Are Oil-Burning Furnaces Efficient?

Written on: December 18, 2023

Ensure maximum comfort and fuel efficiency with a heating oil system.

oil-furnaces queens, ny Your home’s heating system is one of the priciest items you own — and also one of the most essential.

When temperatures plummet in Queens and Long Island, homeowners need to know that their furnaces can meet the challenge of keeping their families safe and warm. Additionally, heating makes up a significant chunk of the average U.S. home’s energy spending. The Department of Energy (DOE) found that heating and cooling account for 55% of the average home’s energy consumption.

So, the question arises: How efficient are today’s oil-fired furnaces?

Let’s start with AFUE.

When thinking about home fuel efficiency, the natural starting point is your heating system’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE.

This metric tells you how much of the heating oil your furnace consumes is directed toward producing heat for your house. If your system has an AFUE of 84, then 84% of the fuel it burns heats your living spaces, while the rest goes out the chimney or flue. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the system.

Today’s oil-fired furnaces can have AFUE ratings in the 90s, which means that virtually all the heating oil you’re consuming is doing its job, and very little is wasted. Indeed, oil furnaces have made a huge leap forward in efficiency. They consume, on average, 500 fewer gallons of fuel annually than they did in the 1970s.
It’s also worth noting that an older heating system will lose efficiency — often quite a bit. If your oil-fired furnace is over 15 years old, its efficiency could have dropped into the 60% range or lower. Arranging a new furnace installation could boost that efficiency by 30 percent or more. That can really slash your annual heating oil expenses!

Also consider heating oil’s Btu generation.

While AFUE is an important tool for assessing your furnace’s efficiency, it’s also important to consider heating oil’s superior heat generation. According to the DOE, one gallon of heating oil will generate 138,500 Btu (British thermal units) of heat energy. To produce that amount of heat, you would need about 134 cubic feet of natural gas or 41 kilowatt hours of electricity.

As you can see, heating oil has a distinct edge over these other popular energy sources in terms of efficient heat production.

Trust OSI Comfort Specialists with your heating needs.

If your New York home relies on a heating oil furnace, you can count on our team to keep your family warm and safe all winter. Our free automatic heating oil delivery is the most reliable way to receive fuel in the region. We also deliver eco-friendly Bioheat® fuel. This blend of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and organic biodiesel burns cleaner than traditional heating oil, which slows wear and tear, improves heating system performance, reduces breakdowns and extends the equipment life expectancy.

Do you want to receive Bioheat fuel at your Queens, Nassau or western Suffolk County home? Become an OSI Comfort Specialists customer today!