There's been a lot of talk recently about the efficiency offered by converting your oil-powered furnace to one powered by natural gas. If you're one of the eight percent of American homeowners who heat their homes with fuel oil and live in an area that has access to gas lines, you've likely considered this option. However, there are a number of good reasons to stay with your fuel oil-powered furnace.
Disadvantages to converting your fuel oil furnace to a gas-powered one
1. The conversion may reduce the efficiency of your furnace. While the price of natural gas has been lower recently than that of fuel oil, the process of converting your existing fuel oil furnace to a gas-powered one often reduces the efficiency of the furnace, causing you to use more natural gas and negating any possible savings.
2. The conversion can cause the mortar in your chimney to deteriorate. Fuel oil burns hotter than natural gas and also leaves behind a sooty residue in your chimney. When you convert to gas, the cooler exhaust gases can cause moisture to form as condensation. This moisture when combined with the sooty residue left behind from your fuel oil furnace can erode the mortar in your chimney, causing the potential for your flue to become blocked or collapse altogether and cause a health hazard.
3. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. While natural gas prices have been lower over the past few years when compared to fuel oil prices, any stock market analyst will tell you that what prices have done in the past has little to no relation to what they will do in the future. A cornucopia of market factors go into determining the prices of both fuels.
4. The initial conversion costs are high. In addition to the conversion equipment or a new furnace, you'll have to have gas lines installed and pay to have your fuel oil tank removed from your property and disposed of safely and in an environmentally-friendly way. It may takes years of annual fuel savings to recoup these costs.
While converting your fuel oil furnace to one that burns natural gas may seem like a good deal, it's important to weigh all of the pros and cons of such a conversion carefully. A conversion from fuel oil to natural gas could reduce your furnace's energy efficiency and even cause a dangerous situation in your flue. Contact an oil manufacturer, like Small & Sons Oil Dist Co, for more information.