convert home to propane heat

How Do I Convert My Home to Propane Heat?

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is one of the most essential parts of your home. Extreme hot or cold temperatures can impact you and your loved one’s comfort and health, so a reliable HVAC system will keep you safe and comfortable. Propane can also keep your home warm in the event of an outage caused by a winter storm.

Propane is becoming a popular choice among many homeowners, and some people wonder how to convert their home energy to propane. Below, we’ll guide you through the benefits of converting to propane, how you can use it to power your other appliances and how to start the process.

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benefits of heating with propane

Benefits of Heating With Propane

The growing popularity of propane is because of its numerous benefits.  Some of the benefits of propane include:

  1. Efficiency: Propane has a high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, meaning it can convert more fuel to heat than other heating types. The ability to heat the home efficiently creates a more comfortable environment for you and your loved ones. A more efficient system requires less maintenance and will work efficiently for years to come when you care for it properly.
  2. Affordability: Propane can be cheaper per gallon than heating oil.  Propane is also a cheaper alternative than running expensive natural gas lines to your home.  Also, an efficient system reduces strain on your heating system, requiring less effort to heat your home. Your system’s reduced effort and stress will help you lower the money spent on heating costs each month.
  3. Versatility: People often use propane to heat their homes, but propane can be used in various other home appliances. Some appliances that can be powered by propane include stoves, ovens, water heaters, pools, and laundry machines.
  4. Reliability: Propane is a reliable, steady heat.  Getting automatic deliveries from your propane supplier will ensure you never have to worry about never having heat or running out of propane when you need it most.
  5. Safety: Propane is a safe option to heat your home.  Tanks are always located outside, so you don’t need to worry about any leaks from a heating oil tank causing damage or environmental concerns.  Tanks are also regulated and checked by your local provider.  Propane tanks can also be buried underground, as well.
  6. Environmentally friendly: The Clean Air Act of 1990 aims to reduce air pollution and supports propane as an energy resource. High-efficiency propane boilers also reduce carbon emissions compared to heating oil and electricity systems.  Many people gravitate toward environmentally friendly energy methods, making propane a popular choice among homeowners.
  7. Increased home value: Modern propane systems are more efficient than before. They’re also more affordable and effective than other fueling sources. Having a propane heating system makes your home more attractive to potential buyers if you choose to sell down the road. Propane is a good investment for the value of your home and your individual comfort.
  8. No gas lines needed: Additionally, propane doesn’t require gas lines. People who live in locations far from gas lines can use propane to power their heating system and other appliances. Propane is also portable, making it the choice for RVs or mobile homes.
  9. Requires little maintenance: Propane is also easier on engines, meaning it requires little maintenance. Less required upkeep on a properly cared for propane system saves many homeowners time, effort, and money. They can rely on their system to work when they need it most, and rest assured that it will last them for years to come.

As you can see, propane has numerous benefits that you and your family can enjoy.

run on propane

What Can I Run on Propane?

Propane is often used to run indoor heating systems, such as furnaces, boilers, space heaters, and fireplaces. Using propane to heat your home provides steady heat and optimal temperature control. You and your loved ones can rely on propane to keep you warm and safe during the winter season.

However, propane can go far beyond indoor heating. Propane can be used to power other appliances in the home, and many homeowners are making the switch for this reason. Some of the appliances that propane can power include:

  • Water heaters: When we come home at the end of the day, there’s nothing like a hot shower to relax the nerves. However, electric-powered water heaters can’t always provide the comfort we crave. Electricity tends to use more energy than propane and works slowly by comparison. Propane can be used as an alternative to power water heaters that supply hot water to showers, sinks, and dishwashers. Switching to propane reduces energy-related costs and heats the water quickly.
  • Kitchen appliances: We use kitchen appliances every day to prepare meals for our loved ones and fulfill our own dietary needs. Some homes have switched to using electricity, but it takes longer to provide ample heat and consumes a lot of energy. If you’re cooking every day multiple times a day, electric kitchen appliances can increase your monthly energy bill. Propane can power stoves or ranges, allow for better temperature control and provide instant heat. You’ll save money and feel like a professional in the kitchen.
  • Laundry appliances: Laundry can already be somewhat of a financial pain point since running a washing machine can use up to 40 gallons of water per load, depending on your make and model. Switching to a propane-powered drying machine saves you money and dries your clothes faster, reducing energy costs. You’ll also reduce your emissions by switching to propane.
  • Outdoor living appliances: Spending time outdoors with your loved ones is an excellent way to bond and bring your friends and family closer together. With propane, you can enjoy the outdoors anytime in the year. Propane can power outdoor kitchens, heaters, fire pits, and lighting fixtures. You can also use propane to power a grill, so you can enjoy an outdoor meal with those you love.
  • Pools and hot tubs: We all need a moment to kick back and relax after a long day. Pools and hot tubs are an excellent way to alleviate the day’s stress. You can use propane to keep the temperature of your pool comfortable and your hot tub warm and bubbly while saving money.

