Propane vs. Natural Gas Heaters

In northern Texas, you need a good heater. We may not see the frequent below-zero temperatures of Wisconsin, but it’s still cold enough every winter that being without a heater is dangerous.

When it comes to picking a heater, you have a lot of options. Two of the most popular are natural gas and propane. Is one better for you? Well, if we review the pros and cons together, you might find that you have a preference. So here are the major differences between natural gas and propane.

Propane

Propane is a resource that is refined from natural gas. When it is pulled out of the gas, it is usually stored in a liquid state. This causes it to be considerably denser than raw natural gas, which leads to some key differences.

First, propane is usually stored in tanks. If you use a propane heater, you will likely have a delivery service that regularly brings fresh tanks and removes the empty tanks. If you have a larger reservoir, then the delivery service will fill your stationary tank. This is a very different system of receiving your heating fuel.

Pros

Propane is refined from natural gas for a number of reasons. The first is that it burns hotter than natural gas. Because of this, the same amount of propane produces more than twice as much heat when compared to raw natural gas. That makes it very efficient, and it can heat a home very quickly.

Propane also burns clean with no toxic byproducts. If your propane tank ended up leaking into the ground, it wouldn’t harm anything. On top of that, propane produces about half as much carbon dioxide as other fossil fuels when it is burned.

Even compared to natural gas, the heat efficiency of propane makes it a greener choice for heating a home.

Lastly, the infrastructure of propane is somewhat off the grid. While you do need to replenish your propane stores, your heater won’t go offline if the grid goes down to an abnormally cold winter storm.

Cons

Still, there are reasons why propane isn’t the absolute standard for home heating. Being off the grid is part of the equation. It takes more effort to stock your propane and keep the heater working.

Also, despite the efficiency, propane is often more expensive to run for heating a home. That’s because it is refined, and refining drives up the price of propane.

Natural Gas

Natural gas has seen a boom in recent decades. It is one of the most common ways to provide central heating. Natural gas occurs as a mixture of propane, butane, ethane, and methane. It is extracted and then sent, as a gas, through pipelines to wherever it is needed.

Pros

Natural gas is one of the cheapest ways to provide heating. Since propane is refined from natural gas, the price of propane hinges on the price of natural gas. Even though natural gas prices fluctuate, it always costs less.

Natural gas delivery is also much cheaper. Propane has to be trucked to a destination. Natural gas pipelines are much more efficient for delivery. Because of these factors, natural gas heating bills are almost always a little lower than propane heating bills. The only exception occurs when a home is extremely thermally efficient. Then, the extra heat from propane nets enough benefit to save money.

Aside from being cheaper, natural gas is also easier. It gets piped right to your house, so you don’t have to source it or figure out how to refill it.

While propane is a little bit greener than natural gas, natural gas is still an efficient, green heating source.

Cons

There are a few drawbacks to using natural gas. The first is that it takes longer to heat a room. It does not produce as much thermal energy, so in a raw sense, it’s not as good at heating.

Also, natural gas has toxic properties. When a pipe breaks and leaks, it can be dangerous in a way that propane isn’t.

Overall, these are both effective, affordable, reliable ways to heat a home or business. It’s why both are so popular. Natural gas is more popular because the infrastructure makes it easier to use, but propane is certainly viable. Regardless of the type of heater you use, whenever it needs professional attention, you can find the help you seek from Metro Express Service in Carrollton. We are available 24/7, so call us whenever you need us. We’ll be happy to fix your heater and keep you warm. You can also contact us online.