Is Natural Gas Heating Cheaper Than Oil?

Yes, natural gas heating is generally cheaper than oil heating. One of the most significant expenses for households is heating bills.

So if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to keep your house warm, it’s essential to consider all the available options carefully. Natural gas heating is a popular form of heating for many homes that use fossil fuels as it is generally more affordable than oil heating.

Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than oil, producing fewer greenhouse gases and creating less air pollution contributing to a safer environment. However, this cost-effectiveness also depends on where you live, as fuel costs can vary by region. If you live in an area where natural gas is abundant, then it could be a more economical option for you. Furthermore, your heating system should factor into which type of fuel is better for your home.

Is Natural Gas Heating Cheaper Than Oil?


Natural Gas Vs. Oil Heating: A Comprehensive Comparison

As winter approaches, homeowners are likely to turn up the heat to keep themselves warm and comfortable. However, with rising energy prices, one of the most significant concerns is how to heat the home efficiently and cost-effectively. In most cases, homeowners are torn between natural gas and oil heating.

In this post, we will do a comprehensive comparison of these two heating options to hopefully help you make an informed decision.

A Brief Introduction To Natural Gas And Oil As Heating Sources

Natural gas and oil remain the most popular home heating options. Natural gas is a fossil fuel that consists primarily of methane, while oil is refined petroleum. Both offer various advantages, such as keeping your home warm through harsh winters and providing hot water for domestic use.

However, they also have their fair share of challenges.

Here are some of the key points to note:

  • Natural gas is a relatively clean-burning fuel, producing less pollution than oil.
  • Oil prices tend to be more volatile, resulting in unpredictable monthly bills. On the other hand, natural gas costs tend to remain stable over time.
  • Natural gas heating systems are easier to install, and they occupy less space compared to oil systems.
  • Oil heating systems require more maintenance, and leaks can lead to environmental contamination.
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Energy Efficiency Ratings Of Natural Gas And Oil

The energy efficiency ratings of natural gas and oil heating systems are essential factors to consider when choosing a heating option. Here is what you need to know:

  • Annual fuel utilization efficiency (afue) ratings measure the efficiency of a furnace or boiler to convert fuel to heat. A higher afue rating translates to more efficiency, meaning that a natural gas furnace with a 98% afue rating is more efficient than an oil furnace with an 85% afue rating.
  • Heating seasonal performance factor (hspf) ratings are used for measuring the efficiency of heat pumps. A higher hspf rating translates to more efficiency, and natural gas tends to have higher hspf ratings than oil.
  • In terms of carbon emissions, natural gas produces about 117 pounds of co2 per million btus, while oil produces 164 pounds of co2. This means that natural gas is more environmentally friendly compared to oil.

Both natural gas and oil heating options have their pros and cons when it comes to efficiency and cost. Depending on your needs and budget, it’s essential to consider all the factors when deciding which option is right for you.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of Natural Gas And Oil Heating

Comparison Of The Cost Of Natural Gas And Oil Heating Based On Geographical Location

The cost of natural gas and oil heating varies depending on the location. If you live in an area that has an abundant supply of natural gas, it is likely to be cheaper than oil heating. On the other hand, if the area has more oil reserves, oil heating may be more affordable.

Here are some things to consider when comparing the cost of natural gas and oil heating based on geographical location:

  • Natural gas may be cheaper if the area has a well-developed gas pipeline infrastructure. This is because it is easier to transport natural gas through pipelines than oil, reducing transportation costs.
  • In contrast, if you live in a rural area that lacks a natural gas pipeline network, the cost of delivering natural gas to your home may be higher, making oil heating more economical.
  • The price of oil may also be impacted by geopolitical events, whereas natural gas is often extracted domestically. As a result, oil prices may fluctuate more, making it harder to predict pricing and therefore an uncertain method of heating your home.
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Overview Of Factors That May Influence The Cost Of Natural Gas And Oil Heating Like Climate And Insulation

Several factors can influence the cost of natural gas and oil heating, independent of geographic location. These include:

  • Climate: Areas with colder climates might consume more oil or gas to keep their homes warm. If the weather is too cold, the heating unit is required to work harder than usual, increasing the consumption rate and ultimately the costs.
  • Insulation: Homes that are properly insulated use less fuel to maintain a comfortable temperature resulting in lower heating expenses. This can significantly impact the cost of heating and save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance of heating units can keep them efficient and extend their lifespan, reducing the need for repairs or replacements. Investing in maintenance service can help save money on fuel and ensure optimal performance.

A Discussion Of The Impact Of Seasonal Fluctuations In The Prices Of Natural Gas And Oil

Like most commodities, natural gas and oil prices can fluctuate seasonally. Understanding these changes and how they might affect the cost of heating your home is essential. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Oil prices typically increase during the winter months, when demand is the highest. This is true regardless of whether you use oil to heat your home or not.
  • In contrast, natural gas prices might decrease during winter. This decline usually occurs because many homeowners switch to electric or other methods of heating, reducing demand, and therefore the price.
  • Regularly monitoring the prices and scheduling maintenance on your heating unit in the off-season will help avoid higher prices during winter and keep costs more consistent year-round.
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Several factors impact the cost of natural gas and oil heating that vary greatly from state to state and region to region. By fully researching and exploring the energy options available in your region and implementing strategies to reduce consumption, you can mitigate costs associated with keeping your home warm and secure.

Frequently Asked Questions On Is Natural Gas Heating Cheaper Than Oil?

Is Natural Gas Heating Cheaper Than Oil For Home Heating?

Natural gas heating is generally cheaper than oil heating, with savings up to 50%, but varies by location and usage.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Natural Gas Heating Instead Of Oil Heating?

Natural gas heating is more environmentally friendly, less expensive and safer than oil heating.

Are There Any Disadvantages To Using A Natural Gas Heating System?

The initial installation cost of a natural gas heating system can be expensive, but the long-term savings offset it.


To sum up, choosing between natural gas and oil heating depends on various factors such as location, energy efficiency, and personal preference. However, in general, natural gas is cheaper and has a lower carbon footprint than oil. A natural gas heating system may require a higher upfront cost for installation, but in the long run, homeowners could save money on energy bills.

Moreover, natural gas heating systems have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance than oil heating systems. Before making a final decision, it is important to assess your heating needs, consider your budget, and compare the available options. It is also crucial to prioritize energy efficiency and sustainability to protect the environment and reduce the ecological impact of your heating system.

Overall, natural gas could be a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to oil heating for homeowners who want to save money and reduce their carbon footprint.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.