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Nov 3 2020

Energy-Efficiency Comparisons of Oil, Gas, and Electric Furnaces 

When thinking about your home’s furnace, energy-efficiency should be a big consideration. Not only does the efficiency of your system impact your carbon footprint, but the more efficient a system, the less you’re likely to pay in heating costs. If you have a particularly inefficient system, it may be worth it to upgrade to a more efficient system.

There are three primary types of furnaces that exist: oil-fired, gas-fired, and electric furnaces. Consider the key differences between these three in terms of energy-efficiency ratings, and call Van Drunen Heating & Air Conditioning for services you can trust.

Oil Furnaces

Oil-fired furnaces vary widely in their energy-efficiency ratings. Oil-fired furnaces–relics of the past that still exist in some properties in Illinois and Indiana today–are particularly inefficient. There are, however, newer oil furnaces that have Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings of between 84 and 90 percent. Note, though, that if your furnace isn’t well-maintained, or if it’s very old, this rating can drop to as low as 50 or 60 percent. Energy.gov provides some ideas for possible retrofits to oil-powered furnaces that can help to improve efficiency.

Gas Furnaces

When compared to old oil-powered furnaces, gas furnaces are much more efficient, with AFUE ratings of up to 97 percent. However, just like oil-powered furnaces, these efficiency ratings can drop significantly if the system is old or poorly maintained. This is one of the main reasons that regular maintenance of a furnace is so critical! As with oil-fired furnaces, the EPA has recommended retrofits that are possible. Before you consider any retrofits, though, you should talk to a professional about whether replacing your furnace makes more sense long-term.

Electric Furnaces

Of the three types of furnaces, electric furnaces are by far the most efficient, with an AFUE of up to 100 percent. Electric furnaces are also generally less expensive than gas or oil furnaces to both purchase and install. With that in mind, though, electric furnaces may be more expensive to run based on the cost of electricity. 

Learn More About Furnace Options Today

If you don’t have an efficient furnace, you could be throwing away money every time you heat your home. At Van Drunen Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re happy to assess your furnace and make recommendations for how you could improve its energy-efficiency. We also offer free quotes for all new installation projects.

To learn more, send our team a message directly or call us at your convenience. We look forward to working with you!

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