If you are looking to install a furnace in your home, you are probably already aware that you have a range of options. Oil, natural gas, electricity, propane—there are many choices, and each one comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. If you are considering propane, you will want to know some things before moving forward.
Propane: The Pros and Cons
If you are considering switching to a propane furnace, you will first need to locate a propane supplier in your area. Propane is stored in large tanks, not pumped into the home through a nearby gas pipeline. Propane storage tanks are usually buried in the ground on your property. Once you have located a propane supplier and factored in the cost of a storage tank, you will want to consider propane’s efficiency.
Propane furnaces are extremely efficient. Energy departments give different types of heaters Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings based on their efficiency, and propane furnaces have AFUE ratings as high as 98%. This makes them some of the most efficient heaters around, giving you more heat for your money, especially when compared to oil furnaces.
On the other hand, propane furnaces often cost more than other furnaces, especially compared to oil. Their higher efficiency, however, coupled with their tendency to last longer than electric furnaces, can compensate for the higher upfront cost. Government tax credits and private rebates also exist for propane users, so be sure to research whether you qualify for these cost-reducing incentives.
Installing Your Propane Furnace
Like all fixed heating systems, propane furnaces should be installed by trained heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians. These professional technicians can properly size and install the systems, and will be able to advise you on whether an entirely new system must be installed or if an existing furnace—specifically, a natural gas furnace—can be converted to a propane furnace. Installation can be complicated, so it is best that you leave it to the trained professionals.
In addition to the skill and practical knowledge required to install a new propane furnace, there are multiple building codes to consider. Relying on HVAC technicians for installation will ensure that your furnace’s installation is up to code. These technicians keep up to date on all of the legal requirements and make sure that your new propane furnace violates none of them.
Maintaining Your Propane Furnace
In order to enjoy the higher efficiency and related lower costs of propane furnaces, you must make sure that they are properly maintained. This means relying on skilled professionals for repairs and maintenance. Propane furnaces can be complicated, and botched attempts at repairs by inexperienced hands can be costly. It is always best to leave repairs to those who have experience with these systems. If your propane furnace is properly maintained, it will be heating your home efficiently for years to come.
Explore Your Options
The most important thing to remember when choosing a furnace is to explore all of the options available to you. If you decide that propane makes the most sense for your home or business, get in touch with suppliers and HVAC technicians and start making the switch today.