With colder weather upon us, countless homeowners are taking a look at their heating bills and wondering how they can reduce their expenses. Most homeowners know that natural gas is a more efficient and often more affordable heat source than oil or electricity, but many still wonder: is a gas boiler right for my home?
Below, we’ll explain what a gas boiler is, the pros and cons of these systems, and how to decide if upgrading is right for you.
What Is a Gas Boiler?
A gas boiler works just like an oil or electric boiler, but it uses natural gas as a source of fuel. Gas flows in from the main supply line to the home and is burned by the boiler to heat water or air to distribute through the house.
Gas vs. Other Fuel Sources
Below are the most compelling pros and cons of having a gas boiler in your home.
Pros of Gas Boilers
- First and foremost, gas boilers are more efficient than oil boilers and electric boilers. The gas burns more cleanly, so you’ll end up using less fuel for the same amount of heating.
- Not only are gas boilers more efficient, but natural gas is also cheaper than oil. You’ll very likely enjoy significant savings on your utility bills when you switch to natural gas.
- Since the fuel burns more cleanly, burning natural gas is better for the environment than using oil. You can reduce your carbon footprint by making the conversion.
- While oil tanks need to be refilled manually, putting you at risk of running out of fuel, natural gas is always available from your supply line. You’ll never have to worry about scheduling delivery services or running out of fuel and losing heat.
Cons of Gas Boilers
- Perhaps the biggest downside to gas boilers is the installation cost. The equipment is significantly more expensive than oil boilers, and you’ll need to pay for a gas connection to your home if you don’t already have one.
- Natural gas requires dedicated lines to run to your home, and it isn’t available in all areas. Most metropolitan areas and suburbs have easy access in the street, but rural areas and less populated suburbs might not have gas available.
- A natural gas connection is convenient, but it does put you at risk of very dangerous gas leaks. Gas leaks can be explosive, so they can be catastrophic and deadly if they’re not caught immediately.
How to Decide If a Gas Boiler Is Right for You
A gas boiler is probably a good option for your home if you live in an area that experiences cold temperatures during the winter. For homes in tropical climates, the initial cost of upgrading might not be recuperated.
If you currently have an oil boiler and need to replace it anyway, upgrading to a gas-fired boiler might be beneficial since you’ll already be spending money on the replacement.
Gas boilers are ideal for homeowners who have high heating bills, especially those who already have a connection to gas for their stove or other appliances. They’re also an excellent option for the environmentally conscious and those who don’t want to run the risk of losing heat in the dead of winter because they run out of fuel.