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How Does a Propane Heating System Work?

Of all of the many methods of generating heat for a building, propane is one of the most efficient and inexpensive. If you’re able to utilize propane as your fuel source, you may be able to save a great deal of money over the course of the year when compared to natural gas, oil, wood, or electricity. Of course, there are plenty of other factors in play besides the efficiency of the fuel source, including the climate in which you live and the HVAC setup that you have.

To decide if it’s the best option for your building, you should first begin by educating yourself about how exactly a propane heating system works. You should also talk to a licensed HVAC professional about the installation process if you decide that propane is really the best thing for your heating needs.

What Is Propane Anyway?

Propane is a type of petroleum that takes the form of a gas at room temperature. When it’s stored, however, it’s usually under pressure, which causes it to take the form of a liquid. This means that relatively large amounts of it can be stored in tanks which can then be kept somewhere on a property in order to supply it with fuel. Smaller propane tanks are portable  which is why they are often used for traveling, camping, and similar activities.

Unlike some other gasses used as a fuel source, propane is nontoxic. It is naturally odorless, although an odor-causing chemical is added to it in order to allow leaks to be detectable. It’s also colorless and, therefore, invisible.

What Are the Benefits of Using It?

The first and most obvious benefit of using propane is its high efficiency. But what does that mean, exactly? Well, in terms of energy usage, “efficiency” refers to how much usable heat energy is generated compared to the amount of fuel used. Because propane burns so hot, it generates a lot of heat energy with comparatively little fuel. This means that you’ll need to use less of it than you would when heating natural gas, electricity, or oil.

Propane has environmental benefits as well. It doesn’t generate nearly as many harmful chemical side effects as other fuel sources. Using propane instead of gasoline puts far fewer hydrocarbons into the air, ultimately leading to improved air quality. In turn, this means a reduction in allergies and other unpleasant reactions to air pollution in areas where propane is more widely used.

Perhaps most importantly, propane is safer than many other fuel sources. It’s far less likely to start a fire or create a harmful buildup of toxic gasses than other fuel sources. Even so, it’s important to have propane detectors installed to ensure that if a leak occurs it can be dealt with immediately.

How the Heating System Works

A propane heating system, as we’ve mentioned before, begins with a pressurized tank of liquid propane. This liquid is pumped into the burner, where it’s ignited by a piezoelectric lighter, which is essentially a piece of quartz designed to create a spark. Burning propane creates an exhaust of extremely hot gas which then travels through a heat exchanger.

Heat exchangers are tasked with transferring heat from place to place. In a propane heating system, they are used to heat up the surrounding air. A large fan then blows the air throughout a series of ducts. This heated air is then vented into the various rooms of the home.

Should I Opt for Propane Heating?

There are plenty of benefits to using propane, but whether or not it’s the right heating source for you depends on several factors. An important one is whether your building has easy access to propane. Some parts of the country cannot easily access this particular fuel source, and while you can usually still get it if you want it, the cost may be prohibitive in that case.

The cost of installing a propane heating system should also be taken into account. Propane furnaces tend to be a bit more expensive than other furnace types. This extra cost, of course, may be worth it if you believe that using propane will save you a great deal of money on energy costs over time.

When calculating the costs, you should also take your local climate into account. If you live in a temperate climate, you may find that the added cost of installing a propane furnace and having a fuel source brought in isn’t worth it, as you won’t end up using it that much. If, however, you live in an area where the temperature regularly drops below freezing, you may be very happy you’ve chosen one of the most efficient heating methods available.

Who Can Install My Propane Heating System?

If you have indeed decided that a propane heating system is what’s best for your building, you should contact an HVAC company you can trust. Knowing who to trust is a matter of doing a little research ahead of time. Check references, talk to other customers, and speak to the contractors at the HVAC company you’re considering.

You’ll also want to look for an HVAC contractor with a lot of experience in the field. The more propane furnaces they have installed, the better of a job they’ll do when they install yours. One great example of such a company is Entek. With over 75 years of experience on the job, they’ll get your propane furnace installed quickly, effectively, and safely.

Entek will also help you keep your furnace in good working order for many years to come. With 24/7 emergency services, they can rush to get the job done if there’s some sort of problem, no matter when it occurs. They can also perform routine maintenance, ensuring that your propane furnace continues to operate at maximum efficiency.


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