The Disadvantages of Heating With Propane

Thinking about making the switch from heating oil to propane? About ten years ago, this was a great way to save money on heating costs. However, now that couldn’t be any further from the truth. While several years ago this was considered to be the best way to heat, the times have changed. Before you make the switch, it’s best to be aware of the disadvantages that come with propane heating.

When you heat with propane, you’ll often have an outdoor tank that is either above ground, or buried underground. These tanks are usually always owned by the provider, which makes changing over far more difficult.

The Benefits of Heating With Propane

While it does have its disadvantages, it also has some benefits to it. If natural gas or heating oil isn’t an option in your area, then propane will offer some similar benefits. Those benefits can include some of the following:

  • Powering a Generator
  • Fueling a Gas Fireplace
  • Fueling a Gas Stove

Additionally, both heating oil and propane can do the following:

  • Heat your Home
  • Heat your Hot Water

Due to heating oil creating significantly more heat per gallon than propane, using it instead of propane as your main form of heating is the better choice. Heating Oil tends to be more reliable in the long run. That’s because it will often produce more BTUs than propane. Additionally, you will need 1.35 gallons of propane to match one gallon of heating oil. However, you can still use it in your home for other things. These include a gas fireplace, generator, or stove top.

Propane is extremely versatile as a fuel source. It is often used for fireplaces, stoves and even outdoor grills! However, it is very expensive to use as a long term home heating fuel source.

The Disadvantages of Heating With Propane

Propane is very similar to natural gas, except that the main difference between the two is that it needs to have a delivery truck deliver it. That alone is what makes it considered to be a form of heating oil. Another big difference is that with heating oil, you own your tank. Unfortunately most of the time with propane, your tank is owned by your supplier. This tends to lead to some overlooked disadvantages such as the following:

Switching suppliers tends to be very difficult. This is because your propane supply will own the tank 95% of the time! You do not own your tank! This means that you can only order propane through your supplier! You can’t order from another dealer, and you can even fill your tank if you run out!

It tends to be difficult to price-compare. If you try calling around to get a price per gallon, most dealers won’t tell you. They will then proceed to ask you a series of questions usually along the lines of how many gallons you plan on using this year. However, with heating oil, there is a very distinct market price per gallon. You can use our FuelSnap website to compare heating oil prices based on your local dealers and will allow you to order oil online.

Propane is very expensive! Not only does it cost more per gallon when comparing it to heating oil, but you’ll tend to need 35% more propane to create the same amount of heat as heating oil! Keep this in mind when you’re comparing heating oil and propane prices, you’ll want to multiply the propane price by 1.35 to get an accurate rate.

What’s the Best Type of Fuel to Heat Your Home With?

If you have access to natural gas in your area, then you should definitely opt for that. It’s not only incredibly versatile, it is also very eco-friendly and doesn’t require delivery. All you have to do is simply pay your bill every month like you would normally do!

However, when comparing heating oil and propane, heating oil is the clear winner. It’s less expensive and grants you more freedom when it comes to ordering and delivery. You also can price compare to ensure that you’re getting the best deal available to you.

Finally, if you still would like to use propane for other home appliances, then by all means do so! Just a single tank for these small uses can give you the heating qualities of heating oil and the versatility of propane! If you are still unsure, check out our post on Heating Oil vs. propane, where we dive deeper into this topic!

Happy Heating,