To compare gas to oil for home heating purposes, check the furnace's efficiency rating, compare average furnace prices and consider the availability of gas or oil. It may also be necessary to make a decision based on how much home space is available for the furnace and accessories.
Gas furnaces tend to run more efficiently than oil furnaces, although the initial purchase cost for the gas furnace is higher. Gas prices are cheaper and less volatile than oil. On average, 50 percent of American citizens use gas, as opposed to 8 percent who use oil.
An oil furnace requires the owner to have room for a storage tank, and the owner has to plan oil deliveries. Oil furnaces do provide more heat per Btu than other options. Usually a service company takes care of the maintenance for oil furnaces, but they tend to require more maintenance because soot and dirt builds up quickly.
In order to use a gas furnace, natural gas must be available in the area. Gas provides less heat per Btu, but a service contract is not required, as gas furnaces typically don't require as much maintenance as oil furnaces do. Gas furnaces are usually quieter and cleaner than oil furnaces.