Heating Fuel Battle:  Oil vs Natural Gas

If your oil furnace is more than 15 years old, it’s time to think about replacing it. The moderate Indianapolis winters give homeowners more choices when it comes to heating systems. Oil and gas both provide comfort at a reasonable price. Which is the best choice for you? Let’s take a look at each:

Pros and cons of an oil furnace

Oil furnaces are actually very efficient. They provide more heat per BTU (unit of energy). They are also typically less expensive than a gas furnace, but the installation is fairly comparable.

There is no oil pipeline to your home, so if you heat your home with an oil furnace you must have an on-site storage tank. If you have an existing oil furnace, you can typically use the same storage unit for the new furnace. We do however recommend having the tank cleaned and checked at the time of the installation.

The need for an external storage tank is the primary reason we don’t recommend switching to oil from another fuel. There cost of installing a storage tank and restoring your yard after the installation makes this a less attractive alternative for homes in central Indiana.

You will also need to contract with a firm to deliver oil on a regular basis. This firm will usually service the tank at the same time. You should also plan to have your chimneys cleaned and oil filters changed frequently as soot is more likely to build up with an oil furnace.

One last consideration is the cost of oil. The price of both go up and down, but typically oil has been slightly less expensive than natural gas.

 Pros and Cons of Gas

If you are converting from oil, you will need to run a gas line to your home. Depending on how close the nearest existing line is, it can be quite expensive to run the line. In Indianapolis, Citizens Gas will often discount the cost of running the lines if homeowners agree to convert multiple appliances (furnace, stove, dryer, and or hot water heater) at the same time.

Gas furnaces tend to be more expensive than comparable oil units and do not create as much heat per BTU as oil.

On the other hand, natural gas burns cleaner than oil so less soot accumulates in the chimney.  While periodic cleaning is still recommended, it does not need to be done as often.

If you are concerned with the environmental impacts, natural gas has a relatively low carbon footprint and is considered one of the cleanest nonrenewable energy sources.

Finally, natural gas is there when you need it. Since it is delivered to your home through a pipeline buried underground, there are no delivery schedules to manage. It is available when you need it.

Still confused about which system is a better choice for your Indianapolis home?  Give the heating professionals at Chapman a call. We will explain your choices and install a heating system that will keep you comfortable for years to come.

 

 

 

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