The ongoing debate on gas vs oil rages on and is focused on safety, efficiency, cost and maintenance. Only after you review some of the facts about both can you decide which fuel is best for you and your home. There are both pros and cons to each, and all of the facts should be carefully weighed before making a final decision.
When it comes to furnace and boiler safety, oil trumps natural gas. Unlike gas, fuel oil is not explosive. It only ignites by a burning system within an oil furnace or oil boiler. The inhalation of fumes is not deadly. Gas is the silent killer and the main cause of fatalities due to carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States. With a furnace that uses oil as its fuel source, there are clear warning signs of any system malfunction, such as smoke, soot or odors. Gas heating systems give you no warning of carbon monoxide release.
The efficiency of oil and gas is just about equal with today's technologically advanced systems. You can find both oil and gas furnaces with efficiency ratings ranging from 80 percent AFUE to 98 percent AFUE. However, it's important to note that the recovery rate of an oil water heater is twice as fast as a gas water heater. Once again, furnaces fueled with oil trump furnaces fueled with gas when it comes to the life expectancy of the unit. On average, a well-maintained oil-fueled furnace has a life expectancy of 30 years, while a gas-fueled furnace has only 15 years.
Although the upfront costs for a gas-fueled furnace are about 25 percent more than oil-fueled furnaces, the cost for oil is much higher than gas. From 2012 to 2013, Americans with oil-fueled furnaces will spend over $2,000 for oil costs, while those with gas-fueled furnaces will spend just under $700. The price of oil is always volatile in the global market, and the price of natural gas is stable with its production located in the United States and Canada. The wide range in fuel costs is the main reason why most Americans heat their homes with natural gas.
While the older oil-fueled furnaces produced a lot of soot and debris, today's modern units are a lot cleaner in operation. That being said, the maintenance for both types of furnaces is basically the same. Homeowners should have both types serviced by a certified technician at least once a year for optimal efficiency and to avoid the potential of costly repairs. During a service maintenance visit, technicians will inspect, adjust, test and clean the unit's internal components.
At Tempco Heating & Air Conditioning in Rolling Meadows, IL, we offer top brands for gas boilers, gas furnaces and oil furnaces that come with high efficiency ratings. Customers can save money with our specials on select systems along with discounts for tune-ups and repairs. If you're in the market for an upgrade or are ready for a seasonal tune-up, be sure to give us a call. We have proudly served Palatine, Rolling Meadows and other nearby communities for more than 20 years.