Pros and cons of natural gas verse oil heat?

My wife and I are currently looking to purchase a home in NJ. The house we are looking at uses oil heat. We have always heard that natural gas is cheaper and more efficient and therefore were considering the price of switching if we bought the house. Can anyone tell me a website or just list what the pros and cons for each type would be? I have googled search 100+ times and can’t find any good informative sites. I am just wondering if we are putting too much emphasis on switching. the more reading I do on the subject, the more confused I get. Thanks.
yeah oneman that was real helpful. Thanks for nothing!!!!!

19 Responses to “Pros and cons of natural gas verse oil heat?”

  1. DAN THE AC MAN Says:

    natural gas heat is very much prefered over oil heat…most people that can have gas heat,get it…the only exceptions are if you [1] dont have natural gas service to the home,,,or [2] if you do have it to the home but would rather just keep the old oil furnace than spend the money to buy a new gas furnace… right now in the baltimore/d.c area natural gas goes for about $1.25 per therm,[ including the "delivery charge" for use of the local utilities pipes since you can purchase the gas itself [commodity] from companies other than the utility]..,,a therm is 100 cu.ft,or about 103,000 btu’s of heat [input]…..heating oil prices are subject to larger fluctuations,,,,was over $4.00 per gallon earlier this year,,,probably back to around $2.00 or so at the moment….a gallon of heating oil contains about 140,000 btu’s of heat [ input]…also,heating oil has to be delivered in a truck and needs cleaning more frequently and is more likely to put an odor in the house…odor from either the oil itself,,or from a furnace that has sooted up…also old oil tanks eventually need replacing and can make a mess when they leak.some oil advertisements make it seem that gas is very dangerous but that is not true…incidents are very rare and usually have an explanation as to why it occurred,,i.e. a contracter struck a gas pipe while digging and the gas traveled into the home from underground and no one was home to smell it,etc.,,or a landlord made improper repaires to a furnace and left an unsafe condition,,etc,,etc…very rare….also gas furnaces over 90% efficient are common now whereas most oil furnaces are around 80% efficient [meaning 20% of the heat is vented outside and 80% of the heat goes to the home]…there are oil furnaces over90% efficient but they are trouble according to 2 technicians that i trained for my company [we fix gas,heat pumps,water heaters,and appliances] that came from oil heat companies..one even said his old co. wouldnt even put a 90% oil furnace under a service policy any more because of the time it takes just to clean it,,they would only clean them for the hourly rate..that says a lot to me…with gas you can choose between 80% and 90%….the 90%’s are more expensive and complex,,but still pretty reliable,,theyve been out about 20 years or so,the "bugs are out" as they say…hope this helps……dan

  2. oneman2dogs Says:

    This may seem rude, BUT turn off your computer and go talk to some people in the plumbing and heating business. Get your answers first hand as to what’s the best route to go. Since you have not purchased the home, this may be something negotiable in the sell of the home.

  3. Don Says:

    Many people wouldn’t change a working system for a small energy savings each month, it might take too long to get your money back. I don’t especially like oil heat, I’ve seen it be stinky, it’s kind of messy, and you’re at the mercy of current petroleum prices, because it’s directly interchangeable with diesel.

    On the other hand, natural gas isn’t available everywhere. Its price does tend to be lower, I think maybe because it’s so cheap to deliver it by piping. And it burns cleaner.

    If you’re a survivalist sort, you could stockpile oil, but if the pumps ever ground to a halt that pump natural gas, you’d be screwed. But if you carry that argument all the way through, you might be looking at wood heat. Geothermal heat pumps look good. Personally, I’m not planning on building another house unless I can make it so energy efficient the warmth of the occupants practically heats it by themselves, along with solar gain. I’m not there yet.

  4. This Old House Says:

    The cost of oil vs gas depends a lot on your area. In some places the cost differential is less than others. A bigger issue is the efficiency of the furnace. If the house has an inefficient model then you’ll be spending a lot to heat no matter what fuel you use. FYI the best gas furnaces are about 97% efficient. So I’d focus on furnace efficiency and house efficiency (insulation, weatherstripping, etc) before I’d worry too much about fuel costs. Here’s how This Old House heating contractor Richard Trethewey explains it:

    Is it Time to Replace the Furnace?
    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/asktoh/question/0,,1172040,00.html?xid=yahoo-answers&partner=yes

    One advantage of gas heat, at is that you can get a gas range, which many cooks prefer. You can find more info about fuels and energy efficiency at the website below:

  5. Do-It-To-Yourselfer Says:

    NJ is a peculiar state for heating with oil. Most important is if there’s an underground storage tank for the oil. If there is, it has to be tested and if there’s any leaks, it’s like having a superfund site in your backyard.

    If your tank is inside, that’s great! Otherwise it’s outside and you have to pay extra for blended oil. If you have the ability to "prepay" your oil in the May-June time-frame, that’s a good way to go.

    Natural gas has an overall btu per dollar charge that historically has been higher than oil.

    Oil burners need to be serviced yearly, and your oil company will be happy to sell you a service plan that includes heat and emergency repairs.

    Gas is cleaner, but UGI is pretty anal about who works on gas units.

    If you’re looking for advice, if you have forced air I would recommend an electric heat pump with either an electric or oil secondary once your current system gives up (might be a long time). Dollar for dollar, your money is better spent on thermally efficient windows and insulation.

  6. OneMan Says:

    Your welcome, i try to help out a fellow buyer al the time. Why buy natrul gas when it comes out of you?

  7. TwoMan Says:

    I have natural gas coming out of my butt!

  8. OneMan Says:

    IMPOSTER!!!!!!!!! 😉

  9. OneMan Says:

    Anyone want to buy natrul gas from TwoMan?

  10. ThreeMan Says:

    TwoMan is amazing and very smart with natural gas.

  11. NineTeenMan Says:

    I like fossil fuel gas more it’s healthy! GAS FROM DINASAURS

  12. TwoMan Says:

    I bet there will be a nineteenman?

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  14. MinusTwoMan Says:

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  15. MinusTwoMan Says:

    We;; of course natrul gas is cheaper

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