Home Decisions – Comparing Gas Furnaces Vs. Oil Furnaces

The northern states have been buried in snow for weeks and will be for several more. Winter often brings periods of extended cold. Coming home to a warm house is not only comfortable but necessary for survival.  We can all agree we depend on our furnaces to keep our homes cozy and to protect our families from frigid temperatures.  We don’t necessarily agree on the type of furnace that is best for accomplishing this goal.

The Basic Job of Any Furnace

A furnace burning fuel produces heat measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs).  The efficiency rating of any furnace is determined by the measurement of the unit’s combustion. This efficiency rating is called the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. The higher the furnace’s efficiency, the higher its AFUE rating will be.  Most new oil burning furnaces will have AFUE ratings in the 80 percent to 90 percent range.  New gas furnaces achieve AFUE ratings in the 89 percent to 98 percent range. By AFUE ratings along, gas furnaces seem to be the best heating source. There is more to be considered however.  The initial cost of a gas furnace  is at least 10 percent to 25 percent more than that of an oil furnace.

Fuel Sources And Prices

Furnaces can run on natural gas, heating oil, electricity or propane. The U. S. Energy Information Administration published heating costs in the winter of 2013 indicating the costs of these fuels for the winter season per home:

• Natural gas  $690
• Electricity  $964
• Propane      $1448
• Heating Oil  $2558


Almost half of American homes are heated with gas, most likely because its production is centered here and in Canada making its cost very affordable. The price of oil is more volatile and is subject to global changes in supply and demand, making it more expense.

Pros And Cons Of Oil Furnaces

Oil furnaces provide more heat per BTU than any other heating source.  In the northeast, where oil furnaces are particularly popular, temperatures are much colder and efficient heat production is important. These furnaces can be easily and regularly services your chosen delivery company and oil furnaces are less expensive than gas ones.

They are less efficient even though they produce more heat per BTU; their oil costs more; they require an on-site storage tank and oil has to be delivered and stored in it. Maintenance is more involved because of soot and dirt buildup. Oil filters have to be changed often and chimneys must be cleaned.

Pros And Cons Of Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces heat more efficiently. Natural gas costs a great deal less than heating oil. These units require very little maintenance and operate cleanly and quietly. Your home must be located in an area served by natural gas lines.  They cost more than oil ones and gas provides less heat per BTU than oil furnaces.

Regardless of the type of heat source you prefer and choose, make sure to use a qualified, licensed and reputable HVAC contractor to service your unit or install and maintain a new one. If you have a unit that is ten years or more old, the energy savings you can achieve with a new model will pay for the unit in a few years in you replace it with a modern, Energy Star® model.

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Commercial HVAC Repair South San Francisco

Commercial HVAC Repair South San Francisco

What You Must Know About HVAC Purchases

91668151HVAC may seem challenging originally but it can be made simple. If you are someone that is interested in this sort of thing, know that this article can assist you. Keep reading if you want to get into HVAC.

Before you contact people to assist you in getting your system fixed, know what kind of system you’re working with in the first place. Learn the brand and the model. This will help make sure that the contractor you hire has all the necessary information.

To make sure your condenser fan works properly, keep the fan blades and the coils clean. Always shut off all power to your unit for any work beyond superficial cleaning. Clean the outdoor condenser as well.

Regularly remove debris from outside condenser units. Debris can pile up at rates that increase during rainy or windy weather, and this can foul up the inner workings of your system. It could overheat and cause a disaster with your unit.

Be sure to clean the fan blades and coils of the condenser fan. Turn it off first so you don’t get hurt or break something. Then, take the grill off, pull the blades out, and gently clean them as well as the unit itself.

Keep your outdoor units free of debris when your cutting grass. Now so the grass clippings are shot away from your unit. This also applies to leaf blowing and any other yard work that results in debris.

Try to choose a shady place to locate the outdoor compressor device. In this way, it will be cooling air that is already somewhat cooled. This saves energy.

Do you understand your HVAC system a little more intimately now? It’s something everyone can grasp with a little help. It is vital though to learn everything about it. Use all the guidelines that have been provided as you get to work.

For HVAC Repairs and Service, Trust Your Home Heating and Cooling Systems to Professional HVAC Contractors:

Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air