Ever wondered about whether you should switch to propane fuel? Do you think it might help you save money or use fuel more efficiently in your home? Before you make the switch, it’s a good idea to take a look at the pros and cons of propane as a source of fuel for your home.
Propane can be a great choice if you want a dependable and efficient source of energy that can be installed anywhere on your property. But let’s have a look at both sides of the coin.
The Pros and Cons of Propane
Here is a list of the benefits you may enjoy if you switch to propane fuel.
- PortabilityBecause propane is stored in a tank, it can be set up anywhere you want. Do you want to install a backyard kitchen? Well, your propane tank can be installed right where you put the grill.Looking to heat an outbuilding in a location far from a natural gas connection? Propane may be a good option for this situation.
- Clean Burning FuelPropane is approved as a clean fuel by the U.S. Government. It has no greenhouse emissions so it is considered a green fuel. It is eco-friendly before and after combustion, so you won’t need to worry about harming the environment.Using propane is a responsible environmental choice.
- Better Heating EfficiencyHeating efficiency, measured in BTUs, is much better in propane than natural gas. At 2,500 BTUs, propane is more than double the efficiency of natural gas!But what does that mean for you as a consumer? Because you’ll use less propane to heat your house, you’ll be able to go longer between tank fillings. Your propane will last longer than the same amount of natural gas.Using propane for heat is just more efficient than natural gas or oil heating. This is especially true if you have highly efficient furnace equipment. Though they may cost more up front, newer equipment and appliances tend to burn fuel far more efficiently than older versions.
- Off-Grid ReliabilityWhen the gas company controls your supply of fuel, you are at the mercy of their equipment, gas lines and their fees. With propane, you don’t have a direct line from the gas company to your home. Your lines are your own and they come from your propane tank.Your propane supplier fills your tank when you need it. If your tank has fuel, then you’ve got what you need to run your home. You’ll never have to worry about gas outages because your fuel source is on site.Another off-grid benefit of propane is that you are not required to live close to modern power sources and infrastructure. You can live as far away as you want, as long as your propane supplier can get to your tank for fillings.
Like anything, there are also less beneficial aspects of using propane for fuel. Here is a list of some things to consider that may make propane a less than ideal choice for you.
- Initial Costs of Switching OverIf immediately saving money is your motivation for switching to propane, you might want to step back and look at the numbers. Furnaces and appliances can be expensive to replace. If you are switching from electric to propane, you might really feel it in your wallet where your appliances are concerned.Consider which appliances you might need to replace before switching to propane. If you have several that would need replacing, you might want to consider how those costs add up next to the benefits of using propane fuel. Although they are beneficial in the long run, the upfront costs of new appliances can be too much for some consumers to justify.
- It May Not Save You MoneyTo determine if you’ll save money by switching to propane, you’ll need to do some research and assess your living situation. Where you live, the size of your home, and how efficient your appliances are can determine how much propane you use. If you use a lot, you’ll need more frequent tank fillings.When you fill your tank, it’ll cost you per gallon of propane. Costs for propane depend on a lot of market variables, too. The price per gallon of propane also fluctuates, just like prices for natural gas do.
- Filing Up is Your ResponsibilityBecause your propane is filled by your propane supplier, you’ll need to keep an eye on levels and stay on top of scheduling service. However, the best propane suppliers offer options with their services to help make monitoring much more convenient for their customers.
- It’s Still a Fossil FuelPropane is also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LP) and comes from natural gas and petroleum wells drilled deep into the earth. It is separated out from other natural gases at a processing plant.Switching to propane does not help in reducing the use of fossil fuels. Propane is, like all fossil fuels, non-renewable.
The Choice is Yours
The pros and cons of propane fuel are closely balanced, so the choice comes down to you. If you’re looking for a reliable source of fuel that can burn cleanly and efficiently, you might like propane fuel. If you’re looking at cost alone, you may need to dig a little deeper to know if propane is right for you.
Need More Information?
Is propane right for you and your home? You’ll need to evaluate your living situation to make a decision about propane as your fuel of choice. Feel free to read through our blog for more information about propane and how it’s used in your home.
We’d be happy to address any questions you have. Please let us know how we can help.