Propane is a standard fuel that has been around for years but is only now getting broader recognition for its many advantages over other fuel options. You can use propane in a wide variety of appliances and situations throughout your home, including heating pools, powering outdoor grills and fire pits, and even your laundry machine. However, one of the most common and effective uses for propane is in home heating systems. Whether you are heating your entire house or using a propane water heater to quickly supply hot showers, you have many options to choose from when it comes to home heating systems. Propane, natural gas, and electricity are the most common fuels for home heating systems, but the best option for your home depends on a few different factors. Beyond fuel type, you will also have to choose between heating system types.
Central Heating Options
Central heating is likely one of the most desirable home heating systems, but it is also one of the hardest to install. Central heating requires ducts running from the boiler, furnace, or heat pump to every room in the house. While you don’t see these ducts in the walls and only see the room vents, building this network takes a lot of work if it doesn’t exist already. If your home has central heating already installed, you should keep it if only because it is a massive and expensive pain to get back. You can switch out what pushes heat through your central heating ducts, though. Boilers and heat pumps are slightly less common than furnaces as they are slightly older technology, but they still work and may not be the ideal choice in every situation. Talk with an installation expert about the different options you have to replace a boiler with a furnace or visa versa.
Furnaces come in a few different models that use different types of fuel. Oil, electric, and gas furnaces are the typical fuel types you have to choose from. Oil furnaces are the least common in the United States but have specific situations where they shine. Oil furnaces are best suited for cold climates but come with a higher price tag because oil costs more than other fuel options. Electric furnaces are smaller and less expensive to install than other options but result in high electricity bills when in use. Gas furnaces have two sub-options; the standard gas furnace and the modulating gas furnace. Standard gas furnaces that use propane or natural gas use combustion to create hot hair and pump it through your home’s ducts. Gas furnaces are cost-effective because gas costs less than other fuel options like electricity or oil. A modulating gas furnace turns itself on and off to maintain a set temperature goal to save energy. Modulating furnaces are the most energy-efficient option because of this functionality, but they are also some of the most expensive to buy and install.
Other Gas Options
If your home does not have central heating ducts and you do not want to undertake the massive project of installing a duct system, there are still other ways you can use propane to heat your home. Gas-powered space heaters can be wall-mounted or sit on the floor that use propane, natural gas, or kerosene to heat a single room rather than an entire house. These small space heaters are inexpensive, easy to install yourself, and very safe to use compared to unvented gas heaters, which are considered very dangerous and are no longer professionally recommended because of said safety hazards.
You can also opt for an electric single-room space heater, but you will notice a jump in your electricity bill as these heaters use a lot of energy when turned on. You should also not expect a small plug-in electric space heater to noticeably warm anything beyond a medium-sized room. You will do nothing but burn money through wasted electricity expecting a small space heater to warm up your whole living room as other heaters might.
Everyone wants to warm and cozy in their home, but there are many different ways to heat your house. If your house already has central heating ducts, use them, but consider upgrading your existing boiler or furnace with a newer and more efficient model. If you don’t want to commit to central heating, looking into smaller space heaters that run on either gas or electricity to keep small rooms warm this winter.