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Gas Furnace Versus Oil Furnace – Which is Better for Your Home

Differences Between Gas and Oil Furnaces

Carrier FurnaceWith our long, cold Minnesota winters, furnaces are an essential part of our homes. Furnaces can be operated with different fuels, with natural gas and oil being two options in Minnesota. Why are some homes heated with other fuels and what are the differences between gas and oil furnaces?

Oil Furnace:

  • Top furnace models range in the 80-90 percent efficiency ratings
  • Fuel oil is more dependent on global issues, with oil costs changing frequently
  • Only eight percent of US homes use oil as their primary fuel for the furnace; about six percent of Minnesota homes use fuel oil

Natural Gas Furnace

  • Top models range in the 89-98 percent efficiency ratings
  • Fuel costs are generally cheaper since the natural gas supply is abundant and nearby
  • About 50 percent of US homes use natural gas to heat their homes; with Minnesotans choosing natural gas 68 percent of the time

Other Fuels

  • Electric heat is used in 12 percent of Minnesota homes
  • Propane gas is used in 10 percent of Minnesota homes
  • Other sources, such as solar energy, wind and geothermal heating account for the remaining four percent

Fun Fuel Facts

Natural gas is affordable and widely available throughout the United States, except in Alaska, Hawaii, and the New England states. However, many rural homes do not have natural gas pipelines nearby, so they heat with other sources such as electricity, propane, heating oil, and increasingly, solar energy.

Best Options

Most agree that given the choice, natural gas tends to be the most abundant and least expensive fuel, with the most efficient furnace models available – which means you save energy and money.

If you own a home with a propane system or an oil furnace, it might be due to the availability of fuels in your area and it might just mean, that’s the best choice for you and your home.

Before you make any new furnace decisions, whether you are building a new home or replacing an existing system, do your homework and consult a Minnesota heating expert in your area to have the best possible information on furnaces and fuels for your personal situation.


For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.

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