Propane Vs. Electric Appliances
Written on: January 9, 2023
As a trusted home energy partner in Delaware, we often speak to people trying to decide between electric and propane products in their homes. It can be confusing to decide which appliances to go with. But Delaware Propane can help. Here are answers to homeowners’ questions about propane and electric appliances.
Is electricity or propane more dependable?
Pretty much across the board, propane is more reliable. When your home’s heating, hot water and major appliances all depend on the electric grid, you’ll be in a rough spot if there’s a power outage. When the U.S. Energy Information Administration recently studied how long Americans suffer through power outages, they found the highest number of outage hours since they started tracking data!
Higher demand, deteriorating infrastructure and extreme weather add up to a less reliable power grid. But propane is home energy that you control. You have a dedicated tank of fuel on your property. Plus, propane generators offer reliable backup power when the grid fails.
How do you compare electricity and propane prices?
For many homeowners, price is the crucial factor determining which energy source to use. But it can be challenging to compare electricity, which is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and propane, which is measured in gallons.
One important calculation to remember is that 27 kWh of electricity produces about the same amount of energy as one gallon of propane.
Take the price per kWh on your next electric bill. Multiply it by 27, which is equivalent to one gallon of propane. Compare that number to the cost of propane in your region. Of course, you also need to account for the relative efficiency of propane appliances and their electric counterparts.
Propane vs. electric heating
Propane heating systems boast fuel efficiencies of up to 98 percent and outperform electric heat pumps in achieving consistently warm interior temperatures. The reason is propane’s robust heat generation. A propane furnace will reliably heat air to 140 degrees no matter how cold it is outside! Conversely, electric heat pumps often struggle to make rooms cozy when outside temperatures drop below freezing.
Propane vs. electric water heaters
That same robust propane flame can do wonders for heating water. Propane water heaters produce twice as much hot water as electric units in the same period. Tankless propane water heaters deliver a virtually unlimited amount of hot water!
Propane-fired hot water systems are also significantly less expensive to operate because they use up to 30 percent less energy than electric models. The Propane Education & Research Council compared electric and propane water heaters and found that households using the propane product could save over $350 annually!
Propane vs. electric clothes drying and cooking
Propane and electricity both power many home appliances, but propane models generally have the edge in performance and efficiency. Propane-fired clothes dryers work 25 percent faster than electric dryers. They also produce fewer wrinkles and less static cling. And gas-fired ranges and ovens offer far better temperature control than electric cooking appliances.