Piping Hot Water with Propane

Unless you’re a fan of year-round camping and rustic living, most of us are thankful for the convenience of hot water on command via the simple turn of the faucet. This 24-7, year-round availability is especially important in our modern households where the need for hot water on demand directly correlates with your family’s individual needs for heated water used in cooking, laundry, showers and bathing. All of those needs for heated water can quickly add up, making hot water the second-largest single use of energy in the home, so it’s important to have an efficient and reliable source of water heating for your home.

According to the Propane Education & Research Council, propane can be an efficient way to heat water storage heaters and tankless water heaters when compared with the costs of electric storage water heaters. Currently 12.6 million households in the United States use propane for their heating needs. Propane is also known as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas or LPG, and can be used for heating needs in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

When considering the best option for your home’s water heating solution it’s important to take into account the water heater’s Energy Factor. An Energy Factor number with a higher number translates into the efficiency of the heater, accounting for heat losses within the heater and its piping as well as the ability of the heater to transfer heat to the water in the tank.

Propane has an Energy Factor between .5 and .65. An electric heater has an Energy Factor that is closer to .9. Although the Energy Factor cost does not include the cost of fuel or electricity, it’s a good first step when comparing energy costs. After considering the Energy Factor, next look at the Recovery Efficiency. This is the ability of the heater to warm water quickly when heat is applied. According to the Propane Education & Research Council, a water heater fueled by propane can be more efficient than an electric water heater. Other considerations can include Standby Loss, the percentage of heat that is lost per hour of water stored in the tank and Cycling Loss, how much heat is lost when the water circulates in the unit.

Another advantage of propane is that it offers a continuous source of heat when electricity can fail in times of power outages caused by natural disasters and storms. We realize that the installation of a water heating source is a big decision for many homeowners so once you do the research, take a moment to chat online with one of the Fuel Specialists at Quarles or call 1-800-201-HEAT. One of our qualified Fuel Specialists can answer all your questions about the use of propane before the prime season for heating oil in Virginia begins in October.

There’s no reason to get caught in the cold. Contact Quarles, a provider of quality heat and oil services in Virginia and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. We’ve proudly supplied heating oil services in Virginia since we were a one-truck operation back in 1940.