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Natural Gas vs. Oil Heating – The Pros & Cons

When making a heating system upgrade, you have two likely choices: natural gas heating and oil heating. Both are capable of keeping your home as warm as you’d like it. However, each has pros and cons which deserve some consideration before you make your final decision.

Gas Heating Pros

  • Heating with natural gas is clean, and its high availability has kept the prices reasonable.
  • Natural gas offers convenience because it’s delivered into your home via a pipeline buried underground. You can use all you want without having to be concerned about running short.
  • Gas’s carbon footprint is low since it’s one the cleanest nonrenewable energy sources.
  • Gas heating systems stay relatively clean throughout the heating season.

The Cons of Gas Heating

  • Current extraction methods include fracking, which has environmental effects are still unknown.
  • The British thermal units (BTUs) gas produces is lower than those used for oil heating.
  • Gas furnaces cost more to purchase than oil heating systems.
  • Running a gas line to your home can be expensive, if it’s available at all in your neighborhood.

The Pros of Heating With Oil

Heating systems that use oil cost less to purchase. Plus, oil has a higher BTU output than natural gas heating.

Oil Heating Cons

  • Most of the heating oil comes from offshore sources, and oil’s cost varies a great deal. It’s currently far more expensive to heat with oil than natural gas.
  • Homes that use heating oil must have a tank in the yard, which also means you’ll have to schedule an oil delivery.
  • Oil furnaces need to be cleaned more frequently than natural gas furnaces, along with oil filter changes. This cleaning is usually provided by your oil supplier at an extra cost.

Regardless of whether you choose an oil or natural gas heating system, choosing equipment that carries the Energy Star label will help you save energy for years to come.

If you’re facing the choice between natural gas heating or oil heating, contact the experts at HVAC Unlimited Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for homeowners in Fairfax, Alexandria, Springfield, Arlington, Centreville, Reston, Burke, Lorton and Ashburn.

Get the value-focused & trustworthy service you deserve today!
  • For emergency service, please call our office at 703-493-1200.


We have staff on call 24/7 to provide assistance to our customers. We provide emergency service up to 8pm for all customers and 24/7 for contract customers. For quick, efficient emergency services, please call (703) 493-1200 immediately.