Home Oilheat Association Urges Caution When Considering Converting to Other Heat Sources

July 10, 2008, Burlington, Ontario – The Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Oil Heat Association (COHA) recommends homeowners take the time to become fully informed on the modern advantages of oilheat before considering a switch to alternative home energy sources such as natural gas, electric and wood.

COHA Ontario advises homeowners considering converting to another heat source ask themselves the following critical questions. And if clear answers aren't available, the Association believes the next question should be: Is it worth the gamble?

  • Are other fuel prices stable? Natural gas companies just announced increases up to 45%.
  • What about additional monthly charges that appear on the bill, like Transportation Cost, Storage Cost and Delivery Cost, as with natural gas? (This is not the case with oilheat)
  • Will the large cost of replacing a furnace and related equipment really be recovered in actual fuel savings while you own the home?
  • Will a different heat source provide the same house-warming comfort and hot water capacity?
  • Are other fuels clean-burning and environmentally friendly?
  • Is it more cost effective to find ways to conserve energy instead of converting? Accordingly, are you aware of all the ways to improve the efficiency of your current furnace through equipment upgrades, plus the many ways to prevent heat loss from your home?

"The Canadian Oil Heat Association is pleased to provide clear answers about oilheat," says spokesperson Constance Wrigley-Thomas.  Research from a number of organizations supports the following facts:

  • All fuel prices rise and fall on a daily basis. An independent Consumer Energy Council of America (CECA) report showed that over the past 20 years, oil and natural gas prices have tracked each other.
  • Today's high efficiency fuel oil appliances operate in the 85% range, and ultra-modern furnaces in the 95% range are now here.  Plus innovative add-ons for older furnaces guarantee to reduce fuel consumption by 10% or more. Federal and provincial government rebates are available to assist homeowners with eligible improvements.
  • Oil improves household comfort. Oil creates the hottest flame of any heating fuel, so the air exiting the registers is up to 30% warmer than with other fuels.
  • Oilheat quickly replenishes hot water supply. An oil-fired water heater can heat water up to twice as fast as natural gas and up to 5 times faster than electricity.
  • Another Consumer Energy Council of America study concluded "...converting to another fuel from oil makes no economic sense and a better investment would be to upgrade older equipment, therefore improving efficiencies."
  • Today's oilheat is exceptionally clean. Fuel oil refinements now mean 99.9 of the fuel is used to create heat, with less than 0.1 % discharged as particulates. That's great news for the environment.

"Be informed and be sure," is what COHA Ontario recommends, says Wrigley-Thomas. "The Association's goal is to help each homeowner make the right energy choice for their particular needs. And most will find the smart, financially-wise choice is upgrades and conservation, instead of conversion."