real estate listing. So consider switching your heating system to a gas furnace before you put your home up for sale.
While gas heat is more efficient in almost every case, you ultimately want the option that works best for your home and your budget. Be sure to consult an HVAC professional before you decide to make any switch to your heating system, as only he or she provides the most expert opinion. With the right advice and the best solution, your heating system delivers more value – and more comfort – to your home.

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