At Tragar Home Services we know you hear a lot about the different types of fuel and heating systems out there. Very often you’ll hear about oil heat and we’ve been in the oil heat business for more than 60 years. But we also work with other types of heating systems.
Two of the most common types are gas heat and propane heat. While you’ve likely heard of natural gas and propane, you might not be aware of the differences between these two energy sources. So we want to tell you about how propane and natural gas works so you can make an informed choice as a consumer if you’re considering heating your home with either propane or natural gas.
The Properties of Natural Gas and Propane
Some people refer to both natural gas and propane as being similar. But they have different properties. According to the website WiseGeek, natural gas is a mixture of methane and other gases while propane is actually a byproduct of natural gas processing and petroleum refining. Natural gas must be cleaned before it is used. In addition to propane, butane and ethane are also byproducts of natural gas.
There are similarities between propane and natural gas as well. The most visible being that both fuels are stored in tanks. They also can both be stored in liquefied form.
Energy Efficiency and Conversion Issues
One big concern to most homeowners when comparing propane to natural gas is energy efficiency and here is where consumers get a bit confused. That’s because the two fuels employ different units of measurement. Propane is measured in units that are usually associated with liquids, in gallons or liters, while gas is measured in cubic feet or cubic meters. Heat for both fuels is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs).
According to WiseGeek, natural gas provides just over 1,000 BTUs per cubic foot the same volume of propane in gaseous form provides about 2,500 BTUs. Although less propane is needed to produce the same amount of energy as natural gas, other factors come into play in determining the price utilities charge for natural gas and propane companies charge for their service.
Another factor to keep in mind when determining the difference between natural gas and propane is how your home needs to be adapted to each service, particularly if you’re considering a conversion. This is particularly important in the area of appliances. While many appliances will work with either fuel, you should keep in mind that propane and natural gas operate with different levels of pressure, according to Bob Villa. As a result, appliances will need special gas utilization fittings for each fuel source. Regulators and burners will also need to be adjusted and if the appliances aren’t convertible, you will have to purchase new ones. Another factor if you’re converting to natural gas is the cost of digging up streets and the area by your home to link up with gas mains.
Tragar Home Services Can Take Care of Your Energy Needs
Whatever your energy needs are from converting to another fuel source or servicing a heater or air-conditioning unit, Tragar Home Services can help you. We provide reliable oil delivery and discounted natural gas delivery and our customer service sets the highest standards. Contact Tragar today.