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What is an Oil Furnace & How Much Does it Cost?

Homeowners who are looking for a heating alternative to gas heat should consider installing an oil furnace. While initial furnace installation costs can be expensive, oil furnaces come with many advantages that make them worth the additional cost. These furnaces have a long life-span that can outlast the manufacturer’s guarantee by up to 10 years.

Those who are truly interested in installing an oil furnace as a new or replacement form of heat in their home should take the time to research all the costs involved as well as the different types of oil furnaces available.

The Costs 

  • Minimum: $1,740

  • Maximum: $2,090

The cost of installing an oil furnace depends on the material that is used as well as the supplies, tools and labor costs if required. Basic, builder-grade materials are known to cost anywhere from $1,600 up to $1,900. Premium grade materials can range in price from $2,220 up to $2,700. Additional supplies and tools can cost anywhere from $1,970 up to $2,400 for basic oil furnaces and from $2,620 up to $3,200 for premium grade.

While it is possible for homeowners to take on the challenge of installing their own oil furnace without the assistance of a contractor, many individuals do not have the right amount of training or expertise to properly install this complex type of system in their home. Therefore, it is recommended that oil furnace installation is always left to the professionals. The cost of labor and any additional fees should be factored in when determining how much the final cost of installation will be. Those going with a professional installation can expect to pay from $300 to $400 in labor costs for 4.8 hours of work.

The Different Types of Oil Furnaces

There are several different types of oil furnaces available for homeowners to choose from. Each type offers distinctive benefits that may make them more beneficial over the others. The different types include horizontal, upflow, downflow, and waste oil.

Horizontal: Horizontal oil furnaces allow air to enter on one side of the furnace and exit into the duct work on the back. These furnaces typically lie close to the ground and are wider than they are high. The horizontal oil furnace is perfect for homes that have low ceilings, or those that do not have any space available for a taller, standing model.

Upflow: An upflow oil furnace is able to take in air from the bottom and forces it upward past the heat exchange system. The heat that is created by the oil then passes through metal plates and into the air. Once the air in an upflow oil furnace has been warmed up to the correct temperature, it is pumped out of the top of the furnace and then back in through the duct work once again.

Downflow: Downflow oil furnaces use a fan system that blows the air into the top part of the furnace and then out through the bottom back into the home. A downflow furnace uses gravity to provide a consistent airflow. It is typically found in homes that have duct work installed in a concrete slab instead of into the walls.

Waste Oil: This type of oil furnace is designed to recycle the oil that was once used for lubrication of all types of engines and other machinery. The oil provides efficient heating and allows the homeowner to save money by recycling used oil. However, the recycled oil can also be very dirty and needs to be filtered before, during and after use.

Advantages of Installing an Oil Furnace

  • Long-lasting

  • Fuel-efficient

  • Recycled oil can be used with some models.

  • High availability

  • Price-per-gallon can be less expensive in some areas.

Oil furnaces are known to last a long time. If they are well-maintained over the years, most models will last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. That is longer than the typical manufacturer’s warranty, which tends to only last around 10 years. Another helpful advantage to this type of heating furnace is their efficiency when it comes to the amount of fuel that is converted to heat annually. Additionally, depending on the location, oil rates can be a reasonable amount for heating homes when compared to natural gas or electric heat.

Disadvantages of Installing an Oil Furnace

  • Can be expensive to install

  • More likely to leak

  • May require more maintenance or repair

  • The cost of oil could be more expensive depending on location and amount of use.

Like many other heating resources, oil furnaces can have their disadvantages. The materials used to install them can be expensive, even if a person chooses to go with standard grade. However, there are many oil furnace owners who will agree that the long life span is beneficial enough for the large price tag. Another problem that some people may have with oil furnaces is their tendency to leak. This issue will require routine maintenance and frequent repairs. This could be a big inconvenience for some that may cause them to turn away from this type of heating resource.

Oil furnaces can provide an ideal amount of heat that will keep practically any type of home warm and comfortable throughout the cold winter season. They can be difficult to install, so it is recommended that homeowners choose a reliable and certified contractor to do the job for them. The cost of materials and other supplies can add up to be expensive. However, these furnaces are built to last for many years. If they are taken care of properly, they will provide a home with more benefits than disadvantages over time.

Last updated on May 17, 2016

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