A propane furnace conversion results in a more cost-effective heating system with reduced environmental impact, as reported in a study by propane company Eastern Propane. These effects are largely due to the higher efficiency of a propane furnace as compared with an oil furnace.
Propane furnaces achieve a 95 percent efficiency annual utilization fuel efficiency rating as compared to 78 percent for oil-burning furnaces, resulting in both lower operating costs and up to 4000 pounds less carbon dioxide emissions per year using a propane furnace. The typical break-even point for return on investment after installation is approximately one year. Fuel costs for propane are typically lower than that for fuel oil by an average of 20 cents per unit. While fuel oil has a higher energy content than propane, overall savings result from the combination of higher efficiency and lower cost per unit.
In addition to their efficiency advantages, propane heating systems also do not require a chimney as do fuel oil furnaces. It is instead possible to vent propane furnace exhaust gases through PVC pipes. The lack of a chimney presents an opportunity for saving money when converting a fuel oil furnace to propane, especially if the chimney used for the fuel oil furnace is in need of repair.