Using a propane heating system is a sensible choice for many homeowners, particularly because it is a highly versatile and affordable form of heating. Propane heating systems can be configured in a number of ways, including central, zone, forced air, or radiant. It is one of the cleanest burning fuels and, as an added bonus, using propane doesn’t rely on the energy grid— meaning that there is lower risk of power outages.
There are many advantages to propane heating systems, so it’s no surprise that it’s an increasingly popular choice for home heating. There are over 14 million residential propane customers, nearly 7 million of which use propane to heat their household. It is also used for commercial and industrial functions, as well as agriculture.
Propane is not only used as a heating system, but also as a fuel for heating and powering appliances including stoves, barbecues, and water heaters. Despite its wide applications and benefits, there are a number of myths about using propane to heat your home.
Myths about Propane Heating for Your Home
Propane Takes Too Long to Heat
One of the myths about propane heating systems is that it takes too long to heat up and reach the desired climate temperature in your home. This myth is a result of limited understanding of the intricacies of propane systems. In fact, propane systems operate similarly to alternative systems and can be installed with just a few minor adjustments to your home’s gas line, furnace, or boiler.
Oftentimes, propane heating systems can even heat faster than other systems simply because it heats up immediately. Other forms of boilers, for example, require you to wait some time while the fuel heats up, but with propane you get instant heat directed towards the appliances or equipment you wish to use.
Propane heating systems have a very high efficiency rating of 98%, so it is often wrongly assumed that propane is expensive. Additionally, when you consider the price per liter, it is actually one of the cheapest fuel rates on the market. Not only this, but the efficiency of propane means that you will save a large amount of energy, meaning lower energy bills.
It is also a common fallacy to assume that propane prices will be more expensive to oil-based alternatives when oil prices are competitive and low. Did you know, however, that propane is directly impacted by oil prices? Propane is a byproduct of petroleum processing, so when oil prices go down, propane prices go down as well.
In reality, a propane heating system is typically a lower cost system to install and maintain. According to the US Department of Energy, propane heating systems have heated homes for far lower costs than electric systems over the past few years.
The most widespread misconception about propane is that it poses a danger to your family or home should something go wrong. This could be because it most often appears in gas form, and consumers are wary of flammable gases. Gases are combustible, meaning that they are able to catch fire and burn easily.
It is evident that carbon monoxide poisoning (understandably) instills a fear in homeowners. It is common to read about stories of carbon monoxide related deaths in the media, and part of the fear created by this unfortunate calamity is the fact that the substance is invisible and odorless. The invisibility of propane no doubt accentuates this fear of the unseen.
The reality is that there is no need to be afraid of propane heating systems, while they are installed in full compliance with safety and building regulations. Contrary to popular belief, propane actually has an excellent safety record, partially due to the fact that the propane industry and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have collaborated in the creation of stringent codes and regulations pertaining to the use of propane.
In fact, propane actually has some very safe qualities to its advantage, including built-in safety properties due to its chemical composition to prevent any ignition with air unless the temperature is an incredibly high 940 degrees fahrenheit! Propane is also a non-toxic compound that is more kind to the environment than other fuels due to its low emissions. Propane is completely harmless when it comes into contact with soil or water and doesn’t endanger agricultural or aquatic life the way other forms of energy do.
Propane Tanks are Unavoidable and Unsightly
Another myth about propane heating systems is that they are bulky and ugly. If you’ve never seen propane equipment before, it’s easy to imagine that all propane systems resemble those heavy metal casings connected to pipes. The reality, however, is that there are a wide variety of different propane heating systems available, and they can often be customized to the space in your own home. Newer systems are often elegant with seamless designs, allowing you to create an aesthetically ideal environment within your home.
Bad for the Environment
Environmentally friendly forms of fuel are becoming a greater concern for consumers, partially due to the environmental movements associated with global cooling, global warming, and the current trend of climate change. Consumers everywhere are making decisions with their carbon footprint in mind.
It is often wrongly assumed that propane fuel and propane heating systems are bad for the environment. The truth, however, is that propane is actually better for the environment than other forms of fuel, because the byproducts created when burned are harmless vapor and carbon dioxide. The heaters that use propane gas do not contain any lead or sulfur, thereby providing a relatively green form of energy.
Warm and Cozy
Propane heating systems, despite the many myths that exist, are becoming more and more popular with savvy consumers who want to get the most out of their home heating systems. If you’re looking for a system that is cheap, efficient, safe, and kind to the environment, propane is the way to go. Interested in a propane heating system for your home, or not entirely sure which type of system to go with yet? Contact R Brooks HVAC today for a free consultation and estimate!