Happy January! As usual, here in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the weather is cold and blustery. Just days ago, some local residents lost power due to wind gusts over 50 mph. On cold winter days, how do you stay warm in your home? Wearing heavy wool socks? Hiding under your Eagles snuggie?
Wouldn’t it be nice to ditch the socks and emerge from your blanket cocoon? Of course, you want to keep your energy costs down, but you also want a warm, cozy home that keeps the whole family comfortable on even the coldest winter days. Did you know you can reduce your energy costs with a simple switch to propane-powered appliances?
When you compare brand new furnaces, you can expect a fuel efficiency of between 89 and 98 percent for propane gas furnaces and between 80 and 90 percent for heating oil. Propane furnaces convert a higher proportion of their fuel supply into heat than oil burners do. Below is a further illustration of how various propane-powered appliances can save you money this winter:
Propane Water Heaters
Water heating accounts for a fifth of your overall household energy consumption, which is significant in terms of cost. A propane-powered water heater can cost less than half of the operating costs of an electric water heater.
These savings are based on a comparison of an electric storage tank with a propane storage tank heater. With the installation of an Energy-Star qualified propane-powered tankless water heater, you could be heating more than twice as much water in an hour as an electrical model, and additionally, save 60 percent in operating costs.
Do you use a space heater in a certain room of your house where it feels extra cold? We refer to this as “supplemental heating”, and this type of heating can take up 41% of the average American home’s energy consumption. That is more than any other appliance in your home.
Why do so many of us use supplemental sources of heat if we have a central heating system? Unfortunately, electric heat pumps do not produce enough warm air to heat up an entire home and then people turn to supplemental sources, like space heaters, to keep certain rooms at a warmer temperature.
Propane furnaces, however, are available with an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 95 or higher, making them far more efficient than an electric furnace. A propane gas furnace will heat air to about 130 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit and operate in short intervals to minimize operating costs while maximizing warmth. This differs from an electric heat pump, which actually produces heat below our body temperature which feels cool when pushed through the vents.
Most importantly, propane furnaces last 5 to 10 years longer than electric heat pumps. The clean-burning properties of propane will also allow you to reduce your carbon footprint. Electric heat pumps typically have CO2 emissions double those of high-efficiency propane furnaces.