There are many options for heating your home. Central heaters, space heaters, and secondary appliances like fireplaces can all help you keep your space at an ideal temperature, and you may need options for each category for the perfect overall home heating experience.
Within each of these categories, you’ll have your choice of heaters that rely on different types of fuel sources. Electric heaters and natural gas heaters are among the most popular. Propane heaters are another viable option, and they have a number of unique advantages over their counterparts.
What are all the pros and cons associated with propane heaters?
And is a propane heater the right choice for your home?
The Pros of Propane Heaters
These are some of the most important advantages of propane heaters:
1. Relative safety. Propane is highly safe when used responsibly. This type of fuel is stored as a liquid in tanks, but when it’s released into the air, it completely dissipates, rendering it incapable of contaminating groundwater or the environment. It’s combustible, but it’s also easy to control, and when it’s stored and used properly, it’s quite stable and predictable. It’s a good idea to hire a professional for any kind of propane connection work, and you’ll need to be vigilant about monitoring for leaks, but as long as you follow all the safety recommendations for using propane, you can use it in relative safety.
2. Clean burning. Many people appreciate propane for its ability to burn cleanly. Compared to other methods of fuel burning and energy generation, burning propane produces very few pollutants. This makes propane arguably more environmentally friendly than other sources of fuel – and it might be better for human health in some cases as well.
3. High tank capacity. Generally, you’ll store propane in tanks, securing refills from a propane vendor whenever you start running low. This is in contrast to having direct lines of electricity or natural gas fueling your heater. Remembering to place orders can be a bit of a hassle, but you won’t need to arrange for delivery as often as you think. Propane tanks can store a lot of fuel. You can probably go for months between propane deliveries, and if you’re willing to stockpile propane, you may be able to go even longer.
4. A reliable, consistent fuel source. Propane is known for its reliability and consistency. While prices may fluctuate, and there may be occasional shortages, you can generally find the fuel you need when you need it.
5. Less running. An interesting dynamic of propane is that it tends to burn hotter than other sources of fuel. Accordingly, propane heaters tend to run hotter for a shorter period of time; it takes less operating time to heat a given area. There are a few meaningful perks you can enjoy because of this effect, including less noise in your house.
6. A longer lifespan. In part because they run less, propane heaters can enjoy long lifespans. As long as you maintain them properly and use them responsibly, they can last many years longer than other types of heaters.
The Cons of Propane Heaters
There are also some disadvantages of propane heaters to keep in mind:
7. Bulky tanks. If you want to go longer between propane deliveries, it’s important to invest in a propane storage tank that can hold a lot of fuel. But there is an inherent downside to purchasing this type of storage tank; It takes up a lot of physical space. If your home feels small or cramped already, this may be a problem. But if you have plenty of extra space, you probably won’t even notice it.
8. Maintenance requirements. Propane heaters don’t require much more maintenance than other types of heaters, but you will need to have a plan in place for refilling your propane. Depending on how consistently you use your heater, it may benefit you to get on a recurring schedule; otherwise, you’ll need to carefully monitor your fuel levels and place an order when you’re around 30 percent capacity.
9. Upfront installation difficulties. Installing a propane heater can be more expensive than installing other types of heaters, and you’ll probably need to hire a professional to do it for the sake of safety.
10. Conditional cost effectiveness. Propane can be more cost effective than other types of fuel, but this isn’t always the case. In some applications, alternative sources of fuel are more cost effective.
A propane heater isn’t the right fit for every home. Installing a propane heater can be bulky, expensive, and sometimes inconvenient. But if you have a reliable supply of propane, you can benefit enormously from higher cost effectiveness, clean burning, and heightened longevity. Review your options carefully before making a final decision.