Propane for heating and cooking

8 Replies

I bought a mining cabin turned methlab/earth ship with the intention of fixing it up selling it to a normal person. 

It had a wood stove and some randomly distributed electric heaters, but they are all gone. 

I would never buy a house with an electric stove and heating system so I can't see selling someone an all electric house.

This is in NM where the winters are mild.

The town has no natural gas distribution system.  

I noticed the neighbor has a propane tank. I am wondering about people's experience with propane. Is that a good option for running the heating system and the stove?

How close to the house can you put the propane tank?

I had one house with propane for the water heater.  The stove and heater had already been converted to electric in a remodel before I acquired it.  I switched the water heater to electric and pulled the propane tank out after the first tenant left.  I had propane heat on a singlewide and converted it to electric heat when I replaced the HVAC when I acquired the property (AC wasn't working anyway).  Many tenants really don't like the $300-$500 tank fills. Running all the heating in a house on high priced propane would be VERY expensive even here in North Texas.

Do a search on propane complaints on google . Heating oil you can buy from any company . Propane you can only buy from who provides the tank , there are no price controls at all ,they charge different prices for the same fuel , low useage fees , tank rent , they fill the tank even if you dont want it filled .  In the mid 1980's I had a run in with amerigas on my second rental . They claimed they owned the tank , when I had proof the tank was owned by me , they showed up and tried to take the tank .  There was only 1 way out of the driveway , blocked by my backhoe .  I won .

@Katharine Chartrand  

I was wondering why you can't fathom an all-electric house?  Around here, that's pretty normal (we also have fairly mild winters).  In fact, the majority of my rentals are all-electric.  Electricity is far cheaper than propane in most places and for heating it's actually very efficient. 

I just moved from a propane fueled house. It is very common in rural areas. It is helpful to have a source of heat in the event of an electrical outage like an ice storm. Our previous house was total electric and we had to leave for 3-4 days because of a power outage a few winters ago. 

Propane requires planning as the price drops in the summer (when you don't need it) and rises sharply in bad winters (when you really need it). For a flip it is no big deal and would be considered fairly normal at least in the rural areas I have lived in.


I am warming up to electric.

I looked at some cost comparisons.  Electric is close to natural gas and much cheaper than either oil or propane. 

I am still prejudiced against electric stoves.  Let me know if i need to revisit that. I am old and some of my views are outdated.


If winters are mild.  How about going with a wall mounted heat pump system.  LG or Daikin or Mitsubishi.  They are effiicent, and provide heating and cooling.  Then just use propane for cooking.  I currently use propane at my house on long Island for cooking.  Don't love it, but better than electric and my neighborhood doesn't have natural gas.  It costs me about $100/yr for 100lb tank rental and gas usage.  

Originally posted by @Katharine Chartrand:

I am still prejudiced against electric stoves.  Let me know if i need to revisit that. I am old and some of my views are outdated.

Important thing I learned quickly.  You are not living there.  Personal likes and dislikes don't mean much to tenants.  My wife likes shades of purple wall paint and hate's earth tones.  The exact opposite is better for rentals.  Personally I love gas stoves and am seriously thinking about adding one to our all electric house.  Only thing holding me back is it would have to be propane because despite having millions of cubic feet of natural gas flowing though three pipelines on the farm, we have no access to it.  I do have several propane tanks for barns, shops, and my great aunts' old house but nothing on the our main house.

Propane stoves will run off the same bottles you use on your gas grill .

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