Propane or Alternate Energy
Upfront costs and comfort issues may make you think twice and choose propane instead
You’ve probably heard all the praise for alternative energy systems like a geothermal heat pump. A system like this is always touted as a green energy choice for your home. But you probably haven’t heard too much about how this type of system stacks up against propane heating systems, including high-efficiency propane furnaces and tankless propane water heaters. The fact is, propane is a pretty green energy choice, too!
While it’s certainly true that geothermal heating (also known as a ground source heat pump) provides exceptionally low energy costs because it draws thermal energy from underground, it has much higher upfront installation costs than a propane heating system.
The installation process for a geothermal system is also a lot more complicated. These systems require wells or “loop fields” to extract heating energy from the ground. Higher heating or cooling loads may require deeper wells, more wells or more trenches in limited spaces.
Compare that to propane furnaces, which can be installed easily—usually in just one day—in basements, attics, closets and other areas of a home.
The big flaw with a geothermal system
Perhaps the biggest drawback to a geothermal system is its inability to deliver the same warm, comfortable heat that today’s propane furnaces consistently provide.
A typical stand-alone geothermal system delivers heat in the 90–120 range. This can leave your home feeling uncomfortably chilly on a cold Iowa night. Propane heating systems consistently deliver heat in the 120–140 range, even when the outdoor temperature drops below zero.
Propane vs. geothermal: consider the cost
Here are just three things to consider when comparing propane system with a geothermal system:
- Geothermal represents the highest installation cost of any heating system studied because it involves digging, installing and burying ground loops.*
- Geothermal has the longest payback period of any heating system—up to 15 years in some cases.*
- A high-efficiency propane furnace is the most affordable to purchase and install of all the heating systems studied. Because propane is a clean, efficient energy source, you can count on affordable annual energy costs as well.*
To learn more about propane gas furnaces and the many other ways you can enjoy propane, please contact your propane company and they’ll be glad to help. Ask about current rebate opportunities for new propane furnaces, too!
*Source: Based on a study conducted by Newport Partners, LLC