What is the Difference Between a Gas Furnace and an Oil Furnace?

Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning

Gaithersburg HVAC Contractors


Share on Facebook


Tweet this


Share on LinkedIn0 shares on LinkedIn

For most American homeowners, deciding on a heating system is often a no-brainer. Most people want a heating system and hot water at the ready. So, once you decide to get a heating system, it’s time to decide whether you should get a furnace that runs on gas or one that runs on oil. But what is the difference between a gas furnace and an oil furnace? Read on to find the answer to this essential furnace installation question.

What is a Gas Furnace and How Does It Work?

technician performing a furnace installation of a gas furnaceGas furnaces are a type of forced-air heating system and are fueled by natural gas/propane. The thermostat is set at a certain temperature and once the thermostat reaches a temperature below the set temperature, the gas furnace receives a signal to open the gas valve where hot air will be blown through it from the burner. The burner gets lit inside the combustion chamber after the furnace’s pilot light ignites. This allows heat to be created within a metal chamber called the heat exchanger. This is where the heated air flows. Once the furnace is warmed up, the rooms within the home receive the flow of heated air by way of the hot-air plenum. The toxic combustion gases, clearly not safe for breathing inside the home, are let out through a component called the flue, which is a funnel that starts at the top of the furnace and ends outside of the home.

Gas Furnace Installation Pros & Cons

Higher Efficiency

Consider the fact that a gas furnace runs on natural gas, which is one of the most efficient and cleanest fossil fuels on earth. Because natural gas produces more heat than other fossil fuels, the furnace generates less waste and heat can be generated a quicker, more effective rate.

Modern Quality

For the modern home, gas furnaces have been a top choice for decades. Because gas furnaces are so efficient, they often don’t break down or need heavy servicing for many years.

Cheaper Cost

Because gas furnaces are very reliable, they are considered a wise investment. The lack of breakdowns and servicing can help homeowners save a lot in costs. These low costs are also attributed to cheaper energy bills; the low amount of fuel burned helps keep those costs low.

Contributes to Fracking

Natural gas is obtained through fracking. The amount of fracking has increased over the years, and many fracking stations have reportedly caused damage to their surrounding environments. These incidents include demolishing the ground and vegetation, as well as a link to recent, more frequent earthquakes.

Costs More Than Oil

Purchasing the gas is one thing, purchasing the system is another. Although natural gas is cheaper to purchase, the gas furnace itself is more costly than purchasing an oil furnace.

What is an Oil Furnace and How Does It Work?

An oil furnace is a heating system that runs on oil. The way it works begins with the combustion chamber; this is where the oil is ignited. After this, the gas/water (depends on the specific system) will flow as the heat exchanger warms it. The fan brings in air from the house and it is converted to hot/warm air through the heat exchanger. From there the air continues to cycle to produce heat inside the home.

Oil Furnace Installation Pros & Cons

technician performing a furnace installation of a oil furnace

Generally Safer

Even with filters, gas furnaces leak a certain amount of carbon monoxide into the home, a chemical toxic to breathe in. Oil furnaces do not leak carbon monoxide into the home. Additionally, oil furnaces don’t run the risk of an explosion occurring, because the oil is not explosive. The same cannot be said for a gas furnace.

Long Lasting

Both gas and oil furnaces have a long-lasting life, but oil furnaces can last 5 – 10 years longer than gas furnaces. With proper maintenance, it could be considered a better investment.

More Expensive

Most oil for heating is brought in from overseas and it costs a lot to transport it. The amount it costs to obtain oil is much more expensive compared to the cost of importing natural gas.

More Maintenance Involved

Similar to the oil in your car, the oil as well as the oil filter in your furnace needs to get changed regularly. These are added costs and more maintenance required than a gas furnace usually requires.

Contact a Furnace Installation Contractor

As you can see, there are many advantages, as well as some disadvantages that come from owning an oil furnace or a gas furnace. By understanding how they run and how you want your house to run, you’ll soon make a wise decision on which is best for your home.

woman homeowner happily adjusting a thermostat after a successful furnace installationWhether you decide on an oil furnace or gas furnace, know that you can trust Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. to keep your furnace in tip-top shape. Contact us online to schedule a free furnace installation estimate with one of our knowledgeable HVAC contractors today or call us at (301) 719-3315.

Related Posts
  • Getting Ready for Cooler Days – Fall HVAC Maintenance Guide Read More
  • Why You Need to Schedule HVAC Maintenance This Fall [UPDATED] Read More
  • What Is Geothermal Heating and Cooling and Why Should Homeowners Consider It? Read More