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Is Propane Heating Efficient?

Propane heaters come in a variety of sizes.
A propane tank.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 July 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Many people are surprised to learn that heating a home with propane is very efficient, both in terms of cost and maintaining a comfortable environment. From portable space heaters to built-in propane heating systems, this form of gas heating has a lot going for it. Here are some examples of how using propane for heating purposes can be a smart move.

One of the more common types of propane heating is the humble space heater. Recessed in the wall or inserted into an existing fireplace, heaters of this type operate by accessing a source of natural gas. That source can be a gas line ran to the home from an outside propane storage tank or from a utility company network.

In both cases, heating with a propane heater makes it possible to only warm the sections of the home where heat is required. This can be a real convenience when different occupants of the home prefer different temperatures. For people who prefer cooler bedrooms, the control setting on the unit can be set lower, while people who chill easily can use a higher setting on the heater in another room. Many of the propane-based heating units today are equipped with thermostats that automatically lower the flame as the room reaches a certain temperature, which can save a great deal of money on heating bills.

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Propane heating with space heaters has a higher efficiency rate than the use of a wood fire. However, there is no real need to give up the charm of a real fire. Gas logs can be mounted in a fireplace and connected to a gas jet. The flames from the gas source will flicker and lick around the logs in a manner that is much like burning wood logs in a fireplace. The end result is no ashes to clean up, and the ability to lower or raise the flame as desired in order to keep the room comfortable.

Along with space heaters, propane heating equipment also comes in the form of central heating systems. As with electric heat pumps, these units also push warm air through ducts that run to each room of the home. A good quality propane system is capable of generating the same amount of heat as any electric system, just at a lower cost. This means that these systems provide a higher BTU than electric systems, making them more energy efficient.

In addition to the enhanced efficiency of propane heating in comparison to burning wood or using electricity for heating purposes, heaters fueled with propane are also very handy in an emergency. When inclement weather causes a power outage, propane heating is still operational and can help everyone in the home remain comfortable until the power is back on.

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Discuss this Article

Certlerant
Post 3

If you are concerned about heating costs, consider the space heater option, propane or otherwise.

At times when a majority of the people in your household are often in the same room together, like at mealtime or in the evening after work and school, it is a good idea to use a space heater to reduce the need to keep the thermostat for your main furnace turned up.

Also, a space heater that is near the thermostat can maintain the desired temperature in a room or area, somewhat tricking the furnace into thinking the whole house is at that temperature.

Glasis
Post 2

Telesyst, you are right. The cost of propane varies just like the cost of crude oil and natural gas.

As with gasoline, the cost of propane also varies with location.

Telsyst
Post 1

The efficiency factor sounds good. But, is it misleading? What about propane heating cost? Does the cost of propane fluctuate like the price of oil or gas?

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