A water heater is the second biggest energy-consumer in U.S. homes. After all, it accounts for a whopping 18% of an average household’s total electricity bill!
Here are a few things to put things in perspective:
The average 2017 Pennsylvania monthly electric bill was $114.48. If you used an electric water heater, then you paid about a monthly $20 for it alone. Over the course of one year, you spent around $240 to enjoy the luxury of electrically-heated water.
Now that you know how pricey electric heater use can be, you’re likely thinking of going propane. The question is, is it any better than electric? Which of the two are best suited for your family’s needs?
That’s exactly what you’ll discover in this post. So, keep reading to figure out which kind of heater you should get next!
1. Water Heating with Propane Costs Less than Electricity
In a typical home, a 4,000-watt electric heater runs for about three hours every day. To find out how much it costs you to run your water heating system, you need to factor in electricity prices. According to the most recent data (July 2018), PA residents paid 0.1007 USD/kWh for electricity.
At that kind of rate, it means you’re spending about $1.20 every day to run this type of heater. Multiply that by 30 (days), and you have a monthly water heating cost of $36. Within one year, your electric heater would’ve set you back $432.
Now, let’s compare it with propane.
As of October 2018, propane prices in PA averages $3.08/gallon. On average, a person consumes about 10 gallons of propane-heated water every month. That means you’ll spend about $30.80 every month ($369.60/year) for your propane gas water heater.
As you can see, propane can cost less to heat your water up. With propane, you can enjoy a potential yearly savings of more than $60.
2. Propane Heats Water Faster than an Electric Water Heater
One of the benefits of propane gas is its greater recovery efficiency compared to electricity. Recovery efficiency refers to the heating efficiency of an energy source. Simply put, it’s how fast the energy source heats up the water.
Think of it this way.
A propane gas furnace can warm up the air up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Whereas an electric heat pump can only generate heat that’s even lower than body temperature.
Since propane is a lot hotter, you’d need less of it to heat up your water. It’s thanks to this reduced heating time you can also enjoy lower heating costs.
With an electric heater, you’d have to wait longer to enjoy the same water temperature you prefer. The longer it takes to heat the water using electricity, the more energy it consumes. That means even higher water heating expenses.
3. You Can Rely on Propane Even During a Power Outage
130 power outages occurred in the first half of 2014 alone. From 2010 to 2013, grid outages occurred at a whopping rate of 200 incidents per year.
These numbers show how outages are becoming more common. What’s worse is that major natural disasters have become more frequent and powerful. If you rely 100% on electricity, you’ll find yourself left in the dark – and the cold – when these incidents take place.
In fact, inclement weather isn’t your only worries. There’s also the risk of spikes in electricity demand. Accidents (think car crashes) that damage electrical boxes are also quite common.
In any case, once power is down, you most likely won’t have any means of heating. Depending on the cause of the outage, you may have to wait for hours, even days to have electricity again.
These things don’t affect propane. Since you store it in a tank in your property, it’s safe and sound from such situations.
That means you can continue enjoying heated water even during outages. Bonus points if you have propane home heating since you can keep warm and cozy even with a raging storm.
4. Propane is Your More Eco-Conscious Heating Source
Electricity production in the U.S. is the second biggest source of greenhouse gasses. In 2016, it accounted for a staggering 28.4% of the country’s emissions.
Granted, propane is, in essence, a type of fossil fuel. However, it’s a clean-burning energy source. That’s why it doesn’t classify as a greenhouse gas.
Furthermore, propane produces far fewer emissions than electric energy. Keep in mind that electricity production relies on the burning of oil and fossil fuels such as coal. As such, propane is more environmentally friendly than electricity.
5. Propane is Safe and Portable
Much thanks to more rigorous regulations, propane has become much safer to use. Plus, propane heating appliances come with safety features. All these, plus the fact that it has low emissions, make it a safe water heating choice for your home.
Also, propane tanks are portable that you can even bring it into your mobile home! Propane gas allows for mobile home heating, whether as an entire furnace or for your hot water needs.
A Few Reminders before Switching to Propane
As with everything else, there are some drawbacks to propane heating. The biggest, however, is the cost of installation.
Switching from electric to 100% propane can be quite a hefty expense. However, this still depends on how many appliances you want to switch to. If you already have a busted electric water heater, that’s a good time to consider replacing it with propane.
Topping up your propane reserves is also your responsibility. It’s unlike electricity wherein you can use as much as you want and just pay the bill later. The good news is, reputable propane suppliers will help you set an appropriate schedule so you don’t have to worry about running dry.
Ready to Switch to a Cleaner Water Heating Energy Source?
Is your electric water heater about to give up? Or is making the switch to propane for the simple reason you want to have a greener source of heating?
Either way, please feel free to connect with us. We’ll happily address all inquiries you have about propane as an energy source.