5 reasons to switch from an oil to propane furnace
May 18, 2022
Many of us are feeling our household budgets stretch, with prices rising for everything from milk to real estate. One way to save long term is by looking at your appliances, which can have a big impact on your energy bills. For example, switching from an oil to propane furnace can mean significant savings for your family.
Here are just some of the benefits to consider:
1. Converting from oil to propane is easy
While it may sound complex, switching to a propane furnace is easier than you think. The first step is scheduling a site visit with a Superior Propane Certified Partner to review your current heating system and determine what furnace is right for your needs.
Once you have signed off on the estimate, a new energy-efficient furnace or boiler is installed and hooked up to your existing ductwork and electrical system. Gas lines are then connected to any appliance that runs on propane, like your water heater, range, dishwasher, and washer and dryer. There's no need to call hydro or get special permits as our team of Certified Partners takes care of it all.
It’s important to keep in mind that updating or retrofitting your existing oil furnace isn’t recommended for a few reasons. The first is financial — to meet the requirements of most insurance companies, you would need to spend thousands on the oil-furnace plus hundreds on annual maintenance. Spending a significant amount on old equipment when you can spend a bit more for a new, high-efficiency propane system is a smarter investment.
The second is environmental. Appliances and furnaces that run on propane deliver more efficient heating. If you opt for a high-efficiency propane furnace, you can achieve between 93 to 97% efficiency, while older oil furnaces perform at 60 to 80% efficiency. This means a propane furnace provides more heat in your home for the same amount of power.
2. Long-term savings on utility bills and maintenance
Heating with propane is inexpensive, especially compared to other fuel sources. While the cost of a propane furnace varies by province and manufacturer, you can maximize your utility-bill savings by looking for a high-efficiency model, which can help you save $500 or more1 a year. Because propane is more efficient than oil, you’re looking at 30 to 40% savings on fuel.
Clean-burning propane furnaces require substantially less maintenance annually than an oil furnace because there is no accumulation of soot or carbon inside of a propane furnace. You can expect to pay about half the maintenance costs of an oil furnace, which requires more cleaning and changing the nozzle, filter and air filter every year.
If you’re worried that buying a propane furnace is a big upfront investment, don’t be. Compared to other heating systems, you can recoup your money in about 1.2 years with a propane furnace — or earlier if you take advantage of Superior Propane’s Switch Off Oil offer.
3. Safer for the environment and your family
With many of us becoming more concerned about the environment, it’s key to do every small thing we can to make a difference. Propane is a cleaner fuel source that produces fewer emissions than oil. Specifically, propane’s greenhouse gas emissions are 38% lower than heating oil.
Another environmental consideration is the potential for oil spills. The impact of a home heating oil spill can be devastating on nature, seeping into the soil and causing damage that can require extensive soil remediation. With propane, you can eliminate this risk. A propane spill is very rare, but if it does happen the propane is released into the air and dissipates harmlessly.
The indoor air quality in your home is also improved with propane. Whether you have space heating, forced air heat or a boiler, heating with propane creates a healthier indoor environment and more comfortable heat.
4. A great way to save on insurance premiums
Another benefit of propane being safe for the environment or property in the rare event of a release is that using it can reduce your insurance costs. Most homeowner policies don’t include coverage for an oil spill, so you’d need to purchase separate liability insurance to make sure you’re protected. Without proper insurance, the cost of cleaning up an oil spill — which ranges from $250,000 to $500,000 or more — can fall completely on you.
To prevent any costly accidents, insurance companies are increasingly requiring that homeowners and businesses change their furnaces to something safer than oil. Fortunately, some insurance companies are providing financial incentives for customers to make the switch, and you could be eligible to save up to 5% on your policy if you do.
5. Versatile fuel source for powering everything in your home
If you’re using oil, you’re probably just using it for heating and hot water. But by switching to propane, you can power your heating, hot water, fireplace, stove, dryer, barbecue and emergency generator, as well as outdoor living appliances like a firepit or patio heater. This means fewer bills and one provider to deal with.
What’s more, thanks to convenient programs from Superior, you never have to worry about running out of fuel. Our residential No-Run-Out Guarantee† program and SMART* Tank wireless monitoring sensor notifies us when it’s time for a refill.
Powering up with propane
It's time to make the switch to lower heating bills and a more comfortable home. Contact us to learn more and start the process of updating your oil tank and furnace to propane.
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1$500 annual savings is an estimate based on average propane and furnace oil prices in select markets switching from a 74% or lower efficiency oil furnace to a 93% or higher propane furnace.
†No-Run-Out Program Terms and Conditions:
All Superior Propane’s SMART Tank bulk delivery residential customers enrolled in Superior Propane’s automatic delivery program are eligible for The No-Run-Out Guarantee Program (the “Program”) except for Customers (i) who rent only a single 420 lb. Cylinder or 123 USWG tank; (ii) with premises on water access or seasonal road access; and (iii) with tanks or cylinders that are attached to standby generators. If (i) the customer replaces Superior Propane’s SMART Tank(s) with other equipment; (ii) the customer fails to pay for propane within the agreed upon payment period and the customer’s account is no longer in good standing; (iii) delivery of propane by Superior Propane is prevented by a force majeure event including but not limited to the act of God, strike, flood, fire, inclement weather, embargo, insurrection, unavoidable accident, shortage of labour or material, government decree or any other cause reasonably beyond its control including, but not limited to, shortage of propane, then the Program shall immediately become null and void and of no effect as if the Program had never taken place. In the event of shortages resulting from a force majeure event, Superior Propane reserves the right to allocate supply as it deems necessary, in its sole discretion, amongst its customers, itself and its subsidiaries, or; if actions taken by the customer are determined by Superior Propane, in its sole discretion, to have been the cause of or substantially contributed to the propane run out situation. The Program has no predetermined termination date and will continue until such time that Superior Propane may, without notice, terminate the Program.