Propane Heating: An Introduction for Unfamiliar Homeowners

Clean-burning, efficient, and easy to contain as a liquid or a gas, propane is easily a logical choice for residential heating purposes. Even though propane is still widely used in many parts of the country as the primary heating fuel, if you are moving from a home with electric or natural-gas heat to one that has a propane tank parked in the backyard, you are bound to have questions. Here are a few of the biggest questions unfamiliar homeowners have about propane heating and the answers you need to know. 

Isn't it dangerous to have a propane storage tank on your property?

While having a propane storage tank on your property will come along with a few precautions, in general, this tank of fuel will not cause you any concern. You should make sure that you avoid striking the tank and know how to detect a leak, but other than that, you will hardly have to change anything about how you live on your property because there is a propane tank situated nearby. 

Will it be expensive to heat with propane?

This is probably one of the bigger concerns an unfamiliar new propane customer will have about using propane to heat their home. In general, the costs of using propane tend to be comparable to other heating fuel sources, whether the source be electric, natural gas, or something else. One of the advantages of heating with propane, however, is that you make the investment in your home's heating fuel before it is used instead of having to pay a month-to-month bill for what you have used after the fact. This gives you the advantage of being in greater control over how much you will spend every year to heat your home. For example, if you have your propane tank filled early in the heating season, you can better monitor usage by keeping an eye on the level gauge on your tank and adjusting your thermostat if you want to stretch what you have left for a little longer. 

How is the price of propane determined?

Propane is a naturally occurring element that occurs as a result of the oil-refining process or natural-gas production process. Therefore, the availability of propane is often affected by the availability of crude oil or natural gas. However, the price is not only determined by availability but also supply and demand. For example, you may see the price elevate a bit through the coldest months of the year or if you live in an area where propane is in higher demand.