The Great Debate: Oil or Gas Furnaces?

For those considering buying a new furnace, you have an important decision to make: oil or gas? There are pros and cons to each. Let’s break them down.

Oil Furnaces

These are not the most common heating systems on the market -- very few homes have oil furnaces. However, they may well be worth considering for the following reasons:


  • They have an attractive price tag. Compared to gas furnaces, oil-based heating systems cost less upfront.
  • They provide rapid warmth. If the goal is to get your home comfortable quickly, oil is your best bet. That’s because oil furnaces produce more heat per BTU than gas furnaces. In other words, stronger heat.

The oil furnace is cheaper and boasts powerful heating comfort, but it comes with certain drawbacks.


  • Oil heat is costly. The U.S. imports much of its oil, which makes prices subject to the volatility of international markets.
  • Oil furnaces are not the most efficient option. They’re subject to soot and dirt build-up, which hampers performance. And they require frequent filter changes.

Natural Gas

The more mainstream of the two options, natural gas furnaces provide reliable heating, no storage tank required. (Owners of oil furnaces must store the fuel onsite.)


  • Gas is cheaper than oil. This is because natural gas is produced mainly in North America. That means you can expect your heating bill to be reasonably consistent month to month.
  • Gas furnaces are more efficient, boasting an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of between 89% to 98%. In comparison, oil furnaces have a maximum AFUE of 90%.

Gas, however, may not be for everyone. Consider these downsides:


  • Gas furnaces, while cheaper to operate, cost considerably more upfront.
  • A gas furnace might not be an option. If you live in a more remote region, you might not have access to natural gas

Bottom line: No matter which system you decide on, you’ll undoubtedly benefit from upgrading. Modern heating systems are more efficient than those of 10 or 20 years ago. We here at Quality Degree will take the time to discuss your options and help you choose the best system for your home. To schedule an appointment, call (610) 600-1108.