A long running debate is whether to choose a furnace system that is fueled by propane or oil if natural gas is unavailable. For many consumers, the choice is often not theirs to make if they purchase a home with a system already in place. However, for those building new or getting ready to replace an existing heating system, it is the perfect opportunity to engage in the debate. In many cases, people may just prefer one over the other.
Related Read: Is it Time to Replace or Upgrade your HVAC System?
While there are several differences between oil and propane, they are both non-renewable fossil fuels. Propane is not found in isolation, however, and is found in combination with other hydrocarbons, such as crude oil and natural gas, or methane.
Top Benefits of a Propane Gas Heating System
- Efficiency – propane units can reach 98 percent efficiency, compared to oil systems which typically reach a maximum efficiency of only 87 percent.
- Affordability – pricing is usually pretty comparable to oil, depending on your location.
- A cleaner burn – propane burns more cleanly than oil, which must be vented through a chimney flue to release dirt and soot build up.
Related Read: Make Your Home Heat Efficient
According to This Old House expert Richard Tretheway, both propane and oil systems have their own pros and cons. Some of his main points in favor of propane include:
- Less equipment and maintenance than oil systems – propane exhaust takes place through sidewall vents, versus oil systems which do not burn as cleanly and require a flue and accompanying maintenance.
- Greater upfront costs for propane systems are usually balanced out over time as oil systems require more labor, materials and maintenance. Typically, propane furnaces cost less than oil fueled ones, with the same output.
- Propane yields greater efficiency, even though oil puts out more BTUs than propane.
Contact our heating professionals at Home Comfort Experts today to learn about our diverse heating systems, including those fueled by propane. We have experience in maintaining and installing most brands of home heating systems. We serve Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan from our 12 locations. Give us a call at (574) 255-4600 to learn about our full complement of heating, cooling and plumbing services.