Heating Systems & Fuels – What does it all mean?

Clients often ask me what kind of heating systems are best, I thought you’d find this excerpt interesting. In New England we do have a few other types of systems, such as steam, geothermal and solar. In addition we have a variety of ways heating and cooling can be distributed, cast iron radiators, steam, baseboards, radiant, though ducts are the most common.

I found the post below from American Southwest Magazine interesting, and thought you might as well, enjoy!

Technician servicing heating boiler

In some areas of the US, temperatures have dropped into single figures, and even into minus digits in several other locations. Inevitably, homeowners want to know how to heat their homes affordably and efficiently. Central to this is the question of whether an oil or gas furnace is the best solution. If you are looking for a furnace for your home, these are the advantages and disadvantages of each type:

The majority of gas furnaces have an AFUE rating of eighty-nine to ninety-eight percent, whereas oil furnace AFUE ratings tend to fall between eighty and ninety percent. While gas furnaces have greater efficiency than oil furnaces, they usually cost ten to twenty-five percent more than oil furnaces of the same size. Modern furnaces can be up to thirty percent more efficient than models that were made a decade ago.

Notwithstanding, as far as fuel prices go, gas is definitely more beneficial. The US Energy Data Administration reports that the average home spends $690 on heating with natural gas over the winter months. This compares to $2558 spent with heating oil, $1448 spent with propane (in the Midwest), and $964 spent with electricity. The price of oil is more erratic and prone to fluctuate in response to global events. In contrast, the production of natural gas is centered around Canada and the US, which secures a more reliable supply. Maybe due to this factor, roughly half of American households are heated using gas right now, compared to roughly eight percent of households with oil heating.

Oil furnaces are easily and frequently maintained by the delivery firm (a service agreement is needed). However, servicing is more comprehensive, because of soot and dirt accumulation ˗ oil filters have to be changed and chimneys have to be cleaned regularly. Gas furnaces hardly require any maintenance (service agreements are not needed), however gas offers less warmth than oil per BTU. Gas furnaces are cleaner and less noisy, but they are more expensive than oil furnaces. Always use a certified and trustworthy HVAC firm, and obtain multiple quotes prior to making any significant investment in your property.

Original by: American Southwest Magazine

Have any questions about heating systems in general? Feel free to comment or reach out to me directly.

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients: SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195