You can count on some options for heating your house. For instance, your home will always be comfortable on chilly days when you have a functional furnace. Homeowners should select a furnace appropriately to reap maximum benefits though. The two most commonly used furnaces include oil and electric. Let’s compare the features of the two furnace varieties and uncover how one should decide on which furnace to install in their house.
1. Operation Cost
The operation cost is one of the main distinctions between an oil and an electric furnace. Oil furnaces use natural gas, propane, or oil for fuel. Oil prices are volatile in the market and tend to be quite high, particularly during winter seasons. In contrast, an electric furnace uses electricity to produce heat that, in most cases, costs less than oil and natural gas.
Nevertheless, the electric rates differ with the locality, so you should research to compare the prices within the region and then decide. We allow our customers in Drexel Hill, PA and the surrounding area to cut their monthly power expenses using Energy Star-rated electric heaters from O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning.
2. Lifespan and Maintenance
On average, an oil furnace can operate effectively for 15 to 20 years compared to an electric one that usually works for 20 to 30 years. In addition, the lifespan of an oil furnace is reduced because of burning fuel. Cleaning and servicing the oil furnace must be done continuously, and the homeowner will incur costs. Minor maintenance is required for an electric furnace since no combustible component is involved, and it emits zero emissions. The air filters need regular cleanings, while an annual heating inspection is recommended for easy management of these tasks.
3. Heat Efficiency
Oil furnaces generate heat more effectively than electric furnaces. The heat produced by an oil furnace is hotter than that by an electric furnace. The heat from an oil furnace reaches the home’s entire space faster and remains constant even during power outages. In contrast, electric furnaces provide a more gradual warming process. They use a fan to circulate air through the ducts, which takes longer to heat a room.
4. Environmental Impact
Oil furnaces are the highest contributors to environmental pollution because they release greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. These pollutants result in ambient air pollution and ultimately impact air quality. Oil spillage is an environmental threat to the soil and water. However, electric furnaces do not emit anything during their operations and are thus considered environmentally friendly.
Oil furnaces are associated with safety risks like carbon monoxide leaks, explosions, and fires. Carbon monoxide is a gas that is produced through the combustion of the poisonous gas released when the oil burns. Carbon monoxide can also cause severe illness or death when it enters a poorly ventilated house. The release of oil contaminates the environment as well, and the oil leak is self-combustible. However, electric furnaces have little hazards as they do not generate noise, harmful odor, or fuel storage.
6. Availability of Fuel
An oil furnace requires a constant supply of oil from a reliable supplier. Oil can also have its costs vary over time because its price experiences changes from time to time. This also makes one very dependent on oil heating sources for their premises. Electric furnaces don’t require fuel to operate. Even with an electric furnace, however, you should consider having a backup generator to ensure you have heat during a power outage.
7. Comfort and Convenience
In terms of comfort, oil furnaces tend to produce a more intense and consistent heat than electric furnaces. This can be beneficial during freezing weather but may cause discomfort or overheating in milder weather. Electric furnaces offer more precision in temperature control, allowing for customized heating based on personal preferences. In addition, electric furnaces do not require manual fuel refilling, making them more convenient for homeowners.
Oil furnaces require more maintenance but can provide better warmth and heating during power outages. Electric furnaces have a better environmental impact, require little maintenance costs, and maintain safer operations. Ultimately, the right choice depends on your needs and preferences.
At O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning, we can assist if you are contemplating switching to an electric furnace. Call us now for more details about high-efficiency electric furnaces and their installations. You will also enjoy our reliable heating repair, duct cleaning for your home, a new water heater, or even air quality solutions.