I switched to propane here about 4 years ago. Added to my experience
with NG in WV, I'd say stick with oil. Gas has a single advantage over
oil: it burns cleaner, so doesn't need an annual furnace clean-up and
check. It costs as much, possibly more, per Btu, IME.
The problem with propane is that, like oil, it is brought to the house
in batches by truck, a less efficient method. If somebody lives in a
place where the natural gas infrastructure is already in place, and
can receive continuous deliveries by pipe, that has some inherent
As to the relative prices per btu, aww shucks, they are competing
products and both are petrochemicals, so go figure, no obvious clear
winner for all times.
You never hear of a house blowing up from an oil explosion. OTOH
nobody incurs major soil cleanup expenses because of a propane or
natural gas leak.
Reply to NG only - this e.mail address goes to a kill file.
Lennox, Trane, American Standard, Carrier, York. Don't get the least
expensive madel from anyone. Go at least middle price for good
quality. Most of these manufacturers have at least 5 lines of gas
Also make sure your contractor does a load calculation to determine the
proper size. A load calculation is NOT just the square feet of floor
area. They have to measure sqare feet of walls, windows, doors,
ceilings, floors. They have to know r-factors and what kind of windows
and which way they face. IF they don't do that, get another
I assume that when you mean furnace that you are going with forced hot
(if you were sticking to hot water heat, you would have a boiler)
In any case I myself went from an oil to gas furnace a few years ago.
First and formost dont always go with the cheapest guy. Go with a
installer that had been around awhile and has a decent rep. Cant
hurt to check out you local BBB (better business) and see what
kind of complaints that they have. If they have 2 or so not big deal,
you cant make everyone happy.
As for brands, I went with a rheem 2 stage unit. Your price on the
will vary with different features and model efficencies. If indeed you
going with a furnace, make sure to go with a decent air filter in
I went with the middle of the line april air cartridge filter, no
House is warm and I am happy.
Far more important than the brand is the contractor. A good contractor
will not work with junk and a poor contractor can make the best equipment
work poorly and unreliable.
Find a good contractor (asking around is a good start) get more than one
estimate, and let the contractor guide you in the choice of brands for your
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