Is it wrong to rejoice in the benefits of heating with oil?

October 15, 2014

According to Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, heating accounts for about 60 per cent of the energy used in the average home. That makes it pretty important for Canadian families to choose home heating systems that won’t send them into the red. Oil furnaces often get a bad rap these days, but the truth is if you don’t have the means to replace it, then you might as well enjoy the heat it puts out.

Delivered right to your home

Homes that have natural gas furnaces are served by municipal infrastructure or private companies; natural gas pipelines bring their fuel right into their homes and straight to their furnaces. That’s great, unless you live in a rural area or a neighbourhood that isn’t on a natural gas pipeline. Home heating oil, on the other hand, is delivered to your home by a truck, wherever you live.

Increased comfort

An oil furnace heats a home quickly. The hot air is distributed evenly, which provides plenty of comfort. One of the greatest benefits of heating with oil is that the air is less dry and is constantly filtered; this improves the quality of the air you breathe. And if it’s properly maintained, an oil furnace won’t emit any odour.

A safe source of energy

Another advantage of heating with oil is that it’s safer than natural gas; it’s not explosive.

It works even during a power outage

Oil furnaces operate without electricity. You don’t have to worry about the impact of long-lasting winter power outages on the comfort of your family.

Improved energy efficiency

While the old oil heating systems were highly polluting, technological advances have improved their energy efficiency and reduced their polluting emissions. There are now energy-efficient oil furnaces and boilers on the market, including Energy Star models.

An efficient water heater

An oil-fired water tank heats water quickly, up to five times faster than an electric unit. You always have hot water on tap. Better water heating performance is one of the major financial benefits of heating with oil; according to the EEO, heating water accounts for up 20 per cent of the average home’s energy bill.

A combination of factors

Cost is central when it comes time to choose a heating system. Although heating oil isn’t cheap these days, it may be the only way to go if replacing the furnace is beyond your budget. The OEE outlines the many costs that must be considered when replacing a home heating system: the cost of installation and annual operation; maintenance; emissions; and the noise it generates. And while oil prices continue to rise, in some regions electricity and natural gas are costly options as well.

An affordable solution

If you’re wishing that you could ditch your oil furnace or boiler but you don’t have the money to make a big change, you might want to consider a hybrid, or dual energy, system. When you combine electric baseboard heating with oil heating, you’re bound to notice a drop in your overall energy costs.

Is it wrong to rejoice in the benefits of heating with oil?
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