Who uses propane water heaters?
Typically, the LP gas water heater is the primary choice of a household outside the natural gas service areas. As technology advances, the propane water heaters are also made superior in design and technology than the past. According to US EIA (Energy Information Administration) Residential Energy Consumption Survey, there are more than 3 million homes who use propane water heaters in the country.
Advantages of Using Propane
Savings and Efficiency. Using propane in water heating system is proven to be more cost-effective and more energy-efficient than electric. Using propane in your water heating system will result a significance savings for household owners. It is reported that a standard liquid propane gas can heat about 40 to 100 gallons of water. So, the long-term savings is enjoyed in propane water heaters.
Environment Friendly. Using propane means you are saving our environment using greener and cleaner fuel.
How does it work?
- For Tank Type Propane Water Heaters – Like conventional water heater, it also requires plumbing connections, pipe and fittings. The plumbing work this time will be for both, the water and the gas. It uses a tank to hold the heated water. The propane burner will heat the water in the bottom of the tank before it is used. A thermostat is used to control the temperature.
The drawbacks of this water heating system is what they call a standby heat loss. It means, you are using energy by heating the whole tank in the temperature you set. For instance, if you and your family is away for a week end and the thermostat is set to 140 degrees, the water in the standard tank will be constantly heating until it is used. So, it means you have used up energy even if the water is not in use. However, since you are using propane gas, it is still cost effective compare to electricity.
- For Tankless Propane Water Heaters – Since using propane gas is more efficient, there are several people who chose to use tankless propane. Tankless water heater is more energy-efficient than the storage-tank type water heater. Tankless uses gas only during the demand. It means there is no standby loss. So, you can save more gas during the time it is not used.
This system has a burning coil that is heated by propane fired burner. When you open your tap, the water enter the tankless unit and travel to burning coil and deliver it to your tap. It has different parts that consist of heat-exchanger, burner and water inlet/outlet. These parts are working as a team with different task and function. It is said that the typical tankless water heater is capable to heat six gallons of water every minute.
Advantage of Propane vs. Electric
- Energy savings. According to Energy Savings Calculator, propane gas water heaters cost approximately $25 less per month to operate than electric. With the average life span of water heater, (10 years) you can save between $3,000 and 4,000 compared to the electric unit.
- Quicker recovery rate. Its recovery rate is nearly twice as fast as electric water heaters. That means a homeowner can get more hot water from the smaller size tank.
- Heating capacity. Propane gas water heaters heat more than twice as much water in an hour as compare to an electric model.