Many central furnace systems use propane or natural gas as fuel, and both can keep your Northampton, Pennsylvania, home warm and comfortable in winter. Natural gas is actually several different gasses, including propane, butane, and methane. Propane is separated from natural gas at processing facilities, and stored as a liquid. Natural gas can be a liquid or a compressed or uncompressed gas. When choosing between a propane and a natural gas furnace, consider the efficiency, cost, convenience, and safety of each fuel.
Efficiency and Cost
Propane produces about twice as much heat as the same amount of natural gas, but it’s usually more expensive. In some areas, using natural gas is more economical, while propane costs less in other places. Installing a new natural gas line is usually more expensive than installing a propane furnace, but many homes already have natural gas furnaces and other appliances.
Propane is stored in tanks, and you can keep it underground or above ground. The tanks come in many different sizes, and a technician delivers the propane. Natural gas comes through pipes from a utility company. That way, you won’t have to wait for deliveries or worry about getting heat during a snowstorm or another emergency. However, a leak in a natural gas pipeline could increase your bills or keep natural gas furnaces and other appliances from working.
Propane is heavier than air, so it sinks if there’s a leak. Since the fuel stays in one place, this increases the risk of a fire or an explosion around outdoor tanks, until breezes dispel it. Natural gas is lighter than air, so it rises and dissipates if there’s a leak. However, a leak indoors can still cause a fire or explosion. Natural gas from a leak can also cause health problems by replacing the oxygen in a home.
Sullivan Oil & Propane has over 20 years of HVAC experience. We can help you choose, install, maintain, and repair the best natural gas or propane furnace for your home. We can also deliver a variety of fuels. Call us at 610-813-6555 for excellent service.
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