Though many homes in the United States are heated with natural gas, there are still some that are heated with propane. This is common, especially, in areas where there are no natural gas pipe connections or where natural gas is overly costly. If you have the choice between natural gas and propane, it helps to know the facts! Weigh these pros and cons of propane before you make your choice.
Pro: Propane heaters are efficient.
Propane heaters are designed to be very efficient. Most are at least 90% efficient, so very little propane goes to waste. Surely, there are very efficient natural gas heaters, too, but you generally pay more for them than you would for a standard model. Even the standard, most affordable propane heaters are very efficient.
Pro: Propane is kept on your property.
When you heat your home with propane, you typically keep a tank of the fuel on your property. When the tank starts to empty, you have a company come refill it. This gives you a bit more control over the price of propane than you'd have over natural gas, which is delivered constantly to your home by a single provider. You can shop around for the best price on propane and wait to have your tank filled when the price drops.
Con: You have to purchase and maintain the tank.
Some homeowners rent propane tanks from their fuel company, whereas others buy them outright. Either way, this is an additional cost you must account for. While propane tanks are quite durable, there are times when a valve fails or the tank starts to rust -- and you have to put money into replacing or repairing the tank.
Con: You may have a harder time finding an HVAC contractor.
If you don't live in an area where propane heating is overly common, you may have a harder time finding an HVAC contractor who works with propane furnaces than one who works with natural gas furnaces. Being able to shop around and get estimates from several contractors is always nice, but it's not always an option when you use a less-common heating fuel. Before you decide whether or not to go with propane heating, do a quick search for contractors in your area and be sure you can find someone reputable.
Many homeowners with propane heating love their systems, but this fuel is not for everyone. To learn more about propane heating, talk to an HVAC contractor like those at Mitchell Plumbing & Heating Inc in your area.