Propane is known to be more energy-efficient than natural gas. However, if you already have a natural gas furnace, you might be wondering if you can run it with propane. We have done the research to bring you the answer.
You can switch a natural gas furnace and run it on propane. However, it isn't as easy as making a quick energy switch. You can make this change by using a conversion kit. The conversion kit will help compensate for the difference in pressure between the two types of gasses. Do not use propane on a natural gas furnace without a conversion kit because it could be life-threatening.
There are benefits to switching from natural gas to propane. However, there are things to consider before making the conversion. In this article, we will discuss how to do a natural gas furnace conversion to propane. In addition, we will take a look at the benefit of burning propane vs. natural gas. Without further ado, let's get into it!
Converting A Natural Gas Furnace To Propane
If you have a natural gas furnace, can it be converted to run on propane? Yes, it can, but you will need a conversion kit to do so!
In addition, you will need some tools and extra equipment from an HVAC retailer before making the conversion. You also may need a professional or a contractor to run the equipment for you.
1. Purchase A Conversion Kit From An HVAC Retailer
The first step is to buy the proper equipment to make this change. You will need a propane conversion kit. On top of the converter, you will also need hoses and connectors.
2. Turn Off The Electric Power And Turn Off The Gas Supply To The Furnace
Before touching the furnace, make sure there is no electricity running to it. In addition, you will need to turn off the gas supply line to the furnace. Check with a professional before doing this step, or hire a contractor to help you.
3. Open Up The Natural Gas Supply Line
After turning off the electricity and gas supply, you will need to open up the line that runs into your natural gas furnace. You will need a wrench of some sort (usually pliers) to do this step.
4. Attach The Hoses And Connectors To The Furnace
Once you have opened up the gas line, attach the hoses and connectors to your natural gas furnace. These will be heavy, so you need to ensure they are safe on the floor before doing this step.
5. Move The Unit To A Safe Location
The last thing you need to do is move the unit to a safe location while it runs through its conversion process.
You will need a dehumidifier and hose, and the location should be prominently marked. It isn't recommended to do this in an enclosed space, as propane is heavier than air/natural gas.
6. Turn On The Gas Supply Line And Electricity To The Furnace
After you have moved the unit, use your wrench to turn on the gas supply line to the furnace. Turn on the electric power as well so that the propane can flow into the furnace.
7. Keep The Gas Supply Line Open And Start The Furnace
Once everything is connected and turned on, keep the gas supply line open for an hour before starting up your natural gas furnace on propane. Once you have done that, let the furnace run through its cycle.
8. Check For Gas Leaks
Once everything has been installed, checked, and the propane is flowing, check for any leaks around the hoses or connectors.
Then, turn off the gas supply line again and close up your natural gas furnace if none are found. You can now use your furnace as a propane unit!
Are natural gas and propane furnaces the same?
No, they are different products. Natural gas is fuel, while propane is a manufactured gaseous product.
They burn differently and at different pressures, so they cannot be swapped without obtaining the proper equipment and doing some extra work on your part.
Propane is fuel, while natural gas is not. Natural gas comes from the ground. Propane is made in factories.
Propane furnaces cost more to run than natural gas. However, this will only be the case if you use a non-electric heating system like propane or other fuel types. If you use electric heat (which runs off your utility power), it does not matter which type of furnace you have.
Natural gas needs to be burned at higher temperatures than propane to work well together in furnaces. Therefore, the higher the temperature that it burns, the better they will work together.
Propane furnaces are more expensive to install than natural gas ones, but running them is cheaper. They also need less maintenance. There isn't a salary difference between the two positions of installing propane or natural gas furnaces either.
Both propane and natural gas furnaces heat your home in winter by pushing out hot air. However, propane furnaces can be more consistent and push out a stronger stream of hot air, while natural gas furnaces are not as powerful.
Propane is heavier than air and needs to be circulated with a blower, while natural gas is lighter and doesn't need to be circulated with a fan.
What happens when you run a natural gas furnace on propane?
You are running the risk of ruining your furnace when you run a natural gas furnace on propane without using a conversion kit.
In addition, if you do not modify your furnace or install a blower, it can cause an explosion because of the incorrect ratio of air and pressure.
It is recommended that you use the conversion kit provided by the manufacturer of your natural gas furnace to convert to propane without these risks.
Natural gas furnaces have different electrical components in them that cannot handle the pressure of propane. As a result, the furnace will be ruined if the pressurized gas is introduced without any protection.
A conversion kit can redirect the flow inside of the tubing, preventing it from being exposed to the damaging effects of running on propane without a kit. It also ensures that you are getting an equal output of heat or fuel for your money.
Which is better, propane or natural gas?
Propane is better because it burns cleaner and more efficiently. In addition, the heat goes out faster, which makes propane furnaces run more quickly than natural gas ones. Propane also requires less maintenance time for your furnace.
You will need to think about the benefits of natural gas furnaces over propane ones. Propane furnaces are more expensive to run, but they are great for people who live in remote areas where it is challenging to get natural gas delivered to them.
They are also better if you don't want an upgrade on your appliances because propane furnaces will burn cleaner and transmit the heat in a shorter period than natural gas furnaces. They also require less maintenance than natural gas furnaces.
How much does it cost to convert natural gas to propane?
The cost of converting natural gas to propane can vary depending on the size of your furnace. It is estimated that large-scale conversions usually cost around $4,000 and even upwards of $7,000.
However, some say they have spent around $1,000-$2,000. Contact a local HVAC expert for a price quote for a better idea.
Why are natural gas heaters more expensive than propane?
Natural gas heaters are more expensive because they require a continuous supply of natural gas. In addition, natural gas is harder to get in some areas, which makes it more costly for you to access.
Natural gas furnaces also require more time and maintenance than propane ones. However, this will not be much of an issue if natural gas comes easily into your home.
It is best to compare both furnaces before you decide which one is right for you.
The benefits of each type of furnace should outweigh the costs associated with them, whether it is installation or maintenance costs. HVAC specialists can also help suggest the best furnace for your specific needs and budget.
If you want to switch your natural gas furnace to propane, then make sure you get a conversion kit. Not doing so can be life-threatening and could cause an explosion.
If you don't feel comfortable installing the conversion kit, then it is recommended to have a professional install it for these safety reasons.
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