In colder regions like the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, homeowners invest a great deal of time and effort in learning about their household heating options. And most very quickly decide that electric heat does not come close to the comfort offered by gas or oil heating, and it is much more expensive. So once electric heating is eliminated, the choices are down to heating oil or propane for a cozy warm house throughout the winter. And it all comes down to evaluating the pros and cons of each heat source to determine which is best for your home.
What Does Propane Have To Offer?
One of the most critical factors for most consumers is the price. Propane wins the battle for affordability as compared to heating oil. Even though both products’ price fluctuates, propane is traditionally more affordable than heating oil. Looking at the burning process, propane does not create carbon dioxide and is considered a cleaner heating fuel than oil. It is also nontoxic and nonpoisonous, so you can have the holding tank buried in the ground out of sight, which is not an option with heating oil. And as a rule, propane storage tanks are significantly larger than heating oil storage tanks. So you will be able to stock up when propane is more affordable and need fewer deliveries per year. Finally, you can use propane for other appliances in your home, such as the water heater and range, which is not an option when using heating oil.
The Downside To Propane
Propane produces fewer BTUs than heating oil, so it does not burn as efficiently as heating oil. In addition, a propane furnace will be more expensive than a similar unit that uses heating oil. And finally, propane is combustible in the air, so there are added safety precautions to follow when using propane to heat your home.
The Perks Of Heating Oil
Heating oil creates more heat than propane, so you will use less heating oil than propane to heat your home to the same level of comfort. This added efficiency helps to justify the higher cost of the heating oil, as you use less to achieve the same comfort in your home. In addition, a furnace designed to use heating oil will be less expensive than a similar propane unit.
The Cons Of Heating Oil
Because most heating oil comes from overseas, the pricing can fluctuate drastically compared to propane. So if you use heating oil, be prepared to see the price change frequently. Also, when heating oil burns, it creates much more carbon dioxide than propane. This means that the furnace and heating equipment will require more frequent service and cleaning to remain safe and fully functional. Finally, heating oil cannot be used in other appliances to create hot water or cook. So you would need a more costly electric water heater and range.
To learn more about heating oil and propane furnaces and receive a free price estimate for your home, call Blue Ox Heating & Air at 952-208-4570 or request an appointment online.