Choosing the right source of energy for your home or workplace can be a daunting task, with such a wide range of options available on the market. Two common energy sources are propane, a primary source of energy, and electricity, a secondary source that depends upon the expenditure of a different form of fuel for its creation. Both propane and electricity offer unique benefits depending on their applications.
Propane Advantages & Disadvantages
Propane is a colorless, nearly odorless by-product of natural gas and crude oil processing. As an energy source, it offers numerous advantages, including:
- Availability. Propane is an easily accessible alternative to fossil fuels and grid electricity. In fact, the U.S. produces the most propane out of any country worldwide.
- Cost-efficiency.Propane is more efficient than fossil fuels and is less expensive to use than electricity. Also, as clean energy, propane does not clog equipment, meaning fewer maintenance fees.
- Environmental friendliness.Congress classifies propane as a clean fuel because it is non-toxic, does not emit significant greenhouse gases while burning, and will not cause groundwater contamination. Its efficiency can also reduce your carbon footprint.
- Job creation.Propane extraction, processing, and distribution create thousands of jobs across the U.S.
- Reliability. For areas that have an unreliable electrical grid, propane is a safe, dependable, and widely available source of energy.
- Safer storage. Propane is compact for tank storage, making it transportable. This fuel is safer to store than gas or diesel, and it will also remain shelf-stable for four decades or more.
- Versatility.Propane powers household appliances including stoves, dryers, and water heaters. It is also a fuel source for farm and industrial equipment, public transport vehicles, and commercial fleets.
Although propane is an excellent and efficient source of clean energy, it has some disadvantages, including:
- Health issues.Store propane with care for preventing propane poisoning from direct inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning from furnaces expelling the gas if propanedoes not fully combust.
- Safety concerns.If stored or handled improperly, propane tanks can leak highly combustible gas, creating an explosion risk.
- Storage and delivery.The tanks that store propane are quite large, and so are not suitable for every property. Also, you must be aware of your fuel levels and schedule propane delivery.
Electricity Advantages & Disadvantages
For households and businesses located near an electrical grid, electricity is an appealing option. Benefits of this power source include:
- Reliability.Electrical grids maintain high standards for reliability.
- Maintenance.Outside of periodical checks on your electrical equipment, it does not require much additional maintenance. Also, your local electric company handles any issues with your power delivery.
- Efficiency.Electricity is a relatively efficient source of energy for certain equipment, such as household appliances and electronics.
Some of the disadvantages of electricity include:
- Cost.Electricity tends to cost more than propane in the long run.
- Greenhouse gas emissions.Electricity is typically derived from burning fossil fuels, which are a major contributor to atmospheric greenhouse gas.
- Heating.When it comes to heating applications, electric heat pumps are not well suited for temperatures below 30° F, having to work harder to produce warmth.
- Performance.Electricity does not provide the same quality heat as propane, especially during cold weather. Also, some electric components have shorter life spans, losing performance as they age.
- Power grid dependence.The power grid can overload or experience damage. As you depend on the power grid, you must wait for power companies to restore service.
Propane vs. Electricity Summary
When it comes to choosing between the two, propane is superior to electricity for residential as well as industrial systems. Propane is warmer, more environmentally friendly, less expensive, longer-lasting, and more dependable than electricity. Rather than paying a monthly electricity bill, you can purchase a tank of propane and tailor your usage to get the most out of highly efficient propane gas.
Expert Propane Solutions From IPS Equipment, Inc.
Since 1968, IPS has distributed, installed, constructed, and serviced commercial propane equipment and facilities across the U.S. We are committed to providing our customers with reliable propane components and outstanding service that meets and exceeds industry regulations and customer expectations.
Contact us to learn more about our family of solutions for the propane industry.