Should You Choose an Oil or Gas Furnace?

heating duct work
As winter settles in, it will be time to turn your furnace back on once again. Of course, if you don’t currently have one in place, or if it is time to replace your old unit, you will have to head out shopping before the cold weather arrives. When you do get ready to buy a new model, you will have to decide whether you are going to purchase a gas or oil-based machine. There are pros and cons to both options, so you will want to do your homework and think about your own needs before making a selection.


In this day and age, much of the focus when it comes to appliances such as oil and gas furnaces comes down to efficiency. Using an efficient unit will not only tend to save you money, but it will also have less of an impact on the environment. In this case, the matter of efficiency tends to side with a gas model. Gas units tend to run at a higher efficiency level than do their oil counterparts, although any new furnace (oil or gas) is likely to be more efficient than one which has been used for many years.


Again, this is a point which lands in the favor of the gas option. With a gas furnace, there is little maintenance to be done, and the gas itself will be supplied by a fixed line coming from the utility company (assuming gas is available in your area). With an oil unit, you will have to have oil delivered and you will need a storage tank on your property. Also, regular service is needed to keep the furnace clean and running properly.

Heating Ability

On this point, we will see the favor switch over to the side of an oil furnace. An oil unit is going to offer more heat per BTU than a gas model, which is a nice advantage. Of course, gas models are also capable of heating your home to a comfortable temperature, but they will not create quite as much heat per BTU as an oil unit.


One of the biggest points to consider is cost, both in terms of upfront expense and the cost to run it over time. A gas unit will usually cost slightly more to purchase than an oil model upfront. However, the operation of a gas furnace is going to be significantly less expensive over time. The fuel itself is cheaper, and it doesn’t have to be delivered to your home. Also, the lower maintenance requirements for a gas furnace mean you can save money on that front as well.

In all, it is easy to see why gas furnaces are so much more popular than oil models. Unless you are located in an area where you do not have access to a gas line, you will likely want to side with a gas unit thanks to its advantages in the areas of cost, convenience, and efficiency.