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What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Propane Heat


As the chill of winter sets in, your attention turns to the best way to keep your home warm. Propane has become one of the leading fuels for warming homes, especially in northern homes where winter lasts nearly half the year.

Keep reading to learn the advantages and disadvantages of propane heat.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Propane Heat

More than 10 percent of homes in the United States use propane heat. Homeowners in rural areas especially rely on this colorless, odorless fuel for their heat. Here’s why.

Environmental Advantage

Top among some advantages is the fact that propane is a clean fuel. In the energy policy act of 1992, the government considered propane to be a clean fuel. When you substitute oil or petroleum with propane, you’re choosing a fuel that reduces greenhouse gasses.

Financial Advantage

Propane is one of the cheapest fuels for heating a home. It even costs less than electricity. Plus, propane burns clean which means it cannot clog your furnace and cause further maintenance costs.

Also, when you buy propane, you fill your tank upfront. You have one big bill and one monthly bill.

Safety Advantage

While propane does come with risks, it is much safer than petroleum or diesel.

Logistical Advantage

Propane is both efficient and convenient. Stored propane can last up to 40 years. Because you store propane in its own tank, you can take it with you. Propane-based appliances run with less fuel than appliances using other types of fuel.

The Downside

Like all fuel sources, propane has its disadvantages as well. These are the major disadvantages to keep in mind as you weigh the pros and cons of propane.

Health Disadvantage

Propane comes with a downside. In particular, you run the risk of propane poisoning, a condition similar to frostbite. If you inhale or swallow propane, you can die from propane poisoning.

Also, you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when you use propane. If you’re not burning propane under optimal conditions, the propane will not combust completely, and your furnace will release carbon monoxide.

Safety Disadvantage

Propane burns easily, making it an ideal fuel but also an easily combustible fuel. If you leak, it can build up. In an enclosed situation, an ignition will result in a catastrophic explosion.

You store propane in liquid form in tanks under high pressure. If you dent or rupture a tank, it will explode. Thus you need to make sure you store tanks safely.

Logistics Disadvantages

Most propane requires delivery. It’s not something piped to your home, so you have to wait for a truck to deliver fuel and fill your propane tank.

If you’re using a propane-fueled furnace, you will need a large tank that takes up space. Thus propane works well for rural areas such as acreages and farms with lots of space. But if you’re living on a property with limited space, propane may not be the best option for you.

Propane For the Win

Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of propane. You’ll quickly see it’s one of the best fuel sources for keeping your home warm.

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