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Types of Propane Heaters

As consumers we are always looking for new and exciting products that are emerging on the market. When it comes to our homes and businesses we typically like to research our products and make purchases based upon that research. There is no exception in this when purchasing a new propane space heater. Considering the risks of propane coupled with the risks of space heaters, making the right decision could prove to be critical. As we know the majority of products on the market have adequate testing and approvals, but picking the best will often serve you better for years to come. Thus I have compiled a list of the best propane heaters from differing categories.

Wall Mounted (Vent Free) Propane Heaters

A wall mounted gas heater is a great resource for space heating and work really well in almost all spaces. There are various models available but the vent free version is 100% efficient! They can be purchased in various sizes to accommodate your specifics heating needs. Although they are considered a propane space heater, with the assistance of fans and open doors you can easily heat your entire home with this type of heater. The best news is they are very affordable – anywhere from $75 to $400 and you can own a brand new model. (prices varies based upon features)

Free Standing Propane Heater

A free standing space heater is very similar to the wall mounted version mentioned above, however has little bit more flexibility in terms of directional facing. This form of propane space heater is often installed with a flexible appliance gas hose that will allow you to direct heat in the appropriate place a little easier. It is affordable, 100% efficient and just as effective as a wall mounted version. The major drawback would be a slightly higher risk of fires or burns by tipping, touching or handling. Weigh this against you particular situation (toddlers, pets, etc.) and decide if a free standing space heater is best for you. Estimated cost is $70 to $250.

Propane Fireplace or Log Set

A fireplace is a perfect heat source that brings a form of entertainment to a space as well. Vent free models are 100% efficient, safe and effective at heating a space very quickly. On top of the great features mentioned they are great conversation pieces, especially on those cold winter days. A propane log set or gas fireplace is certainly more expensive than a simply space heater, but as mentioned match in efficiency and heating ability. Weigh the price, efficiency and entertainment value against the specific space placement you have in mind while making your purchase. Estimated retail cost is $350 to $1500 (varies greatly with features and manufacturer)

Portable Propane Heaters

If your idea of a propane heater is simply a portable space heater for the garage, job site or basement this is the style you may be looking for. As shown above there are various categories of portable propane space heaters t chose from. The infrared space heater is ideal for close proximity use as that is when the heat is actually felt. If you plan on heating an entire space go with the tube / salamander style space heater. Estimated cost $70 to $200.

 

Propane Furnace Pricing and Information

 

With the hundreds of technologies emerging in the forced air furnace market, it is clear many of the wonderful improvements will be utilized in the propane furnace segment as well. (propane is also known as LP gas) Typically consumers dependent on mobile fuel have two options- Fuel Oil and Propane. (less electric that is) Anyone ever dependent upon fuel oil for their homes heat source is well aware of the skyrocketing prices, inefficiencies and utter filth associated with the fuel. Propane offers an ultra efficient, clean and affordable option to heat your home. In fact if you studied a few furnace reviews you would quickly see that the major difference between a propane furnace and natural gas furnace is typically a set of orifices or minor adjustment to the gas valve. The point is if your in the market for a Goodman furnace, trane furnace, coleman furnace or Bryant furnace they all have options for propane customers. In fact most every gas furnace manufacturer offers a solution for simple propane furnace conversion. So before you decide on a manufacturer first learn some of the ins and outs of a propane heat system and then do your consumer report research. If your here to simply find gas furnace prices, then follow this link Gas Furnace Sale Prices otherwise continue below to learn more about your lp gas furnace system.

LP Gas Furnace Details

propane furnace

What are some benefits to using a propane furnace? To begin efficiency is a huge advantage. Fuel oil furnaces are only capable of achieving low 80% efficiency ratings. Many propane gas furnaces are capable of achieving 97%! What about electric? I heard it was 100% efficient. Absolutely not! Consider the process in which electricity is produced, distributed and used. You actually think a massive energy plant billowing miles of smoke and heat into the air is 100% efficient? Compare your local utility rates to propane costs per lb. You may be surprised at how affordable operating a propane gas furnace may be.

 

Another great advantage to investing in a propane forced air furnace is the comfort level. With ecm electric motors and modulating gas valves your furnace can produce the minimum heat need to maintain temperatures throughout your home. In many cases (if the duct work was installed correctly) there will be as little as 1 degree temperature difference throughout your home. Imagine heating your home by incrementally lighting candles to perfectly match your homes heat loss, this is essentially what new high efficiency furnaces do. They have infinite levels of modulation or heat output!

 

Did I mention clean? Your lp furnace will heat your home with little to no awareness of propane being burned. How is this possible? With high efficiency furnaces they are designed to burn clean and at proper air to fuel ratios, all electronically controlled; thereby giving you clean, efficient and virtually unnoticed fuel consumption.

 

Are new forced air furnaces are also affordable? Yes! In fact they are often priced to match pricing on natural gas furnaces. As mentioned every forced air furnace will differ but by and large Trane furnaces, Bryant Furnaces, Goodman Furnaces and Coleman Furnaces, York furnaces….it doesn’t matter they typically will have comparable pricing among their propane and natural gas furnace models. (and/or incorporate easy fuel conversion)

 

Easy too? Yes! This is one thing you don’t want to do yourself though! Let the professional make the gas conversion. They typically convert per the manufacturers instructions and then follow up with appropriate leak testing and flue analyzer testing. This step of the process requires some pretty expensive and technical equipment better left to the pros. Not to mention the sheer potency of propane. In fact it is over twice as potent as natural gas.

