How Much Does a Propane Heater Cost to Run?

The Cost to Run a Propane Heater

There is a strong argument to be made; that argument would state that natural gases such as Propane are cheaper than other alternatives. This is both on an economical and scale of efficiency. 

Propane is a rather interesting alternative considering how it can be an alternative for so many types of products. So we’re going to break down what helps make it a cheaper alternative and what contributes to the costs associated with propane heaters.

Types of Propane Heaters

Propane heaters come in many shapes and sizes. They can be mounted on walls, vented or ventless, space heaters, for your patio, garage, living room, or wherever. When you attempt to determine the costs, you need to understand the type of propane heater you will purchase. It becomes more a question of what those devices require and how long a tank of propane will last. 

Mounted Wall Units

When it comes to wall-mounted propane heaters, they usually come in the form of vented heaters, but ventless propane heaters do exist. When wall-mounted units are vented, the gas is vented outside your home through vent pipes. Vents are merely the prevention of harmful noxious gases.

The only downside is that they do lose heat through the ventilation process. This does cause a decline in efficiency compared to those ventless units and means you will burn more fuel, which leads to higher costs, and is less eco-friendly.

Propane Space Heaters

We all know that propane space heaters are widely popular. This is largely in part due to their affordability and the readily accessible propane supply. There are a few types of space heaters to consider when making your purchase. Similar to that of mounted wall units it comes down to radiant, forced air, and convention.

Radiant uses a wick and has a small range. Forced air uses a fan to distribute heat. Convection uses a circular design to evenly distribute heat. These are not the only types but they are the most prominent.

Outdoor Propane Heaters

Understand that outdoor propane heaters are going to end up adding a little to your costs. It’s to be expected. You’re attempting to heat open spaces; therefore, the range is substantially smaller, and the effort required to heat that range is much greater. 

These heaters are things that you can use on your patio or during camping trips to help fight off those cold winter nights.

What Contributes to the Cost of Running a Propane Heater?

When asking what contributes to the cost of running a propane heater, you need to look at a variety of different factors. Propane is a tried and tested method of fuelling space heaters, mounted wall heaters, and other propane heaters with great success and exceptional results.

Climate Zone

The cost of heating also depends on the environment in which you’re attempting to heat. If you’re in a climate situation that demands an abundance of heat to regulate the temperature, you’re going to burn more propane to get there. 

Considering there are three types of climate categories; mild, moderate, and severe, it wouldn’t be very reasonable not to assume that this will play a massive part in how much propane is used to get to the desired result.

Average Costs of Propane Per Household

The cost of propane fluctuates all the time. These numbers will always be estimations and dependent on the times, as well as supply and demand. The cost of propane is also largely a state and county decision so confer with local pricing over national pricing.

As it stands, an average home (1500 square feet) in a climate that one can consider mild, you’d use an estimated 1.5 million BTUs of propane fuel per month. The cost per gallon is roughly $2.86. This would conclude that, on average, the cost of running an average household heating bill would be $57. If the same house were in a different climate situation, say moderate, it would increase to 5 million BTUs p/m and cost an estimated $191 monthly heating budget.

It is safe to assume and somewhat obvious that the larger the home, the bigger the price tag. These types of numbers are things you’ll fully understand in practice more than you will in theory. This is mere to help you gauge the possible amounts you’ll pay to heat your home.

Propane heater vs electric heater

Propane is cheaper than electricity

The DOE (Department of Energy) noted that heating a home with propane instead of electricity has resulted in substantially lower costs for homeowners. Propane water heaters have also been known to cost a third less to operate and yield better water recovery results.

Propane is better at producing convincing heat temperatures

Propane is more effective in warming a house faster than electricity. On top of that, the temperature results are superior with propane providing between 130°F and 140°F, operating within small intervals, thus minimizing operating costs.

Propane furnaces have superior longevity as opposed to electric heat pumps.

This is more of a long term save more than anything else, but propane furnaces have between 5 – 10 years longer life expectancy than that of electric heat pumps.

Propane is more dependable

Power outages are a real consideration when choosing between propane and electricity. Beyond that, if you’re considering going away to a place possibly void of electricity, propane is the best alternative answer to the scenario.

Propane is a reliable factor in heating as it allows you not to worry that if the power goes out, you’ll be left freezing in severe temperatures.

Propane is cleaner

If you’re also looking into environmental factors, propane has been noted as one of the best green alternatives when it comes to energy. So you’re saving money in the long and short term, but you’re also contributing to a greener society. 

Propane is Safe

On the record, propane actually fairs pretty well for itself in terms of safety. The intense codes and regulations set and implemented by the propane industry and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) mean there are measures taken to ensure no fatal accidents are easily achievable.

This isn’t to say they are foolproof. However, you can have some peace of mind knowing that you’re not actively bringing something detrimentally dangerous into your home.

In Conclusion

Now you know why propane is so popular. It’s time for you to continue your research and fully understand the options you have and what suits your needs and the needs of your home. Making a decision requires extra knowledge to ensure you don’t make any mistakes.