Which is Cheaper: Propane or Natural Gas?

Whether you currently use natural gas, propane, or electricity to power your home, you may be curious about switching. All three of these are popular options, but let’s look at the differences between propane and natural gas, particularly the cost.

What are Natural Gas and Propane?

Before we get to the price difference between these fuels, it’s important to understand what they are.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel made up of several compounds: propane, butane, ethane, and methane. It is found in deep underground rock formations and is brought to the surface through drilling. Before being sold as fuel, it is processed to remove impurities.

During processing, propane is separated from the other compounds to be used as fuel on its own. It is sometimes called LP gas (liquid petroleum gas, although it is not petroleum).

Which is Cheaper: Propane or Natural Gas?

The answer to this isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

Propane is more expensive than natural gas but natural gas burns much faster than propane. In fact, it burns at a rate of two to one. This means that to heat two spaces of the same size, you’ll use twice as much natural gas than propane.

One cubic foot of propane is approximately 2,516 BTUs while one cubic foot of natural gas is 1,030 BTUs. This means that in one hour, a 100,000 BTU natural gas furnace will burn approximately 97 cubic feet, while a propane furnace will burn only 40 cubic feet.

Keep in mind that if your home does not already have a natural gas line, installing one will be much more expensive than having a propane tank installed.

Overall, there isn’t a large price difference between natural gas and propane unless you don’t already have a natural gas line running to your home. One thing is for certain, though: both are cheaper and more efficient than electricity.

Why Homeowners Are Switching to Propane

Cost differences aside, many homeowners are switching to propane because of its efficiency and the fact that it is a “green fuel”. Propane is environmentally friendly before and after combustion.

Natural gas emits less harmful emissions like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxides than other fossil fuels, but it does emit them. Propane burns clean, releasing no harmful emissions into the air.

The environmental factor combined with its efficiency has many homeowners making the switch to propane for their home heating needs.

Switch to Propane (LP Gas) with Couch Oil Company

With a propane plant conveniently located in Durham and delivery service to the surrounding areas, we make powering your home with propane convenient. To get more information about propane tank installation and propane refill delivery service, please fill out our new customer application (existing customers can order online) or give us a call at 919-286-5408.

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Durham Office

2907 Hillsborough Rd.

Durham, NC 27705

Phone: 919-286-5408

Apex Office

1009 Schieffelin Rd.

Apex, NC 27502

Phone: 919-552-8393

Propane Office

4630 Hillsborough Rd.

Durham, NC 27705

Phone: 919-375-2912


Durham Main Office

2907 Hillsborough Road Durham, NC 27705


Apex Office

1009 Schieffelin Road

Apex, NC 27702


Propane Office

4630 Hillsborough Rd

Durham, NC 27705


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