As a homeowner, you’re always on the lookout for ways to improve your property, whether it’s through renovations, upgrades, or energy-efficient changes. One significant change you might be considering is switching your home’s heating system from oil to gas. It’s a big decision that comes with a list of pros and cons to weigh before taking the plunge. In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of oil to gas conversions to help you make an informed choice.

Understanding Oil to Gas Conversions

Before diving into the advantages and disadvantages, it’s essential to understand what an oil to gas conversion entails. It involves replacing your current oil heating system with a natural gas system. This switch can mean a significant investment in new equipment and infrastructure, but it also promises changes to your energy consumption and household expenses.

Pros of Oil to Gas Conversions

Increased Energy Efficiency

One of the main reasons homeowners consider switching from oil to gas is the increased energy efficiency that natural gas systems often provide. Natural gas furnaces can convert a higher percentage of fuel into heat, leading to less waste and lower energy bills in the long run.

More Convenient and Cleaner

Natural gas is delivered through underground pipelines, meaning there’s no need for storage tanks on your property, unlike oil heating systems. This not only frees up space but also eliminates the risk of oil spills, which can be costly and harmful to the environment.

Potential for Increased Home Value

Homes that are equipped with natural gas heating systems can be more appealing to potential buyers. The convenience, efficiency, and environmental benefits of natural gas can translate into a higher resale value for your property.

Lower Costs in Some Regions

In many areas, the cost of natural gas is lower than that of oil, leading to savings on your utility bills. However, prices can fluctuate and vary by region, so it’s important to compare current rates in your specific location.

Cons of Oil to Gas Conversions

Upfront Costs

The initial cost of converting from oil to gas can be steep. This includes purchasing a new furnace, potentially installing new gas lines, and other associated expenses. It’s a long-term investment that may take several years to recoup through energy savings.

Gas Line Availability

Not all homes have immediate access to natural gas lines. If your property is not already connected, you’ll need to factor in the cost and feasibility of extending the gas line to your home, which can be a significant additional expense. Alternatively, you can investigate if there are any off-grid gas suppliers in your area. Powering your home using gas stored in an onsite gas take makes it easier for those wanting to switch from oil to gas but who are not on the gas grid. 

Potential for Fuel Price Volatility

While natural gas is currently cheaper than oil in many places, prices are subject to change based on market conditions. Unlike oil, which you can purchase and store when prices are low, natural gas is metered and billed as you use it, making it harder to take advantage of lower prices.

Environmental Considerations

Although natural gas burns cleaner than oil, it’s still a fossil fuel that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. If environmental impact is a significant concern for you, consider that renewable energy sources might be a greener alternative to both oil and gas heating.

Assessing Your Situation

Before making a decision on an oil to gas conversion, consider the following factors specific to your home and circumstances.

Current Heating System Age and Condition

If your oil furnace is nearing the end of its lifespan or requires expensive repairs, it might make sense to invest in a new gas system rather than pour more money into the old one.

Local Climate and Heating Needs

The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a gas heating system can also depend on the climate where you live and your household’s specific heating needs. In areas with harsh winters, the increased efficiency of gas heat may yield more significant savings.

Incentives and Rebates

Some utility companies and government programs offer incentives or rebates for homeowners who switch to energy-efficient heating systems, including natural gas. Research available offers in your area, as they can help offset the upfront costs of conversion.

Making the Switch: What to Expect

If you decide to proceed with an oil to gas conversion, here’s a snapshot of what the process might involve.

Consultation and Quotation

Reach out to licensed contractors for an in-depth assessment of your current heating system and the work needed for conversion. Get multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting the best price and service.

Installation and Testing

Once you’ve selected a contractor, they’ll handle the installation of your new gas heating system. Expect some disruption in your home during this time. After installation, the system will be tested to ensure it operates safely and efficiently.

Disposal of Old Equipment

Your contractor will likely take care of removing your old oil tank and furnace, but make sure to discuss this ahead of time. There may be additional costs for disposal or environmental cleanup if necessary.

Alternatives to Consider

If an oil to gas conversion doesn’t seem like the right fit for your home, there are alternatives to explore that can also provide energy efficiency and cost savings.

Upgrading to a High-Efficiency Oil System

Modern oil heating systems are much more efficient than older models. If you’re hesitant about converting to gas, consider upgrading to a high-efficiency oil furnace instead.

Investing in Renewable Energy

For those looking to reduce their carbon footprint, renewable energy sources like solar or geothermal systems can be viable alternatives to both oil and gas heating.


Switching from oil to gas heating can offer benefits like increased efficiency, convenience, and potential cost savings. However, it’s important to weigh these against the upfront costs, the availability of natural gas in your area, and the potential environmental impact. Every home and situation is unique, so carefully evaluate your specific needs and do thorough research before making a decision.

Whether you opt for an oil to gas conversion, upgrade your oil system, or invest in renewable energy, making informed choices about your home heating can lead to long-term satisfaction and savings.

Claire Preece