Some home renovations may require some thought: Does the cost of new windows really add enough energy-efficiency to the house, or is keeping Old Man Winter out simply a matter of good insulation? Is it the right time to redo the kitchen, or will adding a new bathroom mean more value to your home?

With most home-improvement decisions, planning and prioritizing take first place – but there’s one upgrade that really doesn’t require a pro-and-con list: If you have the option to change your oil heat over to natural gas, the choice is easy: Just do it.
Simply put, an oil-to-natural-gas conversion means changing either your furnace or boiler from oil to natural gas as the fuel source. According to the experts at Malcarne Contracting, that investment will always have a good return – and a big one at that.
If pumping gas into your car makes you cringe, the amount of money you sink into oil for your home most likely causes you pain each month as well. A gallon of oil, which emits 140,000 BTUs of heat, costs about $3.89 and it’s even gone higher. Compare that to about $1.50 for a cubit foot of natural gas, which emits around 100,000 BTUs.
Technical terminology and mathematical conversions aside: You may have to “fill up” a bit more often with natural gas as your fuel, but it will cost significantly less – between 80 to 100 percent less.

In addition to the reduced cost to operate, efficiency-wise, natural gas wins again: A new oil burner or furnace – and that’s a top-of-the-line, Energy Star-rated burner or furnace – will only be about 85 percent efficient, while a standard natural gas furnace or boiler works at 95 percent efficiency. And better efficiency means you’ll need less fuel to do the same job. Plus, it has some aesthetic appeal as well. Say goodbye to ugly oil tanks: Natural gas arrives via a pipeline straight to your home.

The downside? Natural gas is, unfortunately, not available for every home, but the experts at Malcarne Contracting can also walk you through other heating options, including propane and electric heat pumps. And they’re always available to answer questions on the best conversion options for your home – so don’t hesitate to call.

Still, if natural gas is available, it makes financial sense, even if you’ve recently put in a brand-new, energy-efficient boiler. Typically, you can expect up to a 50 percent reduction in heating costs when switching from oil to natural gas. The bottom line is clear: If there’s an existing option for your home to have natural gas, said owner Joseph Malcarne, that’s how you know you should make the switch. Period.