Propane VS Oil – Heating Fuel


When building a new home, finding the right heating fuel may be a complicated choice to make. There a few different options to choose from including propane, oil and natural gas. Depending on where you live, natural gas may be the most common choice. Other places, oil may be, or propane may be the most common choice among homeowners. This article will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of propane and oil heating fuels.

Fuel Costs

The price of fuel fluctuates quite a lot each year, so predicting the exact cost is difficult, if not impossible. Where you live will determine whether propane or oil is most cost effective for you.

Cost of Furnace

Most professional installations will have the cost of the furnace bundled into the total cost. Some high efficiency propane and oil are eligible for tax rebates or other incentive programs. An HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) professional will be able to provide more information about the options available in your area.

Advantages of Propane

Propane gas is considered to be more environmentally friendly by many, being approved as a “clean fuel” by the US Government as well. It also heats very quickly and when burned, does not produce a significant amount of carbon dioxide.

Advantages of Oil

Because oil burns hotter than propane gas it heats up faster and also is used up more slowly than propane. It is also considered safer than propane because oil is not combustible in the air and doesn’t create carbon monoxide fumes. Unlike in the past, today’s oil furnaces are clean and quiet.

Energy Efficiency

There are energy efficiency models available for both oil and propane gas fuel sources. There is a standardized rating system known as the Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency percentage (AFUE) which measures the energy efficiency and communicates it to consumers. The unit will burn more efficiently if the AFUE is higher. If homeowners plan to live in their home for more than 4 years, live in colder climates or are concerned about their environmental footprint, high efficiency models can be worth the extra expense.

Purchasing an Oil or Propane Furnace

There is a variety of propane gas furnaces available in the market. The energy efficiency rating will determine of the purchase qualifies for tax credits. Ask your vendor about the benefits available to consumers. There is also a variety of options available in the market of oil furnaces in high efficiency models. New oil models are more likely to incorporate bio-diesel mixes if you are looking for more environmentally friendly fuel alternatives. Inquire with professional contractors in your area to determine which of these models is available near you.

This entry was posted in Propane vs Others and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Propane VS Oil – Heating Fuel

  1. Jason Strong says:

    My wife and I moved into a home that uses heating oil. Neither of us have lived in a home like this before, so we have no idea how this all works. This helped us see the advantages of it though and I feel much better about the whole thing.

  2. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that propane is more environmentally friendly than oil is. My husband and I are building a new house, and we want to make it as green as we can. We’ll definitely look into getting a propane heater so we can reduce our impact on the environment. Thanks for the great post!

  3. Yeah. Propane is more efficient and economical, in which a propane-fueled home is less costly to operate than an electric home. The fact that it also more environmental friendly is the main reason why I choose this option.

  4. Linda Tucker says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this information about both propane and oil. I really like that propane is so environmentally friendly compared to oil. Because it is cleaner, I would assume that propane tanks are probably easier to maintain than oil tanks, but I could be wrong.

  5. Nick Mallory says:

    One of the most important things to me is protecting the planet, so I think I’m going to go with propane. It’s not too expensive in my are, which is nice, but I really want it because it’s clean, like you said. It may not be as safe as oil, but it’s still plenty safe for me. We used it growing up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *