Many people here in Birmingham, Alabama heat their homes with a central furnace system that uses natural gas or heating oil. Both methods are great for keeping your home warm and cozy, but they have different pros and cons. Here are some of the factors you should consider so that you can decide whether heating oil or natural gas is best for your home and family.

Efficiency

Gas furnaces are generally more efficient than oil furnaces, with higher AFUE ratings, but they’re also more expensive, at least initially. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE rating measures the average efficiency of a furnace. It’s the ratio of the energy used to heat energy produced. For example, a 90% AFUE furnace produces 90 BTUs of heat for every 100 BTUs of fuel. Homeowners lose the rest because of exhaust, leaky ductwork, or other causes. A BTU or British thermal unit is the heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Costs

Even though natural gas furnaces are more expensive than heating oil, the natural gas to run them is cheaper. However, installing a new gas line can be costly. Oil furnaces produce more soot and exhaust than natural gas furnaces, so maintenance and cleaning is more expensive. They also have oil filters that need changing regularly.

Fuel Delivery System

Homes that use heating oil have a storage tank outside, and a technician delivers the fuel. You could run out before the next delivery, but that is not a worry with the natural gas line down the street from your home. A leak in a natural gas pipeline could keep your furnace from working or increase your bills.

Since both types of furnaces are much more efficient and environmentally friendly than they were 10 years ago, you can save money over time and help the environment by replacing your old furnace with a newer model from One Source Heating and Cooling. Call us at 205-209-4246 for a free heating system evaluation and 24-hour emergency service.

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