As HVAC specialists in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville we are regularly asked “why is now the ideal time to switch from oil to gas for my HVAC system?” The answer is simple: savings. The explanation however is a little more difficult, as there are two elements to consider in terms of HVAC costs: the cost of fuel and your furnace’s efficiency.
The oil furnace was a popular system in years gone by thanks to the low prices of oil and the, relatively, high prices of natural gas. The tables have turned however now that natural gas prices are at an all-time affordable rate when considered in relative comparison to oil. In fact, for the last 5 years natural gas prices have been below their rates from 20 years ago. Time hasn’t been so kind to oil—making natural gas a cost-efficient fuel choice. To make a historical-price comparison use the calculators below:
1. PECO Residential Oil to Gas Heat Conversion Calculator
2. PSE&G Residential Oil to Gas Spreadsheet Calculator
But of course, fuel cost alone can’t determine whether it is a good financial choice to make the switch from oil to gas, so here is another tip from your HVAC specialists in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville…
Your Furnace’s Efficiency
Very few oil furnaces have been installed in recent years, which means most oil furnaces are rather dated—a solid reason on its own why now is the time to switch from oil to gas. Most are close to—or more than—a decade old, BUT, HVAC has come a long way baby! The gains in energy efficiency have been massive, which means to determine your overall total cost of ownership you will need to compare the cost of each fuel along with the energy efficiency of your current oil unit and your possible natural-gas furnace upgrade.
Generally, new systems are at least 20% more efficient, so add up your bills and multiple them by 20%. You can then take that number (your potential savings) and use it to divide the cost of a new unit and installation. This will give you how long until you break even and begin with monthly savings. If the length of ‘pay me back’ time is too long you may want to consider energy-saving measures that will reduce the overall ‘heat load’ for your house, to offset the costs.
When calculating and deciding that now is the time to switch from oil to gas, be sure to include a local HVAC specialist in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville in your decision, to ensure that you have properly calculated your installation costs, energy efficiency and total cost of ownership numbers.