Propane is more energy efficient than natural gas, and it produces more constant heat. Making the conversion to propane is advantageous when appliance owners learn that each unit of propane contains double the energy of natural gas and that they may time the purchase of propane (which is kept on-site in a tank) to periods when the price is low.
However, owners are not required to replace their appliances. Most (but not all) natural gas appliances can be easily converted to propane. Conversion kits are widely available and are frequently bundled with appliances. When buying conversion kits, be careful to verify with the manufacturer to make sure that converting a certain model is safe, and follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions for your appliance’s make and model.
The main distinction between propane and natural gas is that propane has a higher pressure than natural gas. As a result, the valves and switches must be replaced so that the gas flow can be appropriately controlled. It’s also likely that the burner air shutter will need to be adjusted. This shutter regulates the fuel-to-air ratio and is thus utilized to control the flames. Replace natural gas burners with propane burners, which have smaller orifices, to fine-tune the flames.
The following are the basic steps in converting:
- Turn off the appliance’s gas supply.
- Disconnect the natural gas line from the appliance.
- The natural gas burners should be turned off.
- Replace the old burner orifices with new propane burner orifices.
- Connect the propane line to the appliance.
- Make any necessary adjustments to the burner settings.
When replacing burner orifices, for example, knowing the height of the unit as well as the brand, model, and serial number of the stove may be useful. The size of the hole for the burners is affected by the elevation of the installation site since oxygen density varies with altitude. The gas input is lowered by 4% for every 1,000 feet. (At various altitudes, this chart displays the orifice diameters for gas burners.) Know how many top burners, oven burners, and pilot lights you’ll need so you can prepare accordingly. Propane orifices are occasionally included in the initial purchase and can thus be stored in the range’s back.
When changing a natural gas oven to a propane oven, you must also change the pilot light orifice. Remove the pilot tube by unscrewing the nut that holds it to the pilot assembly. The orifice should readily slip out. Simply replace it with a propane-compatible one and reassemble the apparatus.
Next, replace the present gas regulator (also known as a pressure regulator) with a propane-specific regulator. It’s worth noting that the arrow on the bottom of the regulator indicates which way the propane will flow. It should be pointing in the direction of the equipment.
Turn on the propane and check all of the connections for gas leaks after everything is in place. By rubbing soapy water over the connectors and watching for bubbles where any gas seeps out of the system, you can check for leaks. (Propane also has a rotten-egg or skunk-like odor.)
Turn on all of the appliance’s pilot lights. (You’ll have to wait a few seconds for the air to escape the system.) Turn the pilot valve’s adjustment screw to change the flame height. This should be done for each top burner as well as the oven. Adjust the air shutter on that burner until the tips of each flame are blue.
A conversion kit built exclusively for this valve must also be used if the appliance includes a combined safety valve. Combination safety valves are most commonly found on furnaces and fryers in the kitchen.
Finally, the tag on the equipment that indicates the gasoline used should be replaced to reflect the conversion.
Is it possible to convert any natural gas stove to propane?
- Despite the fact that propane and natural gas are both fossil fuels that burn similarly, you must convert your equipment when switching.
- Most, but not all, natural gas appliances can be converted to propane. The main issue is that natural gas is kept at a lower pressure, and some appliances, even with changes, can’t withstand the higher pressure of propane.
- When transferring from one to the other, you must switch out the valves and switches to appropriately manage the flow because they have different densities and amounts of energy.
- When switching from natural gas to propane, it’s crucial to consult a professional because the work is extremely technical and can be harmful if the person executing the work doesn’t have the necessary skills.
What is the cost of converting a natural gas stove to a propane stove?
While it may appear to be a low-cost or simple option, keep in mind that natural gas and propane are both extremely combustible.
As a result, you should employ an expert to carry out the conversion for you.
A licensed gas fitter must do the conversion, and in some states, the fitter must also obtain a conversion endorsement license.
A few natural gas utilities or companies may perform the conversion for free, so check with your gas supplier to see if this is something they provide.
Conversion professionals often charge between $150 to $300, with some charging more and some charging less, but most charging in that range.
Is it possible to use propane to power my gas stove?
Changing the gas orifice on most gas stoves will convert them from natural gas to propane. I say “most” since I’ve heard of several kinds with fixed orifices. However, the vast majority can. A provider that specializes in appliance repair should be able to match your stove with the appropriate parts to offer you.
Natural gas or propane: which is less expensive?
While choosing a fuel for your home, consider its safety, cost, efficiency, and environmental impact when making your decision. For each of the aforementioned concerns, you’ll find everything you need to know about the benefits and drawbacks of natural gas and propane.
Both fuels are extremely combustible and should be handled with extreme caution. However, because of the infrastructure (and bureaucratic red tape) associated with natural gas pipes, leaks can be difficult to detect and repair. This is because, before taking action, utility firms and the public utility commission must agree on how to fund repairs or upgrades.
