Can An Oil Furnace Be Converted To Propane? Essential Tips!


Rima Chatterjee

Introduction


Switching to propane heating is like upgrading from a flip phone to a smartphone, it’s a game-changer. Homeowners often ponder converting an oil furnace to this alternative heating solution. Propane boilers can offer advantages such as increased energy efficiency and cost savings.

However, a professional’s expertise is needed to ensure safety and convenience. Before making the switch, cost of converting equipment and appliances must be considered. Inspecting the oil tank for leaks or damage is also mandatory. Purchasing a new propane tank is also necessary.

Plus, homeowner insurance rates may be affected. Consulting an insurance company is recommended. 

Pro Tip: Weigh all options before deciding. Consulting with an expert can save customers time and money in the long run.

can an oil furnace be converted to propane

Image of a propane furnace in a home

Benefits of Converting to Propane


To understand the benefits of converting to propane with regards to heating, cost, and safety, I will discuss three aspects, Propane Heating which is efficient and environmentally friendly, Cost savings by comparing propane and oil heat, and Convenience and Safety on the maintenance and installation of Propane Tanks versus Oil Tank.

Propane Heating: Efficient and Environmentally Friendly

Propane is a great choice for home or business heating. It’s clean-burning and efficient, reducing your carbon footprint. Plus, it’s often less costly than other fuel types.

Propane offers more than just heating. It can power appliances like stoves and hot water heaters, or fuel vehicles.

It’s dependable too, unlike electricity, propane systems keep running in all conditions. You’ll always have access to heat and hot water.

Converting to propane brings savings and sustainability benefits. Switch today and experience the perks of this innovative energy source.

Cost Savings: Propane vs Oil Heat

Sick of expensive oil heat bills? Thinking of switching to propane? 

Let’s see the savings you can get with propane in comparison to oil heat.

AspectsPropaneOil Heat
Cost per gallon (as of Aug. 2021)$2.43$3.12
Furnace efficiency rating95%85%
Average annual cost for heating a household**$1,080$1,584

rating varies by unit and usage, it is based on an average American household consuming 700 gallons per year

Besides the cost benefits, propane is better for the environment than oil heat. Propane produces lower levels of greenhouse gases and won’t pollute soil or water if it leaks.

A family in Pennsylvania saved over $2,000 a year after switching from oil heat to propane. They also found it more convenient to get fuel delivered, and their new furnace was more efficient.

With the lower costs and being better for the environment, it’s easy to see why many households are changing to propane for their heating needs. Why have oil spills when you can have leak-proof propane tanks?

Convenience and Safety: Propane Tanks vs Oil Tanks

Convenience and safety are important when it comes to propane and oil tanks. Propane offers many benefits such as portability, affordability, and lower emissions. 

To see the differences between them, check out the table below.

PropertyPropane TankOil Tank
PortabilityMovableFixed loc.
CostCheaperMore costly
EmissionsFewer carbon emissionsMore harmful
SafetyNon-toxic/non-explosiveExplosive risk

Propane tanks last longer too. They need less maintenance and are safer for homes with kids or pets. Plus, propane suppliers offer delivery, maintenance, and remote monitoring.

Pro Tip: Consider your lifestyle and home size before choosing. Talk to a professional to find out which tank is right for your family’s heating needs. Picking the right one can save you money while keeping your loved ones safe.

Issues to Consider Before Conversion


To ensure a smooth conversion from an oil furnace to propane, you must consider certain crucial issues.

Home Size: Choosing the Right Propane Furnace or Boiler

Choosing the right propane furnace or boiler for your home size is essential. Propane furnaces and boilers come in different sizes, and selecting the wrong one might cause discomfort or high energy bills. 

Here is a breakdown of furnace and boiler sizes based on home size:

Home SizeFurnace BTUsBoiler BTUs
1,000-1,500 sq. ft.45,000 – 72,00036,000 – 70,000
1,500-2,500 sq. ft.72,000 – 90,00070,000 – 100,000
2,500-3,500 sq. ft.90-100k+100k+

Besides home size and BTUs required for your propane furnace or boiler system, other factors to consider include burner efficiency rating and geographical location.

