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The Pros and Cons of Heating Your Home with Propane

Written on: September 10, 2018

Whether you’re building a home and need to decide on a heat source, you’re interested in replacing your current heating method or you’re buying a new home that runs on propane, you need to know: what are the main benefits and drawbacks of depending on propane?

Efficiency, upkeep, price, installation – there are so many aspects of a heating system that are essential to assess, especially if you have the choice as to which you’d prefer. The major types of home heating in the Northeast include propane, heating oil and natural gas, but if your home (or your prospective home) runs on propane, here are the top three pros and cons you should know:

Pro: It’s Safe and It Burns Clean

One of the biggest benefits of propane is that it’s non-toxic. That means the tanks can be buried underground. It also burns clean. That means propane furnaces typically don’t need as much maintenance. They usually last longer and require fewer repairs along the way – they operate at a much higher level of efficiency as well.

Pro: Power Your Whole Home with the Same Fuel Source

Another pro – you can run all appliances in your home on propane. You don’t have to settle for an electric stove or water heater. Propane can power every appliance and you can opt out of the more expensive and less efficient electrical option.

Pro: Bigger Tanks Mean Fewer Deliveries

Since propane tanks can hold up to 1,000 gallons, you can order a lot of fuel at once. Wait until prices are on the lower side, then fill up your tank completely. Then you’re ready for the next cold front and then some!

Con: It Produces Fewer BTUs Per Gallon Than Oil

When you measure how hot propane burns alongside other fuels, it’s a little disappointing. Propane doesn’t produce as much heat as oil. That means that although the cost of propane might beat oil, you’re going to have to use more to get the same cozy indoor temperature. At first glance, it might seem like propane has the potential to save a considerable amount of money. The reality might not play out that way!

Con: High Upfront Costs to Switch

It can be prohibitively expensive to convert another type of heating system to propane. It’s not a DIY project. You need a professional installation and there is no guarantee that altering a system to perform the same or better with a new fuel source will result in significant savings.

Con: You May Have to Pay a Rental Fee

The biggest disadvantage to a propane heating system is keeping up with tank maintenance – or not. If you own the tank, you’re responsible for regular inspections, and you have to fix the problem if there’s leaks or corrosion. You might even eventually have to replace the tank.

The flip side also presents a con. If the energy company owns your tank, that means you’re just renting it. On one hand, they’re on the hook for any necessary tank maintenance. On the other hand, you probably have to pay a monthly rental fee. It’s another addition to your budget that’s certainly a disadvantage if you’re analyzing the pros and cons of home heating based on costs only.

Regardless of the type of heating fuel your home depends on, Williams Energy is here for you. From propane tank refills to oil tank service plans, our mission is to keep your home safe and warm all fall, winter (and spring!) long.