What’s the Difference Between Gas and Oil Furnaces?

Many furnace buyers in Brunswick, GA, face questions about their new system’s fuel type. For most homeowners, it’s either gas or oil. But choosing one requires understanding of their differences.

Cost

While oil furnaces are less expensive to install, gas furnaces have lower fuel costs. Gas is the least expensive furnace fuel. In contrast, oil is one of the most expensive fuel types with fluctuating costs.

Maintenance

No matter the fuel type, all furnaces require maintenance. But oil equipment requires more maintenance than gas equipment. With an oil furnace, your HVAC service must change oil filters frequently and remove dirt and soot buildup from the combustion chamber and chimney regularly.

Since gas burns cleaner than oil, the equipment usually doesn’t require professional cleaning. Air filters only require changing or cleaning every few months, which you can do without professional assistance. However, a service technician must perform annual maintenance to ensure safe and efficient operation.

Efficiency

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating indicates a furnace’s efficiency. Even though oil produces more heat per BTU, gas is generally considered more efficient. Oil furnaces offer AFUE ratings between 80% and 90% while gas furnaces offer ratings between 89% and 98%.

Fuel Storage

Gas comes from a natural gas supply line. Alternatively, oil isn’t sourced from a supply line and requires a special storage tank.

Establishing and maintaining utility service ensures consistent gas supply. On the other hand, oil requires fuel level monitoring, proper quantity ordering and refueling.

Safety

Natural gas is much more flammable than oil. This makes it less safe. When burned, both fuel types emit hazardous combustion gases that require ventilation out of the home.

Burned oil and gas create harmful gaseous byproducts like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Improper combustion or ventilation of these gases causes gas leaks, and gas leaks pose grave health risks.

Leaking oil is basically harmless if ignited. In contrast, leaking gas could cause a fire or explosion if ignited.

Call Dalton Heating & Air to ensure that your new gas furnace gets installed safely and remains leak-free. We’ll make sure your heating system maximizes comfort and energy efficiency all winter..

Image provided by iStock

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