Home Heating & Energy Blog

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Seattle Heating: The Top 5 Reasons to Scrap Your Oil Heating System

December 20, 2012

As a Seattle heating contractor, we see all types of home heating systems. If we were to hold a contest for the worst type of heating system in the Seattle area, oil burning furnaces and boilers would win hands down. And it wouldn't be close! Think Roosevelt's landslide victory in the 1936 election.  Or Ken Griffey Jr's unanimous AL MVP award win in 1997.

Homeowners with oil heating systems have it pretty rough. The high cost of oil, along with inefficient furnaces, dirty fuel, and high maintenance costs, drains bank accounts and multiplies carbon footprints. Here are the top 5 reasons to scrap your oil heating system:

1.  High Fuel Costs  If you currently have an oil heating system, we don't need to mention this twice! There was a time when heating oil was one of the most inexpensive ways to heat a home. That time, however, is long past. As oil prices have crept up to $4 and $5 a gallon, homeowners with oil heating have taken a big hit. In our last blog, i posted a chart showing the cost of heating a particular home with different types of heating systems.  I've posted it again here below.  As you can see, you could save as much as 75% or more on your heating costs by switching to a middle of the road heat pump.

Seattle Heating Cost Chart

oil heating maintenance2.  High Maintenace Costs  Along with high fuel costs, oil furnaces can be expensive to maintain. The regular maintenance process on an oil system is more involved than other types of heating systems, driving the price of maintenance higher.

oil heating tank refills3.  Regular Tank Refills  Oil heating systems are one of the few types that require you to purchase your fuel in advance, and in large chunks at that! This can cause some serious cash flow issues, especially during the winter. While it is true that many oil companies have financing programs for your oil deliveries, the fact of the matter is that you have to purchase the fuel before you use it. If you sell your home or move, the heating oil becomes a sunk cost.

seattle gas furnaces don't cause environmental hazards4.  Environmental Hazard on Your Property  Heating oil tanks and fuel lines, like anything else, have a useful life. As they age, they grow increasingly likely to develop leaks, putting your property and the environment at risk. The worst part is that you may not know you have a leak until it's too late! This type of environmental mess can cost thousands to clean up, not to mention the cost of that overpriced liquid gold you lost!

diesel heating smell5.  Diesel Fuel Causes Odor & Soot  When you're burning and storing diesel fuel in your home, you run the risk of diesel soot and odor infiltrating your home. As i said in #4, fuel lines fail, tanks fail, soot builds up in the furnace itself, possibly leading to a very unpleasant situation in your home! No one likes riding behind a smelly diesel truck. Now think about that odor existing in your home 24 hours a day!


The Bottom Line  There is no time better than right now to consider replacing your oil furnace with something cleaner, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. The sooner you make the switch, the sooner you can start saving some serious money on your heating bills!

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