The benefits of propane furnaces are that they can be used without a municipal gas line connection, they can be modified to use natural gas, and they can produce hotter air than a heat pump. A propane furnace can also be expected to last 20 years or more.
Propane furnaces can be used in rural areas where municipal gas lines are not available, which allows homeowners to live where they choose and still have heat. Propane furnaces connect to fuel storage tanks located in a home’s backyard and can be refilled to meet the heating needs of the household. Propane furnaces can also be converted to operate on natural gas, which offers an economical alternative in case of propane price fluctuations.
Propane burns hotter than other fuels, which results in warmer air for the home. The air heated by a propane furnace can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than the air temperatures produced by electric heat pumps. Using a propane furnace is environmentally friendly because it produces 68 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions than an equal amount of electricity needed to heat a home, reports the Propane Education and Research Council. Propane is also a clean-burning fuel, which produces fewer air pollutants than burning oil or wood for heat.
As of 2015, propane is more readily available than natural gas, but it is also more expensive. Using propane with a sealed-combustion furnace can help manage costs by preventing heated air from escaping with exhaust gases.