Many homeowners get frustrated with their oil furnaces because, let's face it, they're not cheap to run, especially when oil prices skyrocket. It's not fun to be stuck paying for an expensive fuel because you're afraid of freezing and it's the middle of the winter, but buying a natural gas replacement on impulse may not always be the wisest financial decision. Here are three questions to ask to help you decide if now is really the time for that replacement and upgrade or not.
1. How old and rundown is your current furnace?
Deciding to replace your furnace on a whim is one thing; deciding to go with natural gas because your current furnace is getting old and clunky and probably needs to be replaced for safety anyway is another. If your oil furnace is relatively new, it may be best to keep it for a few years and get all the use you can out of it. On the other hand, if it's nearing the end of its natural lifespan or if it's up for expensive repairs (especially if it's been requiring repairs frequently), now may be a great time to switch to natural gas.
2. How high are oil prices?
The higher oil prices are and the lower natural gas prices are, the faster a natural gas furnace will pay for itself in fuel savings. Assuming that you replace your oil furnace at the end of its lifespan (rather than burdening your new gas furnace with the task of paying you back for the value of a usable oil furnace), you may be able to recoup a noticeable part of your expected fuel budget for the winter this way.
3. How much will the installation and setup cost?
Installation and setup, of course, come with the territory. You may have slightly higher overall installation and materials costs for a gas furnace than for an oil furnace, but you may also have to pay for setup costs such as a natural gas hookup and changing any of your heating system infrastructure that isn't interchangeable from oil to gas. However, federal and other tax credits may set the cost back considerably, making natural gas heating feasible for many homeowners.
These three questions will help you take a closer look at the urge to replace your furnace with a natural gas furnace and decide if this is the best option for you at the moment or not. For more information and advice, contact a company such as Washam Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning.