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Heating oil and propane are both popular options for heating your home. If you have one of these systems installed currently, it’s often best to stick with what your house is outfitted for. If you’re in the position to consider a new system, however, it’s worth exploring the heating oil vs. propane debate so you can choose the best heater for your Baltimore, Maryland, home.

Heating Oil and Propane Explained

Heating oil is a liquid fuel that’s made from crude oil. It’s heavier than both gasoline and diesel fuel, which means that it’s less volatile and more efficient than these fuels.

Propane is a gas that’s extracted from natural gas. Propane is more efficient than natural gas and can heat efficiently using a much smaller quantity of gas.

Which Is More Efficient?

Heating oil generates about 130,000 BTUs per gallon, while propane generates around 95,000 BTUs. The final efficiency of a heater, however, depends on the furnace as well as the fuel.

Some propane furnaces have a higher efficiency rating than oil furnaces, which can tip the scales in favor of propane here. An oil furnace will usually have an efficiency of 87% or less, while propane furnaces may have efficiency levels as high as 98%. Propane-fueled water heaters are extremely efficient as well.

The overall determination here comes down to the exact installation that you’re working with. Contact Griffith Energy Services to learn more about how propane works and its overall efficiency levels for heating or whole home use.

What Is the Environmentally Friendly Option?

Propane is considered a clean fuel. It doesn’t produce a significant amount of carbon dioxide when burned, which makes it a greener choice than heating oil. Overall, propane releases about 24% less CO2 than heating oil. If you’re interested in protecting the environment, propane is a better option.

Which Option Is Safest?

Oil is generally considered the safer option in comparison with propane. Oil is not combustible like propane. As a liquid, rather than a gas, it’s easier to detect and manage.

You can install an oil furnace in the basement safely because there’s very little chance of the oil igniting even if there’s a leak. However, a propane tank must be placed outside, a safe distance from the home. If there’s a propane leak, the gas could ignite from even a small spark. The propane furnace itself can be installed as a central heating unit or a wall-mounted system.

What Is the Most Affordable Product?

Heating oil prices fluctuate based on a number of outside factors. Since this product comes from crude oil, it is dependent somewhat on the demand for gasoline. After a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, the demand for gasoline may soar. This will prompt refineries to produce more gasoline and less heating oil. The price of heating oil will then increase as a result.

Propane may be priced higher or lower than heating oil depending on the area, producer, and time of year. It’s generally cheaper to buy in the warm-weather months when there’s less demand for heating fuels. To get an accurate assessment of the cost difference, you would need to research prices in your area. You can call Griffith Energy Services to learn more about pricing for heating oil and propane.

What Maintenance Is Required?

Propane burns more cleanly than heating oil, and so requires less maintenance. An oil furnace must vent soot and fumes through a chimney flue, while a propane furnace uses simple sidewall vents for its fumes. There is more cleaning involved in the maintenance of an oil furnace, and this system will experience more wear over time as a result. With either system, you should schedule an annual maintenance visit for the best performance. Call Griffith Energy services to book your tuneup.

If you’re interested in learning more about propane and oil furnaces, contact Griffith Energy Services at 888-474-3391. We offer heater installation, repair, and maintenance services as well as oil and fuel delivery to help you keep your Baltimore home warm throughout the cold weather season.

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