Are Commercial Propane Systems Better Than Electric?

Written By: on December 4, 2023

Comparing performance, efficiency, affordability and eco-friendliness.

commercial propane Flagstaff, az Many things go into ensuring profitability for your commercial venture, and a significant responsibility of any business owner is keeping costs down without sacrificing safety or productivity. At Superior Propane, we appreciate that energy costs can affect your bottom line considerably.

Business owners in Williams, Flagstaff, Sedona, Prescott and surrounding areas are always looking for dependable energy that’s safe and cost-effective. They often ask us if propane or electric equipment is best for their workplaces. Let’s compare commercial propane and electric systems.

Commercial Furnaces: Propane vs. Electric

If you want to supply heated air to individual spaces in your commercial property, you might be choosing between a propane furnace or a heat pump system. Both systems have zoned heating capabilities with individual self-contained units, but the propane system is generally more efficient and effective. Commercial propane furnaces have heating capacities from 44,000 up to more than 1 million Btu/hour. They boast fuel efficiency levels as high as 98.5%. Heat pump systems struggle to produce that level of comfort that efficiently.

And propane has a carbon intensity score (how much carbon dioxide is generated to produce a given amount of energy) that’s more than 40% lower than Arizona grid electricity, which relies heavily on coal and natural gas for generation.

Commercial Water Heaters: Propane vs. Electric

When comparing traditional storage tank water heaters, you’ll find that new, properly-sized propane units can typically heat twice as much water per hour than comparable electric units. Commercial propane water heaters have capacities of 100 gallons or more, plus the ability to heat water to 180 degrees Fahrenheit!
Tankless propane water heaters offer even better efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy says they can be up to 34% more efficient than storage-tank products. Tankless water heaters are smart investments with a lifespan often exceeding two decades.

Commercial Cooking: Propane vs. Electric

Over 90% of professional chefs prefer gas cooktops, ranges and ovens over electric alternatives — and with good reason. These products offer instant, powerful heat that you can adjust to exactly the right temperature. Propane-powered fryers, griddles, steam cookers and other commercial kitchen products can save you money with Energy Star-rated efficiency.

Commercial Dryers: Propane vs. Electric

Propane-powered commercial clothes dryers can have burner capacities ranging from 18,000 to over 550,000 Btu/hour. They generally boast much shorter drying times than equivalent electric units. Many commercial propane dryers also have perforated drums to create more balanced airflow and air recirculation to save you money on energy use.

Forklifts: Propane vs. Electric

So many worksites, manufacturers, distribution centers and other commercial projects depend on a reliable indoor and outdoor forklift fleet. Propane forklifts offer functionality and adaptability you won’t find with electric forklifts.

While both propane and electric forklifts can work indoors safely, electric models can become damaged in rainy outdoor conditions. Propane vehicles keep rolling in the rain without problems. Electric forklifts also tend to lose power as their battery is depleted. There’s no “fade” with propane, though. Your forklift keeps going at 100% capacity until the last drop of fuel.

And while you might lose hours waiting for an electric forklift to recharge, all you need to do is exchange an empty propane forklift cylinder for a full one, and you’ll be back to work right away.

Superior Propane is Your Commercial Propane Supplier.

Whatever commercial propane systems or equipment your business uses, the Superior Propane team has the skills, experience and dedication to keep it running. We offer commercial-grade propane tanks, a customized bulk propane delivery schedule and plenty of other fueling solutions.

Reach out to us today to discuss your commercial propane needs. We’re ready to create your tailor-made fuel plan.