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Comparing Oil And Gas Furnaces

by Feride Halma

Oil and gas burning furnaces are two of the most common types of central heating units on the market. They operate in similar ways, burning natural gas and heating oil in order to provide heat for your home. However, because of differences between their respective fuel types, each type of funeral provides a distinctive set of advantages and disadvantages to your home. Understanding the differences between gas- and oil-powered furnaces can help you choose the one that best fits your needs.

Heating Oil Furnaces

Furnaces that are powered by heating oil provide a degree of safety to your home that natural gas heaters do not. Heating oil must be vaporized and forced through a special heating element before it is able to combust. This means that if there is a leak in your furnace, there is a significantly reduced risk of an explosion or fire, and cleanup is fairly easy, as the oil takes a liquid form at room temperature, unlike natural gas, which mixes with the air. Furthermore, furnaces that are powered by heating oil tend to be fairly affordable, which means that a model can be found to fit any home and budget.

However, heating oil furnaces require a storage tank to be built on your property, which can use up valuable storage space and can be unsightly. Furthermore, the burning of heating oil can create a great deal of soot buildup, and regular maintenance of your chimneys and filters has to be undertaken to ensure the proper functioning of the furnace, representing a long-run cost commitment.

Natural Gas Furnaces

Natural gas-powered furnaces provide a much higher degree of efficiency than their heating oil counterparts, which means that you will have to use less energy to heat your home. While the price of heating oil and natural gas varies depending on location, as a general rule of thumb, the higher efficiency of natural gas furnaces translates into lower energy bills, saving you money in the long run. Additionally, natural gas-powered furnaces tend to run much quieter than heating oil furnaces, which means that they won't wake up you up with a loud noise when they kick on in the middle of the night.

However, natural gas-powered furnaces are more expensive than heating oil furnaces, which can be restrictive for homeowners who are working with a tight budget. While the increased efficiency can help offset these costs over the long run, the high initial price should still be taken into consideration. Click here for more information on HVAC systems and services.