There are a lot of ways to heat your home. According to the Department of Energy, about half of the country uses natural gas heating systems, and about one-third relies on electric heating sources. 1Propane heating represents only about 5% of heating systems, but for those who rely on it for heating air in their home, it’s an important segment! And while the market is relatively small, propane furnaces (or, LP furnaces) offer a wide selection of models. Propane furnaces can range from the most basic, single-stage 80% AFUE efficient furnace to a multi-stage, multi-speed communicating model that achieves an AFUE rating of up to 98%. That’s because major manufacturers like Carrier base their propane furnace offering on their full lineup of natural gas furnaces. LP furnaces are used as the primary heating source typically in rural areas or other locations where a natural gas distribution system is not already in place.
Propane offers some of the same qualities of natural gas – it’s considered to be clean-burning2, it actually contains more heating capacity in BTUs (British Thermal Units) per cubic foot than natural gas3, and with a professional delivery service, it provides a reliable supply of fuel. Other options in these areas include electric heat through either a heat pump system or electric furnace. These solutions are more common in southern parts of the U.S. where winters are milder and heating seasons are shorter or less severe. And, many people simply prefer the feel and comfort of gas heating due to the warmer heating output coming out of the registers.
As with any other heating and cooling system, costs for an LP furnace can vary widely depending on a number of variables. That goes both for initial installation and ongoing costs associated with operating the furnace.
Cost of forced air propane furnace
The best way to get an accurate cost estimate for a new propane furnace heating system is to contact an experienced HVAC professional who can accurately assess heating needs including sizing/heating capacity, homeowner comfort and efficiency preferences and installation costs. More information on the cost of a new furnace can be found on our dedicated furnace cost page. Generally, propane furnace pricing is a little higher than natural gas models due to the costs associated with the required conversion kits and labor. For more information on propane conversion, skip ahead to the section on Converting from Natural Gas to Propane.
Fuel Cost for LP Furnace
Fueling costs play an ongoing role for the life of the furnace. Cost of propane gas can fluctuate from region-to-region and according to supply and demand. The same goes for both natural gas and fuel oil. Propane gas systems also require a propane tank on your property and incur additional costs with delivering the gas on a regular basis. Technically, propane gas can outperform natural gas in terms of heating output per unit consumed3. However, the cost of propane gas is typically higher than natural gas and fuel oil, so if you need a propane furnace, expect your heating fuel bills to potentially increase. Selecting a high efficiency propane furnace with variable-speed blowers and two or more heating stages can help mitigate those costs with higher efficiency operation. For information on fuel costs in your area, contact your local utility companies or fuel delivery services.