Propane vs. Heating Oil: Comparing Home Heating Fuels

Written By: on October 24, 2022

Choosing the Best Fuel for Your Home

propane or heating oil arizona Many customers come to us because they don’t live in an area with an easy natural gas connection. If you’re building a home in a private corner of northern Arizona, you likely want to have an onsite fuel storage tank. That can leave two viable options: heating oil and propane.

While both home fuels have benefits and drawbacks, we believe propane is the better option. It’s energy-efficient, versatile and American-made. Let’s look at heating oil and propane and see how they compare on a few key metrics:

Propane’s Adaptability

When choosing a fuel source, many people only think about heating, but if you choose the right fuel, you can also power many day-to-day appliances, too. Compare the different products that heating oil and propane can power:

Heating Oil Propane
-Heating systems
-Water heaters
-Heating systems
-Water heaters
-Ranges and ovens
-Clothes dryers
-Space heating
-Gas fireplaces
-Pool and spa heaters

It’s no contest. If you go with heating oil, you’ll probably need to settle for inefficient electric stoves and dryers, plus miss out on some of these other amenities.

Propane’s Affordability

We know that all energy prices have been volatile this year. Neither heating oil nor propane has been immune to these market fluctuations.

For the most part, propane is less expensive than heating oil. Almost all the propane the U.S. homeowners use is produced domestically. While propane prices aren’t totally insulated from global energy market swings, they’re generally stabler than other fuels.

Propane’s Eco-Friendliness

Homeowners want to know that the fuel they use isn’t harming the planet. Let’s compare heating oil and propane emissions:

Heating Oil Propane
Heating oil is now low sulfur, reducing the sulfur oxides it emits. Propane can burn with an energy efficiency of over 90 percent.
Some heating oil incorporates biodiesel, which can lower carbon dioxide emissions. How much depends on the blend percentage. Propane has the lowest carbon emissions of any home fuel besides natural gas, but unlike natural gas, it contains no methane.
Propane contains virtually no particulate matter, a carcinogen.
Propane emits very few sulfur or nitrogen oxides, which contribute to acid rain and breathing illnesses.

Comparing Safety

Both propane and heating oil are relatively safe fuels. Propane is non-toxic and non-poisonous. It will not harm soil or water if it leaks. On the other hand, it can ignite in the event of a leak. Heating oil will not burn at all in liquid form.

Heating oil does produce more carbon monoxide when burned, and a heating oil spill can require considerable cleanup and environmental remediation. You’ll need to weigh these various concerns when choosing a fuel that’s best for your setup and situation.

Maintenance Concerns

To begin, oil-fired and propane-fired systems can heat your home and water effectively. But propane system burners experience less soot and carbon buildup than oil burners. This can lead to pricier maintenance and more cleanings for oil systems compared to propane.

We’ve found that propane has much more value to a home than heating oil. And we’re proud to have the most dependable propane delivery in the region! Contact Superior Propane, Inc. today to join our family of happy customers here in Northern Arizona.