 

How is a propane furnace vented? Typically a high efficiency furnace is vented with 2” or 3” pvc pipe. Often contractors install a intake and combustion pipe. As a home owner you can expect to see two small pipes emerging from somewhere on the exterior of your home. Proper planning and routing can hide this part of the project pretty well. There are pretty nice trim kits or termination kits that can help this is seamlessly blend into your homes design – just ask your contractor.

 

Does a high efficiency lp furnace require a drain? Yes, all high efficiency furnaces need a drain to get rid of condensate formed within the heat exchanger. If there is not a floor drain or other alternative drain near it is common practice to use a condensate pump. This is simply a floor mounted, small pump that will pump the condensate into  a drain. They are capable of pumping pretty far and have safety features that will alert you if they fail. (to avoid the water from endlessly dumping onto your floor)

propane furnace

Are there any other changes I need to be aware of if I choose to install a new propane furnace? This all depends upon your current installation. Is this for a new home or existing home? Will the ductwork be adequate for the new furnace? Where should I locate the new forced air furnace? Do I want to zone different parts of my home? Will I need a permit?

These are all questions your contractor can discuss and plan with you. Make a list and call around for 3 or more quotes. Also note that just because I have mentioned various manufacturers does not mean I recommend them over any other particular manufacturer. Furnace shopping is like car shopping there are many manufacturers and many models / options to choose from. The key ingredients to an efficient furnace with a lifetime of reliability is proper installation and maintenance. Although, it’s never a bad idea to compare standard warranties and extended warranties either. Typically the industry standard is 10+ years on the heat exchanger and 1-3 years on parts and labor.

 

So if you are in the market for a new home heating system and are leaning towards a forced air furnace, look no further than a lp furnace. With efficiency, cleanliness, affordability and optimal comfort, your new purchase will be appreciated for years to come. Also know that there are many websites, tools and calculators available online for you to research your big purchase, please ensure due diligence as this is one of the biggest home purchases you will ever make. Lastly, just as important as selecting the right size and model to meets your homes needs is finding the right contractor. Please visit the contact us section if you have particular questions or concerns as we will be glad to assist in anyway possible.

 

Gas Furnace Models and Terminology Explained

If you’re like most other consumers, one of your primary concerns in investing in a new forced air gas furnace is the costs associated with it. Our homepage is dedicated to giving you some general information and addresses many concerns not necessarily associated with furnace prices. This page although very condensed will give you a general idea of gas furnace prices.

To begin you must understand a “furnace price” is different than an installed price. Depending upon your geographic location and installation needs this number will vary greatly. One thing I can give you is the rough price of the furnace itself. In my experience, regardless of manufacturer the prices are within a few hundred dollars for similar models.

Obviously, there are some exceptions but as a rule if the manufacturers want to remain competitive they must price their gas furnaces competitively. Finally, keep in mind that your cost and the contractors cost are two different prices. See most dealers will not sale equipment to unlicensed customers (liability reasons) There are however many suppliers that still do. If you happen to find a dealer or supplier that will sale you a new propane furnace, you must know the price you get will likely be retail. Contractors typically receive better pricing and then markup the furnace anywhere from 15% to 50%. Below I will list the contractors pricing, with this info you can measure what kind of pricing you are receiving from you source (dealer, supplier or contractor). My pricing reflects a 80,000 btu sized furnace. Your actual costs will vary based upon the many variables as mentioned above.

high efficiency furnace
Notice the plastic vent pipe and condensate drain on this high efficiency furnace.

High Efficiency Gas Furnaces

ECM Modulting Gas Furnaces – $1900

Multi Speed Modulating Gas Furnace- $1700

This is a multi speed blower without the D/C technology but still has a fully modulating gas valve.

Single Speed Modulating Gas Furnace – $1650

Two Stage 95% Efficient Furnace – $1400

Single Stage 95% Efficient Furnace – $1200

80% Gas Furnace
Notice the steel vent and lack of condensate drain on this model.

80% Gas Furnaces

80K Btu, 80% Efficient Gas Furnace – $600

Gas Furnace Definitions

Most of these terms apply to all gas furnaces, not just a propane furnace.

What is ECM? ECM is a electronically controlled motor. Essentially it is a A/C power system that converts (or inverts more appropriately) into D/C power to operate the blower at infinite speeds. The electric saving are enormous if you require continuous blower run times (for Cooling or filtration)

What is modulating? A modulating gas valve, modulates it’s gas output to an infinite level. This is quite different than the old style forced air furnaces that were either full on or full off. Imagine a car gas pedal. Would you want to operate a vehicle full on or full off? A modulating valve allows for adjustments based on demand versus a foot to the floor continuous use.

What is Two Stage?  Two stages forced air furnaces operate into stages of heating modes. The first stage can be best described and partially on, partially firing or reduced fire rate. Think of the first stage as being only 40% of the entire furnaces output. The second stage kicks the furnace onto full operation or 100% if the first stage is unable to adequately heat the space.

What is single stage? A single stage furnace is simply a furnace that operates full on or full. They are still able to achieve high efficiency, comfortable and quite operation. They are one of the cheapest furnaces you can buy that are still considered high efficiency.