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PROPANE or NATURAL GAS: Which is best for your new home?

When dreaming about spending summer evenings around the fire pit on the patio or snuggling in front of the fireplace in your new home, should you plan on using PROPANE or NATURAL GAS?

First off, did you know you had a choice? Well, for the most part you do! We’ll explain further …

To help you make an informed decision for your family and future home, we’re breaking down the PROS and CONS of PROPANE and NATURAL GAS.

  • Both can be stored as a liquid
  • Both produce carbon monoxide
  • Both are domestically-produced fossil fuels
  • Both are considered cheaper than electricity
  • Both are considered low emission fuels

But, the more important question is: what are the differences?

PROPANE

Pros:

  • MORE CONVENIENT: Widely distributed, so it’s most always available.
    *Ensure there is ease of access to small tanks & availability in your area.
  • MORE EFFICIENT: Since propane produces more than twice the energy of natural gas in any given time, it’s much more efficient.
  • MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: Propane is considered to be better for the environment as it does not contain any greenhouse gas, is low carbon, and emits virtually no air pollutants (https://propane.ca/environmental-benefits/).

Cons:

  • MORE COMPLICATED TO INSTALL AND MAINTAIN
    • Some applications require propane to be delivered and injected by the distributor.
    • The level of propane in the home must be monitored to ensure that the tank isn’t close to empty.
    • Conversion to a natural gas source could be inconvenient, as it requires removal of existing propane tank and digging a trench to make way for the gas pipeline to reach your home.
  • MORE COSTLY
    • Up-front costs for any propane injected into a tank, regardless of whether the propane is used.
    • Conversion to natural gas is very costly, if you ever decide to switch gas sources.
    • Appliances set up for use with natural gas cannot be used with propane. Purchase of a conversion kit or new appliances suitable for propane would be required.
  • MORE OF A SAFETY RISK
    • It’s important to note, neither propane or natural gas is completely “safe,” as both produce carbon monoxide.
    • Propane is heavier than air, so it does not dissolve into air as quickly or exit enclosed spaces as easily as natural gas.

NATURAL GAS

Pros:

  • MOST CONVENIENT IF: There is a natural gas pipeline to your home.
    *Some neighborhoods or municipalities don’t have pipeline access, which means natural gas isn’t an option.
  • CHEAPER: Homeowners only pay for the amount of natural gas they use in any given month. Natural gas rates tend to be low.
  • SLIGHTLY SAFER: Although both gases emit carbon monoxide, Natural gas is lighter than air so it will rise and exit enclosed spaces more easily.

Cons:

  • LESS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: While natural gas dissolves into air quickly, it does contain high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane
  • LESS EFFICIENT: It takes more natural gas to generate the same energy output as propane.
  • NOT AN OPTION: If your neighborhood does not have pipeline access.

CONCLUSION

So, what’s the better source for your home?

Only you can decide! There are certainly advantages to both forms of gas, but hopefully we’ve given you enough information to make an informed choice as to which type of fuel is best for your home.

QUESTIONS OR INTERESTED IN MORE INFO?

Leave a comment below or contact us directly.