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 installation of an Energy-Star qualified propane-powered tankless water heater, you could be heating more than twice as much water in an hour than 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 an 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.
Fireplaces and log inserts
Have you updated your wood-burning fireplace with gas log inserts? Even better, you should replace it altogether with a stunning gas fireplace.
If you haven’t transitioned to a gas fireplace, you are missing out on an entire host of benefits. With a gas fireplace, there’s little to no maintenance required, thanks to the lack of ash and soot. A gas fireplace doesn’t even need a chimney and all the maintenance that comes along with it.
A gas fireplace is far less of a safety hazard than a wood-burning fireplace since they can easily be turned off and on with a switch. It costs anywhere from 30 – 60% less to operate a gas fireplace per hour than a wood-burning fireplace.
High-efficiency direct-vent propane fireplaces also have a heating capacity five to six times better than that of electric fireplaces, so if you’re looking for efficiency, practicality, and warmth, a gas fireplace is the appliance for you.
However you choose to keep warm this winter, we here at East Coast Propane hope you contact us if you have any questions about heating and propane. We are here to serve you!