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Compare Space Heating Systems

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Comparing propane heating with electric or heating oil systems? Get the facts with our research on efficiency, cost, energy use, and carbon emissions.

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 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 Partnersused 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 results

The study established that in most cases, systems incorporatinghigh-efficiency propane furnaces cost less to purchase and installthan comparable heating systems running on heating oil or electricity. Further, the propane furnaces operated at energy costs that were competitive with other systems, making thema better overall valuein 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 three ways to review the results of the study. Use the interactive Energy Calculator tool below to estimate annual energy costs and carbon emissions for space and water heating systems in your geographic area.

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Or use the links below to download the fact sheet or full study.

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