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Fuel for Thought

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Advantages of Propane Heating

Propane heating has many advantages.

Cost and Equipment Efficiency

When it comes to home heating, propane furnaces have many advantages. A propane furnace or boiler traditionally operates at efficiency levels above 90% plus.

If your home has an older heating system there may be an opportunity for you to save some money by converting to a new high efficiency propane system.

Versatility

Propane furnaces and boilers come in all shapes and sizes, therefore allowing more flexibility with placement and they can be used for more than just heat. They can be used for cooking, heating your pool and garage, drying clothes and you can even hook it up to your BBQ.

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Considering Switching From Heating Oil to Propane? Estimate Your Annual Propane Consumption and Heating Costs.

When it comes to switching from heating oil to propane, many consumers wonder what the difference will be in annual heating fuel consumption and the annual heating costs. But figuring out how much propane you would use instead of heating oil isn’t straightforward; 1,000 gallons/3,785 litres of heating oil isn’t the same as 1,000 gallons/3,785 litres of propane.

Make sure to use our Heating Oil to Propane Conversion Calculator.

 

Here are 3 things that you have to consider before figuring out how much propane you will use instead of heating oil:

Heat Produced per Gallon/Litre: Heating oil and propane produce different amounts of heat per gallon/litre. You can get more heat per gallon/litre from heating oil than propane. We can measure the amount of heat produced by a gallon/litre of propane and a gallon/litre of heating oil by using the British Thermal Unit (BTU). The higher the BTU per gallon/litre, the more heat your system will generate for every gallon/litre of heating fuel that it burns. Propane produces less heat per gallon/litre than heating oil. Propane produces 91,333 BTUs per gallon/24,127 BTUs per litre and heating oil produces 138,690 BTUs per gallon/36,638 BTUs per litre.*

System Efficiency: the efficiency of each system is important because this will tell us how much of the heating oil or propane your system is burning actually goes towards heating your home. For example, heating oil systems have an average efficiency of 85%; that means 85% of the heating oil that is burned goes towards heating your home. The remaining 15% is “lost” energy. Although propane produces less heat per gallon/litre than heating oil, propane systems have a higher average efficiency at 94%.

Cost per Gallon/Litre: The last factor is what each fuel costs per gallon/litre.

Now that we have all the components, the way we would figure out how much propane you need is to essentially figure out how much propane you would need to burn to get the same amount of heat as with heating oil.

We’ve made it easy for you to compare both fuels. Simply use our Heating Oil to Propane Conversion Calculator.

 

There are advantages to using propane that are not available with heating oil. Propane has more uses than heating oil. A propane furnace can be used to heat your home and your water. In addition, you can use propane to run other household appliances and heat your pool. And propane is considered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be more environmentally friendly than heating oil due to its lower carbon dioxide output. It’s also approved as a clean fuel by the U.S government since it doesn’t contaminant soil or water if a leak occurs.

For a full breakdown on each system, visit our blog on Heating Oil vs. Propane.

 

* US Energy Information Administration

** Used for space heating

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Heating Oil vs. Propane – Comparing the Dollars and Cents

When comparing heating oil and propane, the cost per gallon/litre is only part of the story.  To ensure you have an apples to apples comparison of propane and heating oil, you need to look three things:  the efficiency of the systems, BTUs, and cost per gallon/litre.  With this information you can determine which fuel is cheaper.

To get an accurate and easy comparison of each system, simply use our Heating Oil and Propane BTU Calculator. Or, you can read on for a more detailed explanation.

 

Here are 3 important factors you must consider:

Heat Produced per Gallon/Litre: Heating oil and propane produce different amounts of heat per gallon/litre. You can get more heat per gallon/litre from heating oil than propane. We can measure the amount of heat produced by a gallon/litre of propane and a gallon/litre of heating oil by using the British Thermal Unit (BTU). The higher the BTU per gallon/litre, the more heat your system will generate for every gallon/litre of heating fuel that it burns. Propane systems produce 91,333 BTUs per gallon/24,127 BTUs per litre and heating oil systems produce 138,690 BTUs per gallon/36,638 BTUs per litre.*

System Efficiency: system efficiency is important because as your heating system burns heating oil or propane to produce heat, it will “lose” energy that can be used to make heat. When it comes to efficiency, the average heating oil system has an efficiency of 85%, while the average propane system has an efficiency of 94%. Another way of reading this would be: with the average heating oil system, 85% of the heating fuel that is burned will go towards heating your home.

Cost per Gallon/Litre: The last factor is what each fuel costs per gallon/litre.

After we factor in the efficiency and BTUs, we can measure how much heat each system produces per dollar. Visit our Heating Oil and Propane BTU Calculator to calculate the BTUs.

 

You can use our Heating Oil to Propane Conversion Calculator to help you get a more accurate overview of your specific situation.  Other factors to consider when deciding on propane vs. heating oil are: how each system will be used, installation costs, environmental friendliness and whether or not the fuel is considered to be “clean”. For a more complete review of the benefits of each system, visit our blog on Heating Oil vs. Propane.

 

* US Energy Information Administration

** Used for space heating

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