Some Of The Great Benefits Of Natural Gas Vs Oil For Heating
When it comes time to replace a furnace or boiler, there is a huge decision to be made on the type of fuel to use for the new plant. The oldest boilers ran on coal but most of those have been replaced over the years and many now are using home heating oil, which has had its ups and downs in the marketplace. In addition to that, heating oil that must be delivered by a truck and contracts made to keep the tank full. Plus, the tanks themselves have a tendency to leak after years in the ground so that is a problem as well. Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of switching to natural gas instead.
Piped In Natural Gas Is A Permanently Available Supply
Throughout most of the United States and Canada, you can have natural gas piped directly to your home since it’s already plumbed at the street level. In many areas, the local gas company will even make the connections for free if your home doesn’t already have the pipe running to it. The gas company sees this as a good investment since they are gaining a customer for the next 25 to 35 years at least.
When it comes to prices, at the present time gas furnaces are more efficient than oil, plus, since the fracking boom of the last decade, gas has held steady and even decreased in price. On the other hand, oil has seen some huge spikes that made many people turn down their thermostats and be cold for entire winters. At one point it was even cost effective to tear out your oil furnace and install gas rather than fill an oil tank for the coming winter. Since then, prices of heating oil have fallen back in line to close to the price of gas. However, the fear of rising prices has permanently been embedded into the psyche of many people making gas their preferred choice when the opportunity arises to change.
The other point of difference between the two is that natural gas usually emits far fewer greenhouse gasses, especially carbon dioxide when both furnaces are running in top condition. Oil furnaces tend to need to be maintained more often than gas to stay at optimum efficiency, however. The oil companies like to point out that even though gas is far less polluting during use, the extraction process for gas releases lots of the methane into the air which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. New regulations have gone into effect to limit these emissions, so it remains to be seen how much better gas will be than oil.
The Price Of The Furnace Is About The Same
Between oil and natural gas, the prices of the furnaces are fairly similar, but an electric furnace is usually much cheaper. In most places, electricity is far more expensive so it’s not usually a good option in places that have cold, harsh winters. Electricity can be competitive in areas where a heat pump can be used, especially if central air is considered and solar has been installed to augment the price of grid electricity. For now, in the coldest parts of the country, natural gas is the leader in price.
If you are now considering getting a new furnace you should check the prices of the fuels in your area since they can be different in each location. The gas companies almost all have accurate price comparison services to allow you to compare before you switch and you should ask if they are offering rebates for switching as well. That could make the difference in your decision as the rebates can be considerable in some areas.
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