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Should You Switch from Oil Heating to Natural Gas?

"Should I make the Switch from Oil To Natural Gas?"

This is a question that we receive quite often, especially with the colder temperatures we have experienced in Southeastern Pennsylvania over the past few years. When contemplating whether or not to convert from oil to natural gas the simple answer is yes, for a multitude of reasons. The most driving reason is fuel costs. Most of us are already aware that the price of oil as fluctuated over the past few years, more often than not in an upward direction with price. And much like investing, past results do not necessarily predict future results. However, oil is a fossil fuel with limited quantities so one could speculate the price will only continue to go up over time.

If we explore the information from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), last year homeowners spent $700 on average for natural gas heating compared to $1,700 for oil heat users. That’s a difference of over 242%. With the current cost savings of natural gas over oil, homeowners would have around a 5 to 6 year payback period if they elected to convert to a high efficiency gas heater. Everything beyond that would be pure savings over using oil heat. Based upon the figures above that savings equates to $1,000 per year at the current price of fuel.

Aside from the financial benefits converting from oil to natural gas, there are also comfort and environmental benefits for “green” conscious homeowners. From a comfort perspective, perhaps it is Murphy’s Law, but your oil will typically run out on the coldest day and when you need it most. Though typically only a temporary discomfort, it is an inconvenience nonetheless. If for some reason there is a delay in the oil delivery schedule, what is an inconvenience can become a major emergency as temperatures drop. Compared to natural gas which is hard piped into your home under a virtually limitless constant pressure, there really is no comparison to oil as natural gas is constantly supplied.

From a “green” perspective, natural gas burns cleaner and is less likely to produce natural disasters during delivery or storage. Underground or above-ground oil tanks will eventually break down and leak, if and when this happens the cost of soil remediation can be costly. The question you have to really ask yourself is why haven’t you converted to natural gas from oil?

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