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Gas, Electric, Oil: Which Furnace Should I Install?

Speaking plainly, choosing the right furnace for your home is a really big deal. We’re talking about a heating system that, ideally, will be serving your Virginia home’s needs for a decade or more. That makes the investment massively important and you want to pick the best for your needs. So which is best between electric, oil, and gas heating? The team at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited can help you decide!

Looking for dependable furnace services that promise perfect heating results? Contact HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited for your furnace installation in the Fairfax, Virginia area!

Electric, Gas, Oil: How Do You Choose?

One of the biggest hurdles in finding the right heating system is honestly bias. Check your favorite search engine for comparisons and you’ll find articles about why gas is best sitting right beside articles praising electric. Makes choosing even harder, yeah?

At HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited, we don’t want you to choose a furnace for your home. We want you to choose the furnace for your home! If your not happy with your choice, we messed up in our eyes. It’s a bit simplistic, but we’ll go with a simple pro/con method so we can give you as much relevant info as possible in an easy to digest read. So here we go, a fully-unbiased, professional opinion on the three major fuel types:

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnace systems serve the vast majority of United States homes. They’re dependable, strong, and can easily meet most folk’s heating needs. When you choose electric furnaces, you get:


  • The highest efficiency ratings out of all furnace types, commonly ranging between 100 up to 300%.
  • Dependable access to your fuel source, as electricity is available nearly everywhere.
  • Low purchase and installation costs


  • One of the higher operation costs/highest heating bills
  • Slightly higher risk of repairs versus the other two types

Gas Furnaces

Gas has been a  favorite of many folks for generations, and just as many of them swear by it. Gas furnaces provide powerful heating, are very reliable, and can definitely beat back the worst winter has to throw at you. When you choose gas, you get:


  • The lowest fuel costs over a year’s span
  • Quiet, clean operation
  • Less frequent need for repairs and maintenance


  • A higher initial installation cost than all other furnace options
  • Availability can be an issue depending on local natural gas utility

Oil Furnaces

Oil is far less used than the other heating types, only representing around ten percent of US homes. But that’s not to say they’re bad; oil is an exceptionally strong source of heat, and is available to many that don’t have access to other heating solutions. When you choose an oil furnace, you get:


  • The highest amount of heating power per BTU (British Thermal Unit)
  • Oil and propane can be delivered and stored on-site, meaning you always have access to your fuel source. This is a huge boon to those who prefer gas, but don’t have access to it locally.
  • A lower initial purchase cost when compared to gas


  • On-site tank is a requirement
  • The lowest efficiency of all furnace systems
  • The highest fuel cost, generally. This varies slightly with oil prices
  • Requires extensive maintenance

Choose HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited for Furnace Installation in Northern Virginia

So which is the best option for your Virginia home? It depends! All three still definitely have a place in the modern market. It’s all about matching up your wants and needs. Having trouble deciding? Contact our certified HVAC professionals! We have decades of combined experience, and we would love nothing more than to help you get the furnace system that suits you best!

HVAC Unlimited Inc.
I'm very happy I found HVAC Unlimited. I have an oil heating system and a number of companies I called won't service it. Despite having my furnace conk out overnight and calling Sunday morning, HVAC Unlimited sent a tech (thanks Jeremy!) by that afternoon. Before coming out he tried to talk me through potential problems on the phone to see both whether it was a fix he could walk me through, or whether it was a fix that he definitely couldn't make on a weekend, in order to save me time/money. After a few minutes he diagnosed the likely cause and headed out. The ETA was accurate, he showed up promptly and was friendly, professional, and courteous. He talked me through the issue, explained the potential problems, diagnosed the cause, and fixed the blown low-voltage fuse in less time than I believed possible, all while being considerate of my napping toddler. There's no doubt I'll call HVAC Unlimited next time I have an issue, and I'll hope Jeremy shows up. Thanks!
Todd - McLean, VA
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