Pros and cons of oil heat

There are good reasons to choose oil heat.

On the plus side

It is cost-effective, commonly available, and very safe.

•Today’s home heating oil is clean-burning, thanks to low sulfur heating oil.

•It’s easy to find, giving you a choice among heating oil companies in New York City and Long Island.

•It’s one of the safest heating methods.

Durable, too

Heating oil works well with furnaces and boilers.

Furnaces using oil may function well for up to 20 years, provided they are properly maintained. Most furnaces lose efficiency over time but they usually function well for at least 15 years if serviced well.

The downside

•Supply and demand, and quirky weather, make the cost of heating oil fluctuate. You want to fill your tank during the summer, when the prices tend to be the lowest. But cold spells here and elsewhere can drive winter prices higher.

•Tanks need space, and they’re not pretty to look at. Maybe you have room in your basement or an out-of-the-way place in your yard. Whichever you choose, make sure the delivery driver can access the tank.

Two words of warning

•Do not bury your tank as some people do. Then you will never know if it has sprung a leak.

•Do not let the tank run dry. No oil = No heat.


Oil works with both boilers and furnaces.

You want a boiler or furnace with an AFUE of 90 percent or more. AFUE measures annual fuel utilization efficiency, the best gauge for tracking a system’s effectiveness.

The lower the AFUE, the higher your energy bill.

Premier HVAC services and installs boilers and furnaces in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Long Island.