The Benefits and Costs of Upgrading to Natural Gas Heating

Natural Gas Heating pic

Natural Gas Heating
Image: scientificamerican.com

New York resident Ana Docoito-Nelson manages properties for Gramatan Management, Inc. As a property manager, she oversees improvements in her firm’s holdings in the New York area. In recent years, Ana Docoito-Nelson oversaw the conversion of six buildings from oil to natural gas heating.

Converting a boiler or furnace from oil to natural gas carries many benefits. Natural gas is an efficient and relatively clean fuel source that is good for the environment. It is also significantly cheaper than oil-based systems, even in the short term. Another significant benefit is that once you are connected to gas lines, natural gas can be used to power other systems and appliances in the house. This can further serve to reduce expenses while also improving energy efficiency.

The costs associated with upgrading begin with obtaining new equipment. A new natural gas boiler or furnace typically costs between $1,500 and $3,000, or about half of what an oil heating system would cost. Tax credits can offset some of this cost in many jurisdictions.

Hooking up this new system will also incur costs. If there is not already a gas line reaching the building, the utility company will need to install one with a backhoe. This can cost a typical homeowner up to $1,500. From there, a qualified contractor will need to pipe the gas from the meter to the heating system, which may cost another $500 – $1,000. If you need to line a chimney or remove an oil tank, additional costs up to $5,000 may be necessary.

The good news is that under current market conditions, these costs can be recouped in five years or less.

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