When people talk about geothermal heating systems, they always talk about the low monthly heating bills. But you don’t install a heating system just for financial reasons. You do it to keep your family warm during long, cold winter months. And that’s the hole in the argument for geothermal systems; they simply can’t deliver the same warm, comfortable heat as a modern propane furnace. And with significantly lower installation and maintenance costs, as well as affordable monthly energy bills, propane is actually a better long-term value for homeowners.


Research has shown that people experience coldness and discomfort when their heating system produces heat at, or below, the average human body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Your typical, standalone geothermal system delivers heat in the 90-120 degrees Fahrenheit range. At first glance, this appears acceptable. But remember: the air will continue cooling as it circulates through your home.

What’s more, geothermal systems are typically paired with an electric resistance heat system to fill in this comfort gap during extreme cold weather. When the electric heat is engaged, not only does the homeowner see a drastic increase in monthly energy costs, they also increase their carbon footprint. This negates most — or all — of the geothermal system’s benefits.

Propane heating systems consistently deliver heat in the 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit range, well above the cold threshold. In addition, because the air starts circulating at a significantly higher temperature, you find it remains a comfortable temperature even after cooling slightly.


According to research by Newport Partners, LLC, geothermal does have the lowest annual energy costs of any type of heating system studied. Yet the same research shows that when you dig into geothermal’s overall costs, including the payback period — the time it takes for the energy savings to equal the installation costs — it isn’t the money saver it’s made out to be.

  • The upfront costs of geothermal are significant; with the highest installation cost of any heating system studied.
  • Costs include the ground source heat pump, plus digging, installing, and burying the ground loops.
  • This leads to the longest payback period of any heating system — up to 36 years in some cases.

In contrast, the research showed that a high-efficiency propane furnace was the most affordable to purchase and install of all the heating systems studied. Because propane is a clean, efficient energy source, you can count on affordable annual energy costs, as well.


Here’s something that will make propane even more attractive: once you’ve installed propane, you can use it for more than just home heating comfort. Use propane for:

  • Water heating: enjoy faster hot water with up to 50 percent cost savings compared with electric options.
  • Cooking: experience the joy and control of cooking with gas, just like the pros do.
  • Clothes drying: faster drying with up to 20 percent less energy use.
  • Fireplaces: significantly warmer and more energy efficient than electric or wood fireplaces.

Propane Is Your Whole Home Energy Package.

Once you’ve discovered all the benefits of propane, it’s easy to see the hole in the argument for geothermal. With propane, you’ll enjoy warm, comfortable heat — even in the coldest of winters— low upfront expenses, and affordable year-round energy costs. And the versatility to do so much more.

Call us to learn more about high-efficiency propane furnaces — and other propane applications from water heating to fireplaces — before you start your new home project.

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