Gas VS. Propane Water Heaters – Which One Is Safer For You?

Gas or propane are both fossil fuels found in nature. Actually, propane is derived from refining natural gas. Both of them are used in various ways. They can fuel cars, heat homes, heat water, and many other things that require fuel.

Gas VS. Propane Water Heaters – Which One Is Safer For You

Comparison Between Gas and Propane Water Heater

Natural gas derived from the earth is made of methane that is pressed into a liquid. However, natural gas is actually a product of many other types of gases found in the earth, including propane. Natural gas before it is delivered to your doorstep is refined and cleaned to be more effective.

Propane is also refined fuel, but it is mostly made of hydrocarbon, just like ethane and butane. 

Both gases can be stored as a liquid, and both of them release carbon monoxide. Because of carbon monoxide, your room with a gas-fueled water heater will require proper ventilation. Both propane and natural gas are low on emissions, and because of that, they are eco-friendly fuels — much friendlier to the environment than oil.

Health and Safety

Both gases are dangerous because of carbon monoxide. High levels of carbon monoxide in an enclosed room can be fatal to all organisms, including humans. But that is not the only concern. Both gases can be leaked into the room. More dangerous is propane leaking because propane is heavier than air and will accumulate on the ground. Propane will hardly leave the room if there is leaking. 

On the other hand, natural gas is lighter than air and will accumulate on top and will always seek the holes to get out of the room while propane will mostly lay on the ground. Accumulation of any gas in a closed room is dangerous and risk of explosion.

Energy Efficiency

You will need less propane to heat the water than natural gas. But propane also needs more oxygen to burn, so in a container, there will be more oxygen. On the other hand, natural gas is delivered through the pipe and don’t need so much oxygen.

Both Are Clean Fuels

Both gases are clean and environment-friendly. However, propane has extra exhaust, which means you will need to clean chimneys regularly.

Which Water Heater to Choose?

So far, we can say that both water heaters are identical, and there is no significant difference among them. However, there are some things you need to consider before making a final decision.

Cost and Installation

Cost is also a thing to consider not only the cost of the gas but also installation cost. Natural gas is cheaper, and you will save enormous amounts of money, in the long run, there is no question in that. But since the natural gas is delivered directly via city pipes, you will need to make a pipe installation in your home. That means that the initial cost of a natural gas water heater is higher than for a propane water heater.

Installation of propane water heater is much more affordable because all you need is to place a propane container near the water heater. Propane containers can be exchanged for full one once you deplete them, or you can hire a service to deliver propane to your door and fill the propane container in your home.

How to Decide Which Water Heater Is Better For You?

Deciding which one is best for you is by looking if your home already has natural gas delivered via city pipes. If you do have natural gas in your home, then without thinking too much, you should get a natural gas water heater. However, if there is no link to city gas in your home, then you should really consider getting a propane water heater because installing a link to city pipes can be extremely expensive. It all depends on the state, taxes, and actual connection price.


Both of these gases are great fuel, and both of them are more efficient than electric water heaters. If you have a connection to a city gas pipe, then the decision is very easy because natural gas is the safest, cleanest fuel on the planet earth to heat water.

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