Assessing the costs of appliances which use fuels as distinct as electricity and propane is not an simple job. Both fuels create energy differently they are quantified and priced and appliances us differently their electricity, so a direct operating-cost comparison involving a propane appliance and an machine requires an understanding of energy efficiency, energy expenditure and machine design.
The first step in comparing the operational expenses of appliances which use the two fuels is knowing the difference between the two energy sources in terms measurement of per unit. Electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours, and propane is measured in gallons. A gallon of propane may create exactly the identical quantity of energy.
In discovering the overall operating cost of an appliance the next step would be to figure the price of its energy supply per unit of measurement. As of mid-March 2014, the national average price for home improvement was $3.08 per gallon, also as of March 2014, the Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s baseline rate for electricity had been 13.6 cents per kilowatt-hour. The 27-kilowatt-hour-per-gallon energy density of propane usually means that it costs $3.67 to create as much energy using energy as it might cost to create the identical quantity of energy using propane. Provided that propane costs less than $3.67 per gallon, it is a cheaper energy source than electricity.
Energy price alone is not sufficient to compare the operating cost of two appliances. An appliance’s energy-efficiency rating measures how much of the energy content of its own fuel is converted into usable electricity and how much electricity is wasted. Electric appliances such as cooktops, ovens, heaters and water heaters have a tendency to be very efficient, in that all the energy from the energy is converted into usable heat, while propane appliances shed some of their energy via exhaust gases and unburned fuel. The efficiency of appliances may cut into the energy-cost advantage of propane, but the distinction is not likely to be big enough to offset the higher price of electricity.
Energy efficiency by itself does not necessarily translate into improved performance for electric appliances. Water heaters, by way of example, typically warm water much more quickly and clothes dryers that are propane-fueled can generally dry laundry faster than electric dryers. These appliances may use less fuel and cost less to run over time, Since they work faster. Some propane appliances, such as furnaces, have a more typical lifespan than comparable appliances, which leads to lower operating costs over the life span of the appliance.