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In New England, it’s common to find homes with oil heating. However, with many newer homes with gas heating and many homeowners learning the benefits of gas, you may wonder if converting from oil to gas heating would be a good idea.
It depends. One of the biggest concerns is infrastructure. If there isn’t, you may be unable to make the conversion unless you and your neighbors can convince your municipality to install a gas main.
Another important consideration is the cost of converting oil to gas. That can depend on several factors, which we’ll discuss below. Finally, you need to know the benefits of switching to gas heat and whether and how much they apply to your situation.
Oil to Gas Conversion Cost
The oil-to-gas conversion cost is another thing that depends. Prices for parts can fluctuate, demand can affect pricing, and the extent of the replacements involved can affect the cost. In general, though, you can expect the cost to convert oil to gas heat in Massachusetts to vary from $5,000 to $15,000 in today’s market.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Converting from Oil to Gas Heating
So now, let’s look at the specific factors that can affect the cost of converting from oil to gas heating. There are four main ones.
- Installing a gas line – Assuming you have a gas main beneath the street, you’ll need a gas line installed on your property to connect to it. You can expect this to run over $1,000. If you’re part of a larger municipal project, your utility company will install your property’s gas line free of charge.
- Age of Your System – A heating system typically lasts 10-15 years. Suppose yours is 10 years or older and converting to gas. In that case, you’ll probably need an entirely new system, which will likely cost at least $5,000 and could go over $10,000 depending on how efficient the new heating system is.
- Chimney Liner Installation – Your chimney’s masonry can sustain damage from moisture in the gas exhaust, and conversion may require the installation of a protective liner. This will probably cost somewhere from $1,000 to $2,000+. Good news: if you’re getting a high-efficiency furnace that condenses, you shouldn’t need to add a chimney liner.
- Rebates and Other Incentives – Because of the trend to favor a switch to cleaner, more efficient systems, some rebates, tax credits, and other incentives may be available from manufacturers, local governments, state governments, or the federal government. You can subtract the monetary value of such incentives from your total costs.
Benefits of Switching to Gas Heating
Now that you have a general idea of the cost of converting oil to gas and what factors can affect that, let’s look at the benefits of having gas heating for your home.
- No supply issues – When you rely on oil for your heating system, you also rely on in-person delivery by truck. In the winter, severe weather can cause delivery disruptions and fuel shortages. If you have gas, it’s piped directly into your home.
- Gas is less expensive – Although no one can guarantee what prices will be tomorrow, much less several years later, propane and natural gas are typically much cheaper than oil. In some years, it has cost homeowners less than half on average to heat their homes during the winter with gas than it did with oil.
- Lower maintenance costs – No changing oil filters and nozzles and no paying for annual chimney cleanings mean you will save on maintenance costs. Will your system still need maintenance? Yes. Could it need repairs at times? But with gas, you’ll eliminate oil-specific costs.
Should I Convert from Oil to Gas?
By now, we think you know the answer to this so that we won’t repeat it. However, here are some things to consider as you make your decision:
- The cost – We’ve given you a general sense of the cost. Now you need to get quotes from several contractors based on your location and needs.
- Incentives – Again, look at the rebates, etc., available and the benefits of converting to gas. Will the former substantially lower your costs? Does the latter make sense in your situation?
- Recouping the cost – Investing in newer or better technology always costs money up front, whether installing solar panels, upgrading a computer, or converting from oil to gas heat. Knowing that the investment will pay for itself over time is important, so knowing how long that will take is critical.
For example, say you spend $10,000 on your conversion to gas heat, and it will save you $1,000 a year with rebates, lower bills, etc. The conversion makes sense if you’re planning to be in that home for more than 10 years. If you’re thinking of moving in 3 years when the last of the kids go off to college or work, it probably doesn’t.
Sinclaire Home Services Can Install and Service Your Gas Heat System
At Sinclaire Home Services, we’re proud to announce that we’re celebrating our 75th anniversary this year as a family-owned trusted service for HVAC, plumbing, and other needs. Over that ¾ century, we’ve built a reputation for honesty, reliability, and quality.
If you’re ready to convert your oil heating system to a gas one, if you want to replace an existing system with one that’s the same style but newer and more efficient, or if you have any other HVAC, plumbing, or indoor air quality needs, get in touch with us for fast, friendly service and fair, upfront pricing.
We’re looking forward to meeting you and working with you!
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