What's Better for Heating: Gas, Electric, or Oil?

If you’re reading this article, chances are, you’re thinking about replacing your furnace. But the question is, which one do you choose?

Below, we’ll go over the pros and cons of gas, electric, and oil heating to put an end to the great debate.

What are the pros and cons of gas heating?

Nearly 62 million homes across America use natural gas for heating mainly because of its affordability. Most of the gas supply in the United States is imported from Canada, which means that it sees relatively low delivery costs. As a result, consumers can enjoy the low costs of fuel. The average cost for gas heating comes to around $40 per month.

Modern gas heaters are also very convenient. They are piped directly into a home, requiring no storage. Gas heaters are also more efficient and are ideal for freezing winter nights when you need the furnace to instantly warm up the home.

However, the main disadvantage of gas heating is that it contributes to climate change. This type of heating system uses natural gas which is a fossil fuel. There’s also the danger of carbon monoxide leaks which can cause headaches, vomiting, etc. Long exposure to carbon monoxide can even result in death.

What are the pros and cons of electric heating?

Modern electrical heating systems are more popular these days. One of their best features is the ability to control the temperature in each room. Many electrical heating systems are equipped with smart thermostats that allow homeowners to set when the heating should turn on and off, and at what temperature.

Electric heating systems are also more environmentally friendly. Unlike gas heating, electric heating does not produce hazardous byproducts and greenhouse gasses. You also have the option to power your electric heating system through solar, geothermal, and wind. Electric heating is considered to be the best option if you want to stay green.

The downside is that since electric heating requires energy, it will not function during a power outage. It is also more expensive even though it offers 100% efficiency. Electricity typically costs more than gas, and you might find yourself with high energy bills at the end of the month.

What are the pros and cons of oil heating?

Under six million households in the U.S. use oil to heat their homes. Oil-based heating systems are less common and are usually found in homes that are over 150+ years old.

The advantage of oil-based heating is that oil burns faster (and hotter) than gas. It is also safer than gas since it does not produce carbon monoxide. Homes in remote areas can stock up on oil when the prices are low.

However, oil isn’t always available. Those using oil boilers will need to wait for deliveries that don’t come that often. If you decide to heat your home with oil, keep in mind that you will need a large space to keep the boiler and tank.


If your home is in a colder region and you use a furnace all year long, gas is the ideal choice. However, if you live in less cold areas where you don’t need heating that often, electric is the way to go. But before making your choice, it would still be best to call a professional technician who can determine the right heating system for your needs.