Propane can be an excellent fuel for heating. There are some safety concerns to be aware of, though, and depending on your needs, it might not be the best choice. There are also a few problems with propane heating which can come up that are not inherent with other methods. Still, using propane is clean, economical and warm.
1. Using propane as a heating fuel is a very clean and efficient choice. It does not produce byproducts when burned, although there can be carbon monoxide concerns. It is not an irritant and is not known to cause adverse health effects. It burns hotter than electrical heat and can heat a large area efficiently. Depending on the costs where you live, 99 times out of 100, it is going to be less expensive than electric heat.
2. It is critical that you do not store propane indoors at any time. This is particularly true if there is any open flame source such as a gas stove or water heater. Those propane cylinders can and do explode. Understand that propane gas comes from a fossil fuel source. Anytime you burn a fossil fuel, carbon monoxide is produced. It is actually created, not by burning the propane, but when the propane generates carbon dioxide and the carbon dioxide is burned.If you’re interested and want to learn more about them, visit Propane Suppliers Near Me .
3. Propane gas does not have a color or smell. Ethyl Mercaptan is a chemical added by propane suppliers which does have a strong smell, so a gas leak can be detected. This chemical smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. Propane gas is heavier than air, so when it leaks, it flows to the floor. Given these considerations, propane heaters are typically used in temporary situations – like construction sites, where there is tremendously adequate ventilation.
4. Sometimes the pilot light on a propane heater will not stay lit. This can be caused by a faulty thermocouple. The first step is to make sure it is clean, but if the problem continues, it should be replaced.
5. Another problem that occurs with propane heaters is that certain components can frost up. This is normal for the cylinder to acquire frost if it is really cold outside and you are using a lot of propane. It is important that the cylinder is set up so that vapor is drawn and not liquid. This can be the root of excessive frost. Another cause may be if your tank is too small for the amount of propane you are consuming. It is that very fast draw that is causing the frost.
6. You would think that propane and natural gas were basically the same thing. Unfortunately, they are not directly interchangeable. You often can, however, convert a heater unit from one to the other. You must contact the manufacturer to see if your unit is qualified for the change. You would then want a properly qualified service person do the change and certify the unit for the new fuel type. Make sure you get a new rating plate, or your insurance company will disown you if you ever had a fire.
7. Some alternatives to propane heating include electric radiant heating and a free-standing kerosene heater. Electric radiant heaters are a safer choice for a garage, though the fuel cost will be more. These heaters will warm you fast, but you will have cold spots wherever it is not pointed. A kerosene heater with a fan forcing air can be more economical, but it brings its own set of safety concerns.