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Oil Vs Electric: Oil For The Win

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Many people throughout the United States have large oil tanks in their basements, though they may not understand exactly how they work. Heating oil has been warming homes around the world since M.A Fessler discovered it in 1840. The method differs slightly depending on your setup, though they all have the same basic function. Oil is pulled into the furnace or boiler, mixed with air, and ignited. This ignition then warms either water, air, or steam, which circulates through the home, warming as it goes.

Americans today do not use heating oil as much as they once did, which is a shame. There are many reasons why it is wise to use heating oil instead of electricity, such as the following.

Varying Price

While many people think that oil is a huge fixed expense, this is untrue. Oil prices vary by the day based on the market, imports, and exports. In the year 2020, oil prices are expected to be lower than in the year 2019. This is likely the case because the United States exported more oil than what they imported in several months throughout the 2019 year. Electricity can be a challenge when trying to plan your finances since it varies so much on what the thermostat is set at. Should it get turned up accidentally or by children, homeowners will pay for the mistake.

Upfront Purchasing

Heating oil is great for families who prefer to do their finances in advance. Many families know how much oil they need for the winter and plan their finances accordingly. One shipment of oil can last through winter when budgeted properly. People who choose to live in secluded rural areas often prefer oil heating due to its independence and relatively low-maintenance system.


Oil is actually the most effective method of heating a home, despite popular belief. In comparison to natural gas and electricity, oil can do more to heat your home because they have more heat for each BTU. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. This means that if one homeowner with electricity sets their thermostat to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and another homeowner with heating oil does the same thing, the latter will have their home heated for longer with less fuel. 

In conclusion, depending on where you live, oil heating may be cheaper than the electricity you would have used to heat your home.