Propane vs. Natural Gas: Which is Cheaper?

Safety, efficiency, cost, and environmental impact are huge factors to consider when selecting a fuel for your home. Here, you’ll see the differences between propane vs. natural gas to better inform you and assist in making the best decision for you and your home.


Safety is priority and to better understand safety concerns you must first know the difference between the two fuels. While both fuels are popular sources of heat, they are considered fossil fuels, which means they are highly flammable and should be handled delicately. Propane is compressed into a liquid form, which is then delivered in propane cylinders or by a truck to a propane tank on the property. Natural gas stays in its gaseous state and is delivered by a series of pipelines.

Because of the infrastructure of natural gas lines, it may be difficult to locate and repair a leak. Unattended lines can result in accidents such as an explosion. While propane tanks can also explode, it’s less likely to happen. The effect of this is less impactful since propane is stored in a tank and not connected by wide-spread gas lines. Thus, making propane a safer heating fuel.


In this day and time, we all search for the best deals and want to get the most bang for our buck. With that being said, the initial price of propane is usually more expensive than natural gas. However, one cubic foot of propane is 2,516 British Thermal Units (or BTUs), while one cubic foot of natural gas is 1,030 BTUs. This means propane has more than double the BTUs of natural gas.

The more efficient the fuel is, the less you’ll use, which is a factor in overall cost. While the initial price per gallon is less, you’ll use more natural gas to run the same appliances. Making propane the more efficient fuel option.


Another factor to consider is environmental impact. Propane has been labeled as a clean energy source by the Clean Air Act because it’s not harmful when released into the environment and produces fewer emissions. While natural gas is a greenhouse gas because it is mainly methane. Methane is a hazardous air pollutant and is responsible for more than 25% of the global warming we are experiencing today and traps more heat in the atmosphere per molecule than carbon dioxide. Making propane the cleaner, eco-friendlier option.

For homes already equipped for natural gas it may be a more cost-effective option to leave the home as is. But if you live in an area where natural gas isn’t offered or looking for a provider to assist in your propane questions and needs, give us a call here at ThompsonGas where we’re The Trusted Name in Propane.


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