In certain situations, such as when you need to replace your oil furnace and you're looking around for more affordable alternatives, a natural gas furnace may be the most savvy choice. However, in other situations it could be a real drag; the added expense, the differences in heating techniques, and so on can certainly be a nuisance. Here are three questions to ask yourself if you're wondering whether conversion is the right choice.
1. Were you already planning on replacing your furnace soon?
If you need to replace your oil furnace right now, switching to a gas furnace isn't going to increase the needed budget nearly as much as it would if you were replacing a perfectly good furnace. This means that, provided that you have the time needed to research natural gas furnace installation requirements, contractors, and models before the installation, during a planned replacement is the best time to switch to natural gas. Some homeowners simply get frustrated with the price of oil and want to get rid of their oil furnaces for that reason, but that's a less financially sound idea.
2. Do you have the budget required to switch?
It's true that a natural gas furnace can cost considerably less than an oil furnace. However, be aware that the ancillary costs, such as laying natural gas piping, lining your chimney, and getting rid of your underground oil tank can increase the price. Be sure you have a somewhat flexible budget and do all the research so you'll have a good idea of the actual cost of the replacement.
3. Are you prepared for the differences between an oil furnace and a gas furnace?
In addition to having a different fuel source and type of fuel, your new natural gas furnace will also have slightly different methodologies; your new gas furnace will run more often and produce cooler air than the oil furnace did while heating your home the same amount. This isn't something that's likely to upset your life, but you need to be prepared for it or you may be concerned that something is wrong with your furnace.
These three questions will help you decide whether or not now is a good time to switch to a natural gas furnace. If your oil furnace has years and years of life yet, you may wish instead to add a natural gas conversion unit to it and then switch after its working lifespan is over. For more information, talk to a professional like Shakley Mechanical Inc.