In almost all cases, you should convert an oil furnace to natural gas. But it’s not enough for us to tell you that, without explaining why!
If you still have an oil furnace, you probably know what we’re going to say: the costs of oil are crazy-high, and not too stable either!
There’s a huge amount of people who are switching from oil to gas just because of this. In fact, here in Yakima where natural gas is easily available and relatively cheap, heating your house with oil can cost twice as much as natural gas.
While there is of course the cost for converting an oil furnace to a gas one, it pays for itself over the years.
The way the process works is, outside your home, the utility company runs a pipe from the gas main to where you live, and installs a meter. This can cost as little as $1,000, but could be a couple grand as well. Then, there will be an additional cost to get the gas from the meter to your local heat plant, and that’s another $1,000.
For many people, the reason they don’t make the transition is because natural gas is not available where they live. But here in Washington, we have many companies to choose from to get you hooked up!
Speaking of propane, though, you may be wondering whether propane is better than oil heating.
Well, just like natural gas furnaces, propane converts more fuel into heat than an oil furnace does. Oil furnaces might be as much as 60% efficient, while propane can be not only up to 80% or 90% efficient like natural gas, but actually up to 98% efficient! Isn’t that just awesome?
So you might be wondering, are there any cons of propane or natural gas furnaces, vs. oil furnaces? The common thought is that gas is better than oil, and normally, that’s right, for the reasons we already outlined.
But also, there’s a new type of oil heat, bioheat, that is making strides and is a scientific breakthrough because of how great it is for the environment! The amount of carbon produced by bioheat (which is a blend of biodiesel and sulfur oil) is less than half of that of natural gas. However, bioheat is mostly only available in major cities right now, although this evolution is going to spread quickly.
For now, we definitely recommend converting your oil furnace to natural gas, but we like to keep you aware of everything that’s going on in the HVAC industry!