The versatility of propane is part of its appeal. It can power many appliances in your home while saving you money. Electric may seem appealing initially, but it doesn’t provide optimal power to your appliances and can leave you wanting. Choosing propane and basking in its many benefits will leave you wondering why you hadn’t made the switch sooner.

Important Considerations When Looking to Convert to Propane

If you’re trying to determine whether you should make the switch to propane, it’s essential to consider all of the facts so you know what to expect. Below are some of the crucial considerations of converting to propane.

Your Current Heating System

Depending on what heating system you currently have, your switch to propane can be a simple or extensive process. For example, your conversion process will be easy if you have an existing forced-air system. You’ll most likely only have to account for the furnace and installation.

Alternatively, the conversion process will be more complex if you have an electric or boiling system. You may not have existing ductwork, which propane relies on to power your appliances. Ductwork will need to be installed by a professional, and a professional will need to run a heat-loss calculation to determine the best place for the ductwork. All of the ducts and vents must be installed before your furnace.

Heat-loss calculations and duct or vent installations can be costly, so you’ll want to determine whether the conversion is worth it. Another option you have is to install ductless mini-split heat pump units, which will reduce your conversion costs significantly.

If you aren’t sure what system you have at the moment, you can contact your contractor to determine this information.

The Type of Heat You’re Converting to

There are many reasons to switch to propane, such as its versatility, low costs, and increased efficiency. Whatever your reason, switching to propane has a few requirements.

Propane tanks are a must for propane energy. These can be buried underground or placed on either side of the home. Your tank will need to be at least 10 feet away from an opening or entrance, a source of ignition, and your property line. If you’re using propane for energy every day, you’ll want to choose a 500-gallon tank, or larger, to accommodate your needs.

Once you have your tank, you’ll need to get in contact with your local propane supplier to schedule refills. You don’t want to run out of fuel when you need it most. You can set up an automatic delivery schedule or monitor your fuel levels and call when to book an appointment when it’s time for your next refill.

The Availability of Propane in Your Area

Another factor to consider is the availability of propane in your area. Propane is made from natural gas and petroleum, meaning it’s readily available when you need it. There are thousands of propane suppliers across the United States, and many of these suppliers will deliver propane on a consistent schedule. Some suppliers also offer emergency services so that you can receive propane deliveries during winter storms or if you unexpectedly run out.

Part of the appeal of propane is that it doesn’t rely on gas lines to power your appliances. People in rural areas convert to propane for this reason if they don’t have it already. You can determine where your nearest propane supplier is by conducting thorough research. You should look for a supplier that offers various service plans to accommodate your individual needs. Some propane suppliers will even perform annual inspections and maintenance, so your propane equipment functions efficiently.

how to switch to propane

How to Switch to Propane

Now that you’ve decided to make the switch to propane, there are a few steps you should follow to make the process as easy as possible.

1. Convert Appliances

Many of the appliances you already own are designed to work with natural gas and propane. If you’re switching from natural gas to propane, the conversion is simple but requires new gas fittings. The manufacturer should have included these fittings when you first made the purchase. If you can’t find these fittings, you can contact the manufacturer, and they should send them to you.

However, some of the appliances you have won’t run on propane. If you want to convert these appliances, you may need to replace them with compatible versions.

2. Get Professional Help

If you’re unsure how to convert your appliances, you can contact a professional gas company to help.  A professional can get the job done quickly and efficiently.

A professional technician can also evaluate your current system and recommend where to begin. Once you’ve started the conversions, your gas company will also help with your tank installation. Your tank can be installed underground if you’re looking to save outdoor space.

Once your tank is installed, you can install a propane furnace. If you already have existing ductwork, the installation process will be simple. If not, a professional can make the proper recommendations to get you started.

This is also an excellent time to plan your refill schedule. You can enroll in an automatic refill schedule, so you never have to think about scheduling an appointment in the future. You can also monitor your fuel levels on your own and schedule a refill appointment when you start to run low.

3. Find Bargain Prices

When switching to propane, you want to make sure you’re getting the best price. Propane is already an affordable energy source, but you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your purchase right at the beginning.

Converting to propane in the winter will cost you the most money. Rented propane tanks are usually delivered and filled to the top after installation. Propane prices in the winter are highest since there is an increase in demand. The best time to convert to propane is mid-summer when propane prices are at their lowest. You’re also more likely to get an appointment with a propane supplier during this time since winter is usually the busy season.

Choose Shipley Energy for Your Propane Needs

Converting to propane can provide comfort and stable energy for your home. At Shipley Energy, we’re committed to delivering power that you can depend on.

We have technicians available 24/7 every day of the year, so you can always rely on us to provide service when you need it most. Our customer service is unparalleled, with knowledgeable and friendly staff members prepared to answer all of your questions.

We have multiple service plans available to fit your budget, no matter what energy source you use. Get in touch today to learn more about what we offer and how we can help convert your home to propane energy.

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