TO SWITCH OR NOT TO SWITCH?
Heating your home is crucial to surviving the brutal New England winters. For those of you who may be unsure as to whether it’s time to convert from heating oil to natural gas, this article is for you. As utility companies continue to dig up streets and lay gas infrastructure for homes in your area, it’s important to know what’s involved in making the switch and what the difference between the two fuel sources are. Two things to consider are cost and safety, so make sure you have all the facts.
ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO SAVE MONEY?
While the utilities claim that converting to natural gas is going to save you money, we suggest you take a look at the latest surcharges the gas companies have been authorized to add to newly connected homes. Plus, if you take into consideration that heating oil prices are lower right now, you may not save anything at all.
New installations at the home are subject to paying surcharges anywhere between 10 and 30 percent depending on how close they are to the new gas main. And these surcharges are not going anywhere. The expense remains even after the house is sold to the next owner. This brings heating oil and natural gas prices near parity, which means payback on a natural gas conversion may never be realized. With today’s historically low heating oil prices, a conversion may actually increase your heating costs!
DISADVANTAGES OF NATURAL GAS
- Switching to gas can cost up to $10,000 or more, which may include: New boiler or furnace, water heater, gas line installation, permits and taxes, chimney liner, oil tank abandonment or removal, plumbing and electrical, and landscaping.
- Gas utilities can add a “Weather Normalization Fee” to maintain their profits even when you use less energy. Other fees that appear on your utility bill include: peak delivery rates, customer charges, commodity charges, conservation adjustments, sales service charges, transportation service charges, and more.
- Once your home is connected to a pipeline, you won’t be able to switch to another natural gas distribution company.
- Natural gas is explosive! If a leak develops in or near a home, a deadly explosion could result.
STICK WITH HEATING OIL
- Supplies are plentiful – oil reserves remain higher than ever. Even if there is a shortage elsewhere,the US is not dependent on imports or any one source for supply.
- Heating Oil is a clean fuel – oil produces almost zero emissions and the newest technologies are lowering emissions even further. When a heating oil system is properly maintained, it burns cleanly. Any soot that it creates remains inside the equipment. With a methane content of 95%, natural gas system losses account for 18% of total global methane emissions, a powerful contributor to global warming and climate change.
- Safer to use – Heating oil doesn’t ignite until its temperature reaches 140 degrees, when it vaporizes. So, if you dropped a lit match into heating oil, it’s like dropping it into water, the flame extinguishes on contact. Heating oil also does not produce carbon monoxide.
- Longer equipment life expectancy – average life expectancy of an oil heat appliance is 30 or more years if they are properly maintained. The average life expectancy of a natural gas furnace is only 11-14 years.
If you’re still not sure whether heating oil or natural gas is the right option for you, give us a call. (203) 324-5500 Levco takes pride in providing a valuable resource you can rely on for first-rate solutions and service that none of our competitors can match. Looking for a free quote: Contact Us
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