Comprehensive Guide: How to Change Heat from Electric to Propane

Changing your home’s heating system from electric to propane can lead to significant cost savings and improved performance. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process, from determining the right propane tank size to hiring a professional contractor for a safe and efficient installation.

Assessing Your Heating Needs

Before embarking on the conversion process, it’s crucial to evaluate your home’s heating requirements. The size of the propane tank you’ll need will depend on the square footage of your home and the number of appliances you plan to run on propane.

Calculating Propane Tank Size

The size of the propane tank required for your home can be determined by the following formula:

Propane Tank Size (in gallons) = (Heating Load × 1.25) / Propane Consumption Rate

– Heating Load (in BTU/hr) = The total BTU output required to heat your home
– Propane Consumption Rate (in BTU/hr per gallon) = The rate at which your propane furnace or boiler consumes propane

As a general guideline, a 500-gallon propane tank is suitable for a 2,000-square-foot home, while a 1,000-gallon tank is recommended for a 4,000-square-foot home. However, these are just estimates, and a professional technician should evaluate your specific needs to determine the appropriate tank size.

Upgrading Appliances

how to change heat from electic to propane

When converting from electric to propane, it’s an opportune time to consider upgrading other appliances in your home to run on propane as well. This can lead to additional efficiency and performance gains.

Propane-Powered Appliances

Some common household appliances that can be converted to run on propane include:

Appliance Potential Benefits
Oven/Stove Faster heating, more precise temperature control
Clothes Dryer Faster drying times, lower energy costs
Water Heater Faster recovery times, more consistent hot water supply
Outdoor Grill Reliable, consistent heat for better grilling results

Upgrading these appliances to propane can provide a more integrated and efficient home energy system, further enhancing the benefits of your heating system conversion.

Installing the Propane System

The actual conversion process should be handled by experienced professionals to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations. Here’s a step-by-step overview of the installation process:

  1. Propane Tank Installation: A licensed and insured propane supplier will deliver and install the appropriate-sized propane tank, either above or below ground, depending on your local requirements and preferences.

  2. Propane Furnace Installation: A licensed HVAC contractor will remove your existing electric furnace or baseboard heating system and install the new propane furnace. This may involve modifying ductwork or making other necessary adjustments to your home’s heating infrastructure.

  3. Propane Line Installation: The contractor will run a dedicated propane line from the tank to the furnace, ensuring proper ventilation and adherence to safety codes.

  4. System Commissioning: Once the installation is complete, the contractor will perform a thorough inspection, test the system, and provide you with detailed instructions on the proper operation and maintenance of your new propane heating system.

It’s important to note that the conversion process may require permits and inspections from local authorities, so be sure to check with your municipal or county offices before beginning the project.

Timing the Conversion

The best time to convert your home’s heating system from electric to propane is typically during the summer months when propane prices are at their lowest and suppliers are less busy. Attempting the conversion during the winter can result in higher costs and longer wait times for installation and refills.


Changing your home’s heating system from electric to propane can provide significant benefits, including improved performance, cost savings, and a more integrated home energy system. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide and working with experienced professionals, you can ensure a safe and efficient conversion process that will serve your home for years to come.


  1. How to Convert Your Home to Propane Heat
  2. Converting from Electric Heat to Liquid Propane Gas
  3. Converting Electric Furnace to Propane Furnace
  4. Is It Easy to Convert Electric Heat to Propane?
  5. Converting to Propane Power