Summer is the best time to replace your furnace. Having the old one shut down and removed and the new one carried in and installed would mean an inconvenient chilly stretch if you had it done during the winter. So if you were concerned about poor performance, corners of your home that never got warm enough, expensive repairs, worrisome noises, or just the age of your furnace, now’s the time to get a new one. At first glance, there are a confusing array of furnace options: brands, models, sizes. But the first step is choosing a fuel source: natural gas or oil?
Different types of furnace fuel in San Antonio, TX come with different benefits and drawbacks, so it’s a matter of deciding what works best for you. Here are some details that might help you with your choice.
Purchase, installation, fuel, and maintenance and repair are all factors in the overall cost you should consider. In most ways, the gas furnace is the clear winner here. The system itself is less expensive, and the fuel is often somewhat less expensive. Oil furnaces require more-frequent maintenance and cleaning in order to operate as efficiently as possible. However, there may be hidden costs that could tip the balance. A home that has never been set up for gas heating might require significant retrofitting in order to make a gas furnace possible, and a connection to a local natural gas utility will need to be made. And don’t forget to think long-term: a gas furnace might last fifteen years or so, but a well-maintained oil furnace could last thirty!
Access to Fuel
Having a home connected to your local gas company’s lines will add to the overall cost, and also to the inconvenience and the amount of time required to get your new heating system set up. If your home already has access to the gas lines, the process will be easy. But what if your home is too remote to be connected to the local gas lines? Or perhaps you’ve looked into having it done (after all, it could also be used to fuel other things, from kitchen ranges to clothes dryers to backyard grills) and the cost or timetable would be too extreme. Oil furnaces are the perfect alternative. They use tanks, and the only access you need to have is for the delivery truck.
At first glance, you can tell by the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings that gas furnaces, with ratings up to ten percent higher, will, on average, go through less fuel. But another aspect of efficiency is how fully or cleanly the fuel is burned, and here, oil furnaces have the advantage, being more environmentally-friendly.
We mentioned tanks of fuel for oil furnaces. Are you concerned that this poses a safety hazard? Actually, it’s quite the opposite! Heating oil is very stable. You could even drop a lit match into it, and it wouldn’t combust. And not only that, an oil furnace does not produce carbon monoxide at all. It’s actually gas furnaces that have the higher risk of safety hazards: fire, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning. These risks can be dramatically reduced with appropriate precautions and regular maintenance, but if you want to avoid them altogether, choose an oil furnace.
Our professionals are ready to take care of you when you reach out. Contact Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.