Is it Worth it to Switch Your Heat Source from Oil to Natural Gas?

Last August we had a local company remove our oil boiler and install a new and efficient boiler powered by natural gas. The heating bills for our hundred year old home were really on the rise—–and to tell the truth, we weren’t even warm. The local gas utility was offering rebates for the installation of gas boilers. Now that we are ending the first heating season with the gas boiler, it’s time to look at the bills and see if the switch was worthwhile.

During the course of the 2011-2012 heating season, the bills for oil totaled $2042. Now that the 2012-2013 heating season has come to a close, we are able to compare that amount to the total paid for natural gas. After deducting a small amount for the gas used to power the stove, the bills for this recent heating season came in at about $900.

The cost of the newly installed boiler was $5740. We received rebates in the amount of $1200, bringing the cost of the boiler down to $4540. The amount paid for heat this season was approximately $1142 less than that paid in the previous year. If natural gas and heating oil remain at similar prices in the near future, it will take four heating seasons for the savings on heat bills to recoup the cost of the boiler. With one season on the books, that means we have three more years before we have broken even on the new boiler.

This seems like a good trade under any circumstances, but there is one difference that I can’t quantify: our home was noticeably warmer this year. We did not jockey the thermostats up and down as much when we entered or left a room. Last year, the minute we moved to another room the heat was turned down to sixty degrees in the vacant room. The kitchen is one of the coldest rooms in the house, and I didn’t have to wear my coat while I was cooking this year!

Added to the mix is the fact that we no longer have to pay about $200 per year to have the oil boiler cleaned and maintained.

While we realize that the savings are predicated on the notion that natural gas prices stay reasonably stable, at this point we are quite happy with the switch from oil to gas. In fact, we only wish we had done it a bit sooner.

Source: Based on personal experience

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