In San Bruno, Calif., for example, a natural gas pipe controlled by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) exploded in 2010, killing eight people. The gas pipe was found to be damaged after an inquiry, and PG&E had previously been ignorant of the damage.
Although propane tanks have the potential to explode, this is a much less common scenario. Because propane tanks aren’t connected to a large network of gas lines, the impact is minimal.
Furthermore, while some natural gas suppliers add a sulfur fragrance to make it easier to notice a leak, natural gas leaks can be difficult to detect because the fuel is odorless in its natural state.
Propane is considered a safer heating fuel due to the severity of a mishap, however rare it may be.
Despite the fact that natural gas is a greenhouse gas, it produces half as much emissions as coal. Even yet, it has a higher toxicity than propane, which is neither hazardous nor harmful to the environment. If propane were to leak into the earth, it would have no effect on the water or soil in the area.
Nonetheless, both are still considered environmentally beneficial fuels. However, we give propane a minor advantage as a green fuel in this round.
Cost and Efficiency
The exact cost of propane vs. natural gas for your home is determined by a variety of factors, including whether or not your home is equipped for the fuels. However, for the purposes of this comparison, we’ll look at the cost of propane and natural gas in terms of BTUs and gallons.
The average cost of natural gas was $6.23 per 1,000 cubic feet, or nearly one million BTUs, at the time this article was written. Propane costs $2.41 a gallon on average in the United States. Natural gas contains approximately 11.20 litres of propane per million BTUs. That implies you’ll spend $6.23 for natural gas and $26.99 for propane for the same amount of fuel.
The more efficient the gasoline, the less you’ll consume, which affects the total cost. Furthermore, propane is the more efficient fuel in general.
Propane has 2,516 BTUs per cubic foot, while natural gas has 1,030 BTUs per cubic foot. Propane has more than double the energy content of natural gas.
Natural gas has a lower cost per gallon, but you’ll require more of it to heat the same appliances. Naturally, if you receive two times the heat from propane, you’ll need less of it.
What is the purpose of a gas conversion kit?
When one type of gas is more easily available than another, fuel conversion kits are employed. They convert liquid propane (LP) to natural gas (NG) and vice versa for gas wall and ceiling heaters.
Is there a difference between a propane and a natural gas stove?
Because propane has a greater BTU rating than natural gas, it heats up faster and uses less fuel than natural gas when doing the same activity. However, the majority of noticeable cooking variations between propane and natural gas are determined by the equipment you use. The BTU output of your equipment limits the amount of heat you can generate while cooking, so if you’re looking for a specific BTU rating to prepare food, make sure you know your appliance’s parameters.
Is it possible to combine propane with natural gas?
Synthetic natural gas (SNG)/air mix systems are created by mixing vaporized propane with air. When natural gas is in short supply, this mixture can be used to substitute it. Installing a propane-air system that can power all of your equipment is a good idea.
What are some of propane’s drawbacks?
The most significant downside of a propane heating system is the inability to keep up with tank maintenance. If you own the tank, you’re responsible for doing regular inspections and repairing any leaks or corrosion. It’s possible that you’ll have to replace the tank at some point.
Why is propane so dangerous?
Because propane is widely used in both households and businesses, the chances of being exposed to harmful levels of the gas are high. Propane is an asphyxiant, meaning it can cause suffocating at extremely high doses. High-concentration exposure might potentially result in cardiac arrest, unconsciousness, or seizures. Frostbite can be caused by prolonged skin contact. Propane exposure at lower amounts can harm the central nervous system, lungs, and eyes, among other organs.
Which is preferable: propane or natural gas for cooking?
The price of propane and natural gas varies per month depending on the fuel market. And where you reside might have an impact on the price; natural gas is more expensive in some locations than electricity, and vice versa. It makes sense to connect your grill if your home’s natural gas systems, such as the furnace, water heater, stove, or dryer, are already connected.
A 20-pound gas tank should cost between $40 and $50. Then you have the option of either refilling it solely at particular sites or swapping it for a full tank at most major grocery, hardware, and big box shops, as well as some petrol stations. Expect to pay $3.00-$4.00 per gallon to refill or $4.00-$5.00 to swap it. Natural gas is charged per therm and ranges from $.50 to $2 per therm, plus any monthly maintenance or administrative fees.
Of course, rates differ greatly depending on geographic region and even season.
If you have the choice, do your homework and choose the most cost-effective and handy fuel source.
Another cost consideration: a propane gas barbecue requires no installation fees, but if you’re using natural gas, you’ll have to pay for the installation of a gas line into your backyard. You’ll need to employ a gas fitter to perform this because you won’t be able to do it yourself.
Finally, a natural gas grill requires a longer gas hose10 compared to 1 on a propane grill, therefore the cost of your grill will be slightly higher at the time of purchase.
Bottom line: unless you’re cooking in the arctic, there’s no performance difference between propane and natural gas. The only significant difference is that natural gas is more convenient and never runs out of fuel. Your decision is ultimately determined by the fuel sources available to you and the costs in your area.