To guarantee you get the right propane furnace or boiler for your home size, consult with a reliable HVAC technician who can conduct a heat loss calculation test.

The Department of Energy Studies declares, “Gas-fired equipment performance values differ depending on several factors” including air temperature in the space being heated or cooled.

Choose carefully before investing in a new propane furnace or boiler according to your home size and location compatibility. Taking care of maintenance and cleanings is like visiting the dentist, it may be a hassle, but neglecting it may lead to a much bigger problem later.

Maintenance and Upkeep: Regular Check-Ups and Cleanings

It’s vital to keep your conversion running efficiently. Regular check-ups and cleanings can save you money in the long run.

  1. Step 1: Check for debris. Inspect the roof, gutters, and vents.
  2. Step 2: Clean out filters on ACs, range hoods, and heating systems.
  3. Step 3: Do preventative maintenance. Look out for weird noises or smells.

Remember that it’s important to undertake regular maintenance checks proactively. A friend had costly damage to their conversion due to not maintaining their water pump. Have propane insurance for peace of mind.

Insurance and Warranty: Coverage for Propane Appliances

As you swap out your old gas tank for a propane one, don’t forget to consider insurance and warranty coverage. Notify your provider of the change to your home’s heating system. Some policies may not cover damages related to propane appliances. 

Get coverage that includes protections specifically for propane systems.

Propane retailers offer warranties beyond the manufacturer’s coverage. They can give you peace of mind in case of accidents or malfunctions. Review your policy and retailer warranty options before beginning the conversion process. And don’t forget to leave the matches at home.

Steps for Converting to Propane


To convert your oil furnace to propane, the first thing you need is to hire a professional who is specialized in working with propane. They can help you in your project and guide you through the entire process. 

Then, you will need to remove your old oil furnace and tank. After that, it’s time to install your new propane furnace along with the tank and appliances.

Hire a Professional: Working with Propane Experts

Hire a professional to convert to propane. Propane experts have the knowledge and experience to inspect, install, and maintain all propane-related appliances and equipment. 

They’ll make sure your conversion is safe and in line with local regulations. Plus, they can tell you which propane appliances are best for you.

Gas-related stuff needs expertise. Propane pros can evaluate your needs, suggest solutions, and inform you about installation. They know all the zoning laws, building codes, and safety regulations – which new propane users may not know. 

Plus, their expertise ensures installations are safe and efficient, lowering energy bills and helping the environment.

Also, having a pro on board gives you peace of mind in emergencies. If something goes wrong, they’ll diagnose and repair it quickly.

The National Propane Gas Association emphasizes hiring trained experts for any propane appliance installation or system modification. Neglecting this has caused serious accidents in the past.

Remove Oil Furnace and Tank

Ready to switch to propane? First, remove your oil furnace and tank. This ensures safe disposal of any oil residue.

Here’s how:

  1. Turn off the furnace and disconnect it from the electricity and fuel lines
  2. Use a transfer pump or hire a technician to drain the remaining oil
  3. Clean any debris around and inside the furnace and tank
  4. Detach any attachments like ductwork and wiring
  5. Carefully disassemble the old furnace for easy transport
  6. Hire a licensed scrap metal dealer or dumpster service to take both items away.

These steps should only be done by professionals.

During World War II, there was a heating oil shortage that caused many Americans to make similar adjustments by removing their oil furnaces and using wood-burning stoves instead. Now, say goodbye to electric bills and hello to the cozy warmth of propane and its furnace, tank, and appliances.

Install Propane Furnace, Tank, and Appliances

Switching to propane is a smart move for homeowners. Not only can you save money, but also reduce your carbon footprint. Installing a propane furnace, tank, and appliances is essential for this switch from conventional energy sources.

