Should You Replace Your Oil Furnace With An Electric One?

If you currently have an oil furnace, you might be looking into alternatives. Heating oil is not very clean-burning, and oil furnaces are not known to be as efficient as those that use other fuels. Chances are, if you still have an oil furnace, your home does not have a natural gas connection. As such, a good alternative to consider is an electric furnace. Here are some important things to consider before making the switch from an oil-burning furnace to an electric one.

You may need to have more wiring run.

Your home's electrical supply may not currently support an appliance as large as a furnace. Your circuit breaker box may also not have room to add a furnace. An HVAC contractor can either make these changes, or they can subcontract to an electrician to do the work for them. Just keep in mind that if you have to have new wiring run or your breaker box upgraded, this will add to the cost of your furnace replacement.

Your home will be safer.

Running an oil furnace does come with some risks. There is a risk of an oil spill, which would not be good for the environment. There is also a risk of carbon monoxide leaks since carbon monoxide is generated whenever a fuel, such as oil, is burned. Replacing your oil furnace with an electric one will eliminate these risks. Electric furnaces don't burn anything, so there are no leaks or harmful fumes to worry about. This can give you peace of mind, especially if you have kids in the house. Many people find replacing their oil furnace with an electric one is worth the higher cost for these safety improvements alone.

Your home may heat more slowly.

Electric furnaces are absolutely capable of heating most homes. However, they are slower to heat up than oil furnaces. So, your furnace will likely run for a longer period each time it turns on, and it will take longer for your home to get warm. This may take a little time to get used to after years of having a high-powered, oil-burning furnace in your home.

Oil-burning furnaces are falling out of favor, and many homeowners are choosing to replace theirs with electric furnaces. Talk to an HVAC contractor in your area if you're interested in making the switch. They can look over your home and HVAC system and provide a quote.