The Cons of Switching to Natural Gas Heating
Comparing Natural Gas Heating to Heating Oil and Propane
When it comes to heating your home, natural gas is an increasingly common and popular option for a variety of reasons—it’s clean-burning, efficient and versatile. You can use it heat water and run a range of other equipment and appliances in and around your home. If you currently heat your home with electricity or heating oil, you might be considering different options. After all, how easy it is to make the switch to natural gas heating in the first place?
The answer is, as with many things, it depends. We’ll help sum this up below:
How Easy is it to Connect to a Natural Gas Pipeline?
One of the purported benefits of natural gas is that it’s delivered to your home via a pipeline, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling deliveries. But, connecting to that pipe can be costly, depending on how far you are from the service line.
You may be too far from service to get a hookup. In most cases, the gas utility will only pay to bringing the line to your address at the main street. You must pay for getting the pipe from the main line to your home. It also requires expensive excavation that can be destructive to both your yard and property, subjecting things like your walkways or gardens to installation trenches.
In addition to being expensive to connect to, there are other problems with natural gas pipelines. Old, undersized pipelines result in supply concerns when temperatures plunge, and demand goes up. Those pipes can only deliver so much gas at a time, and as recently as this Christmas, utilities not far from our area were calling for customers to conserve gas and electricity through only a few days of extreme cold!
Another problem? Aging pipelines can result in leaks that are hard identify and even more challenging to repair. This comes at the same time utilities and public utility commissions argue over who foots the bill. If it’s up to the utilities, that cost will typically get passed to customers.
Are There Any Potential Issues with Natural Gas Conversions?
Switching between propane and natural gas? Typically, only minor adjustments need to be made with your heating equipment. The two different types of gas work at different pressure levels, but the conversion is usually easy. The same is true for most other gas appliances or water heaters.
However, if you’re switching from electric or oil equipment, you’ll need to replace your boiler or furnace, and any other appliances you want to run off gas. This can be thousands of dollars in additional parts, labor, and appliances.
Understanding Supply & Demand
With heating oil, which is stored in a tank on your property, you don’t need to worry about aging infrastructure. Plus, when you work with a dependable, full-service dealer like Bolkema Fuels, you don’t have to worry about supply or the quality of your deliveries. With natural gas, you’re dealing with a utility: no competition, no choices.
What’s more, with our cold, damp winters, heating oil simply does a better job of heating your home. Heating oil has a higher BTU output per gallon, so it’s used up more slowly than gas; this could mean you will pay less to heat your house with heating oil, even if the dollar per cubic feet cost of natural gas—or price per gallon of propane—is less.
Ultra-low sulfur heating oil burns much more cleanly and particulate emissions have been reduced significantly from the already low levels of the past few decades. Further, oil-fired heating equipment is generally less expensive, and new heating oil systems burn fuel 99.9% cleanly, according to studies conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven Laboratory.
The Bottom Line: Heating Oil is a Great, Reliable Fuel Choice!
There’s a lot of talk about alternative fuels these days. But with our damp, coastal winters, you want to find a fuel you can count on to keep your home and family warm. That’s why smart homeowners in northern Bergen County rely on heating oil. It’s a safe and efficient way to warm your home because other fuels just don’t provide the same heating energy.
Bolkema Fuels has the experience and the supply to always ensure you have fuel when you need it. If you’re looking to switch providers, contact us today. We’d love to have you join our family.