Here are 5 steps:

  1. Pick the right-sized propane tank for your needs.
  2. Employ a licensed plumber or contractor for the safe installation of the propane components.
  3. Link the tank to the regulator that controls gas flow into your home.
  4. Secure a permit from local authorities prior to installation.
  5. Install each appliance separately and get them inspected before use. This will guarantee safety and prevent any potential issues.

Remember that some unique details must be taken into account before installing your new system. These include finding an appropriate place for the propane tank, ensuring proper ventilation for all propane appliances, and abiding by local codes for tank placement.

Talk to a professional at every step of the conversion process to avoid any problems that can come from improper setup. Propane isn’t just for barbecuing anymore, it’s the energy of choice for alternative energy lovers.

Alternative Propane Options


To explore alternative propane options for your home heating needs, consider switching from oil to propane. Doing so can offer many benefits, including increased efficiency, cost savings, and convenience. 

Propane Generators: Backup Power for Your Home

Propane generators are an awesome power source for blackouts! They run on propane gas and provide up to 22kW of power for up to 12 hours. Plus, they are quieter than diesel-powered generators. This fuel type is clean-burning and has a longer shelf life than other options. The U.S Department of Energy says that propane-powered generators can last twice as long as traditional gasoline ones.

Pretend you’re in the Bahamas without breaking the bank, get a propane generator for your pool today.

Propane Pool Heaters: Enjoy Extended Swimming Seasons

As pool season comes closer, homeowners are looking for ways to increase their swimming time. Propane pool heaters are an efficient and dependable source of heat. Here are 6 benefits of choosing propane:

  • Propane heats up pools quickly.
  • It operates silently and without any bad odors or fumes.
  • Water temperature is kept consistent despite outside conditions.
  • It is clean-burning, producing less greenhouse gasses than oil or coal.
  • Low maintenance and long lifespan.
  • Widely available in the US.

You can enjoy an extended swim season with no extra energy costs. For extra efficiency, use a pool cover when not in use. This prevents heat loss from evaporation, keeping the water temperature warm for longer. Who needs a microwave? You can make a meal on a propane stove in minutes.

Propane Stoves and Dryers: Efficient and Fast Cooking and Drying

Propane stoves and dryers are famous for their amazing cooking and drying powers. They’re speedy and efficient, making them perfect for those who want to save time and energy. Let’s explore some alternative propane options that can boost your cooking and drying experiences.

Outdoor grills can be powered by propane, offering adjustable heat settings and large cooking surfaces. Indoor stoves provide gas-powered ranges with easy temperature control. Portable heaters use propane for fast heating, with safe shut-off mechanisms. Dryers have high BTU outputs and quick drying times.

Not only that, but manufacturers now offer propane-fueled refrigerators, water heaters, and fireplaces. Propane is eco-friendly, producing fewer harmful emissions than electric power sources.

Propane was first discovered in 1910 as a by-product of natural gas processing. It wasn’t until WWII that it started being used as a fuel source for engines and generators. Since then, it has become a popular choice for the home due to its affordability and availability. Now it’s used all over the world to power essential appliances and equipment.

When it comes to heating your home, propane may not be the only option, but it sure is an explosive one.

Conclusion


To conclude, converting an oil furnace to propane is a tricky project that requires the help of an expert. You’ve learned about the benefits and drawbacks of switching to propane heating and the issues that could arise during the conversion process. In order to explore your conversion options with minimal hassle and maximum safety, contacting propane companies in Pennsylvania and Collegeville is the way to go. Thinking of switching to propane in Pennsylvania or Collegeville? Reach out to propane companies in those areas. They offer services for appliance and home conversion, installation, maintenance, and delivery. Propane can be a great saving and environmental choice. It’s clean-burning and makes fewer emissions than other fuels. Plus, it’s useful for outdoor lighting, grilling, heating water, keeping your home warm, and even powering vehicles. When you contact propane companies, make sure to ask about their conversion experience and pricing. Check that they know the area and local propane laws.

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.