Difference Between Natural Gas and Propane Heat Pump and Furnace – Many customers wonder about the difference between a natural gas, propane heat pump, and a furnace. Homeowners can use anyone to heat or cool a home. But combining two, like a pump and furnace, is better. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between these units and the ups and downsides of each system.
A question of fuel
The difference between these systems is fuel consumption. On the contrary, a furnace uses natural gas or liquid propane (LP) for operation. On the other hand, a heat pump uses electricity and refrigerant. In addition, the heat pump uses electric resistance heating. However, some furnaces work with oil or electricity instead of gas or LP. The boiler is another piece of equipment that uses oil, but it is rare in the US but popular in New England and the tri-state area.
Propane is a liquefied petroleum gas or LP gas like natural gas; they exist odorless, but companies add artificial odor for easy detection in case of a leak. Propane is a hydrocarbon from fossil fuel products in North America, and over 95% is imported to America. Propane is a nontoxic gas with no adverse effect on the environment. Some cars and trucks are designed to use fossil fuels for running operations—the gas produces 30% to 90% less CO compared to gasoline.
Natural gas is from dead plants and animal matter under the earth. The gas is a fossil fuel extracted through pressure from the earth. Natural gas is also a clean energy producing clean burning. In addition, the gas is less harmful compared to oil and coal, making it a greenhouse gas.
The choice between a natural gas and propane heat pump and furnace
Choosing between a heat pump, propane, natural gas, and furnace depends on a number of factors. One factor is comparison to get a glance at what they are made up off.
Here are the factors homeowners should consider:
Location is a vital factor because of climate. For example, people that live in the southern US experience more hotness than cold. So, people in such regions will enjoy a heat pump. Those in cold regions should take a furnace. Natural gas is good in any region since it dissipates quickly, but propane takes longer.
Furnaces consume more British Thermal Units (BTUs) than heat pumps. While furnaces cost about $14, heat pumps cost $11. But on installation, the heat pump cost about $6,700 while the furnace cost $3,175. On the other hand, one cubic foot of propane equals 2,516 BTUs, while one cubic foot of natural gas is 1,030 BTUs. In essence, propane will cost $2.50 per gallon, and natural gas will cost $15.00 per 1,000 cubic feet, equal to 11.20 gallons of propane.
The heat pump has less effect on the environment compared to the furnace. Natural gas is a clean gas, and propane is a nontoxic gas. All three are eco-friendly gasses, except some may become a little harmful after combustion.
If you need service on your heat pump, contact us at Pilchuck Heating.
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