What Is the Best Kind of Furnace to Get for Your Home?

The issue of oil vs. gas furnaces may already be settled, depending on where you live. Oil heating is now generally limited to the northeastern part of the country, where it was the primary residential heating fuel back in the day—when it was also the most economical. However, in all locales where natural gas is widely available today, it’s now the most popular choice for home heating. The statistics tell the story:

  • Here in the Midwest, natural gas is the choice in 66% of homes, while oil heating now represents only 1%.
  • Gas costs less. A typical 2,200-square-foot residence in the United States costs $1,215 a year to heat with a standard-efficiency gas furnace, versus $2,004 with an oil furnace of similar efficiency.
  • Oil is less energy-efficient than gas. The AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of an oil furnace ranges between 80% and 90%, while gas-furnace efficiency runs from 89% up to 98% for high-efficiency two-stage furnaces.
  • Gas is continuously piped into your home from a central source. No storage is required. Oil must be delivered by a truck and stored on-site in a tank.
  • Oil furnaces require more maintenance than gas. Because of the nature of oil combustion, soot buildup must be regularly removed from the unit, the furnace chimney cleaned, and the oil fuel filter changed at intervals throughout the heating season. Gas furnaces generally require only annual preventative maintenance.
  • Natural gas supplied to the house has other uses beyond heating. For example, whole-house emergency-backup generators that automatically sustain electrical power to the home in the event of a grid outage are typically powered by natural gas rather than gasoline or fuel oil.

For more about the debate over oil vs. gas furnaces, ask a heating professional at Paitson Bros., your Wabash Valley source for efficient, effective household comfort since 1922.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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