The recent sharp decline in world oil prices has once again made people slow down from looking for products that use alternative energy sources. Electric and Diesel engine cars will once again see their sales fall as people gain confidence in the more affordable, strictly gas consuming versions remaining economical to drive.
Consumers will also naturally consider heating their homes with oil again as the outlook forecasts long-term oil prices will remain low. But before you just run out and buy an oil furnace based on this news, you should first be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of heating your home with an oil furnace.
Advantages of Heating with Oil
Efficiency – One of the biggest advantages of heating with oil is its efficiency. Oil has a higher percentage of what’s burned off during combustion generating heat. Experts claim that oil is up to 83% efficient when used to heat or provide hot water in your home.
Temperature – Oil produces a much higher temperature when burned than those types of heat produced by natural gas, propane, or electricity. This higher temperature burn will heat your home faster and provide unlimited hot water, so there is no waiting between showers for the water to get hot again.
Supply – The outlook for oil to be available in large supply will continue to make it an attractive choice. Unlike natural gas, electricity and other sources of limited supplies, which will keep driving their cost of operation up.
Safety – Oil is an extremely safe heating fuel. It takes a very high ignition source to get it to burn, so if it leaks or spills it poses very little danger as far as being an explosion type hazard. You cannot even light Oil on fire by using a match.
Disadvantages of Heating with Oil
Cleanliness – Oil many years ago was an extremely dirty fossil fuel to use in your home, but that has changed drastically in recent years. However, it still requires more frequent cleanings and screen or filter changes than other types of heating systems. Although it’s a much clearer and purer product now, it is still a thick, sticky substance that is difficult to clean up and often produces a sticky residue when exposed to air or impurities.
It is wise to have a technician clean and perform routine service on your oil furnace at least once a year to keep it in peak working condition.
Heat Regulation – As we noted earlier, the high burning temperature of oil is advantageous to the owner of an oil furnace, it can also be a disadvantage. Because of the higher temperature achieved when burning oil, it makes it more difficult to maintain at a desired temperature than other types of furnaces.
Just like with any other type of home heating method, it is very important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of using an oil furnace when it comes to selecting a method to heat your home.