If you've always lived in a home with natural gas or electric heat, moving into a home with propane heat may seem a little strange at first. There's a storage tank on the property, you don't get a monthly gas bill, and you're probably not as familiar with the required system maintenance. The good news is that living with propane heat is easy once you know the basics. Here are the key things you need to know when you move into a home with propane heat.
HVAC maintenance is about the same
You should have an HVAC contractor out once a year or so to look over your heating equipment, tune it up, and check it for any problems. This maintenance is about the same for a propane heat system as it is for a natural gas or electrical heating system. Your HVAC contractor may need to check a few different things when you have propane heat, but that's their business to worry about. All you really need to know is that regular maintenance is still key to preventing problems with propane heat.
You need to have the tank filled regularly
Propane tanks are fitted with gauges that tell you how much propane is left at any one time. Check this gauge regularly. Pay attention to how long it takes you to go from a full tank to a half tank. This will give you an idea of how quickly you go through propane and how often you need to call for a fill-up. Sometimes propane companies get busy and have a week or two wait time, so make sure you call well in advance of when you need the propane.
Propane heaters run hotter
You may notice that your heat doesn't seem to go on as often or run for as long now that you have propane heat. This is not your imagination. Propane burns hotter than natural gas. So, your heat does not need to be on for as long in order to warm your house to the temperature indicated on your thermostat. That being said, your heat should still not be cycling on and off every few minutes. If this is happening, your heater is doing what's known as short-cycling, which means you need to call for repairs.
Living in a home with propane heat can take a little adaptation and patience. But propane heating is perfectly feasible, and armed with the knowledge above, you will be just fine.