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Heat: Oil vs. Electric vs. Gas

Our Heating Experts Explain the Differences

oil vs. electric vs. natural gasIf you’re buying a new home or considering switching your source of heat, there are three main ways that you can provide heat for your home: by oil, by electricity, or by gas. Our heating service experts know that choosing one can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve collected some information on the differences between each:

Safety Concerns

When contemplating which type of energy to use, most people don’t take safety into consideration. Electric heat is cleaner than oil or gas, since it doesn’t require any fuel combustion. Both oil and gas furnaces, however, combust fuel and can release carbon monoxide into your home, though gas usually releases more. Inhaling too much carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, and other difficulties.

Availability

There is a large difference between the sources of each energy – while oil and natural gas are both fossil fuels that come from the earth, electricity is man-made. This means that while electricity will continue for countless years to come, we will eventually run out of both oil and natural gas resources. While this probably doesn’t play much factor into which energy you should use right now, it will in the future.

Costs

When it comes to costs on average, having a fuel oil furnace is the most expensive heating option, with an electric furnace right behind it. Gas furnaces, however, cost nearly 1/5 of oil and electric furnaces, so if you’re able to invest in a gas furnace, our heating service experts recommend one.

Efficiency

The efficiency of oil and natural gas furnaces are very close in comparison, however oil tends to be a little more efficient. Electric furnaces tend to use more energy, though all of these options greatly depend on how efficient your furnace is.

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