The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

How Propane Can Improve Home Energy Efficiency

Propane home heating

Posted: May 1, 2018

If you read this blog, you probably already know that we’re big fans of propane – one of the most versatile ways to power your home comfort equipment. But propane’s versatility wouldn’t matter much if it didn’t also do its job really well.

Propane burns hot, and it burns clean – a combination that can push well-designed appliances to achieve efficiency ratings that reach well into the 90s (some propane water heaters and propane furnaces reach as high as 98 percent efficiency!).

With that kind of energy use performance, opting for propane is a great way to improve the bang-for-your-buck factor in just about every one of your home comfort systems, including:

  • Water heating – About 20 percent of the energy you use in your home is spent on heating water for use in your sinks, showers, tubs, and appliances. When you consider that a propane-powered water heater can deliver that hot water at 40 percent the cost of an electric water heater – or even less if you use a tankless system – switching to propane is clearly the smart choice.
  • Furnaces – A propane gas furnace heats air to about 130 – 140 degrees, working intensely for short bursts to minimize operating costs. By contrast, electric heat pumps produce air that feels cool to the touch; on cold Maine and New Hampshire days and nights, a heat pump relies on its onboard electric heat backup to keep pace with the weather. Once that backup system kicks in, the most compelling selling point of a heat pump – its efficiency – goes out the window (literally!). For colder weather areas like ours, propane wins again.
  • Propane hearths – If you haven’t already replaced the wood in your fireplace with a gas log set – or installed an attractive sealed propane insert – you are missing out on big efficiency improvements. Gas provides the same heating benefits as wood for less than 50 percent of the per-hour cost (and none of the splinters, ash, or messy clean-up).
  • Space heaters – High-efficiency propane space heaters send targeted, high-efficiency zone heating to the most used rooms in your living space, you won’t have to rely as much on your primary furnace or boiler.
  • Pool heaters – Propane pool heaters deliver more heat for less money than heat pumps, which draw heat from the outside air – a great thing if the outdoor temperature is warm, but not so great for the morning or evening, when you need pool heating most. Solar heaters may be a bit more efficient than propane pool heaters on paper, but they struggle when there’s no sun – a cloudy afternoon, for example, or at night.

The bottom line: When it comes to efficiently powering your home comfort equipment, propane takes things up a notch in nearly every application, especially when compared to electricity – which means lower bills and more comfort for you.

Thinking about adding a propane-powered appliance? We can help! Contact us today to learn about your options, or to get a FREE, no obligation estimate on propane equipment.