Comparative Heating Systems Study
A new, independent research study finds that systems incorporating high-efficiency propane furnaces cost less to purchase and have competitive energy costs in many scenarios.
The 2013 study
Space heating and cooling accounts for about half of the energy use in most American homes. Energy costs associated with heating and cooling systems can vary widely, as can equipment efficiency and installation costs. But choosing the right system requires consideration of many complex factors, including the cost of equipment, system performance, service life, and impact on the environment.
Independent research firm Newport Partners used building energy modeling to compare 15 different heating systems using propane, electricity, or heating oil in new and existing homes in 20 locations across the United States.
The study established that in most cases, systems incorporating high-efficiency propane furnaces cost less to purchase and install than comparable heating systems running on heating oil or electricity. Further, the propane furnaces operated at energy costs that were competitive with other systems, making them a better overall value in many cases than systems known for their energy savings, such as ground source heat pumps (GSHPs). Propane furnaces also have the measurable environmental benefit of lower carbon emissions from system operation than many other alternatives.
See for yourself
There are two ways to review the results of the study.
Download and view the fact sheet, which provides a top-level summary of the study's key findings.
Download the full study. This includes comparisons of all heating systems considered by the study, in all climate zones.