propane furnace vs electric furnace

The comfort and efficiency of your home’s heating system are directly related to the system you choose. When it comes to deciding between electric furnaces and propane furnaces, each option presents its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.

According to our experts, making a well-informed decision takes into account the heating needs, budget, and environmental concerns of homeowners and they should familiarize themselves with the distinguishing features of these systems beforehand. In this article, we’re helping you do just that by discussing features, costs, and more.

Understanding Propane and Electric Furnaces

To generate heat, propane furnaces transform the liquid fuel into gas. Here is the detailed step-by-step process:

  1. Propane Delivery: Propane is delivered to the location and kept in a propane tank there. Until it is time to be heated, it stays in a liquid state.

  2. Gas Conversion: When the furnace is turned on, the liquid propane is transformed into gas by passing it via a gas valve or gas line. Then, it is combined with air.

  3. Ignition: The electronic ignition system of the furnace is used to light the propane-air mixture, which then produces flames that heat a metal heat exchanger.

  4. Heat Distribution: The heat exchanger is warmed by the heat that radiates off the flames. The air is heated further by passing it through the heat exchanger, which is driven by the blower fan of the furnace.

  5. Air Circulation: Ductwork distributes this heated air throughout the house, making it more comfortable to live in. Propane burners release their exhaust gasses outdoors.

The electric heating elements of this type of furnace are powered by electricity, which is then used to disperse warm air throughout the house. Here’s how they work:

  1. Electricity as a Heat Source: When the thermostat requests heating, the metal coils or components inside the furnace are heated using electricity.

  2. Heat Distribution: The blower fan in a furnace circulates air over the heating coils as the components get hotter.

  3. Air Circulation: Distributing the warm air throughout the house is the next step in the air circulation process. Since electric furnaces do not use combustion, unlike propane furnaces, they do not produce any combustion gases that need to be vented.

  4. Thermostat Regulation: The furnace is programmed to turn on and off at predetermined intervals to keep the house at a constant temperature. Electric heat is constant, yet it might not seem as hot as gas heat.

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Why Choose Us?

For starters, we will show up on time with a fully stocked service van, eager to resolve your heating, cooling, plumbing or electrical problem.

Braeden RigbyBraeden Rigby
19:47 25 May 24
Comfort Union should be your first choice for all your HVAC needs. Amazing family run business with a people first approach that is difficult to find. Highly recommended for anyone that values quality work !
premnath parthibanpremnath parthiban
14:52 23 May 24
I spent almost one year to find the best HVaC replacement company and finally landed with Comfort union .I initially thought it was a small job but then realized the magnitude of work and effort it goes into it ..Asif initially came to my house , explained to me everything in detail including what is code of guidelines expected by city of Calgary , that showed his knowledge on the whole process ..Then came his brother Moore for installation - you will never find such a wonderful person who knows in and out of the HVAC and moreover the most patient person I have ever seen .. he did the whole installation with absolute craftsmanship and love for the work he did .. the best part was his perfectness and every work he did was so perfect and tidy !Finally, came Khan ji - to do the final inspection to add perfectness over the perfectness carried by Moore .. He did inspection and made sure everything was 200% correct ..Overall , I would recommend comfort union over any other service provider …Replaced my furnace , water tank and my humidifier …
JJ YanJJ Yan
02:22 22 May 24
Muhamad and Darryl did an excellent job on installation of our new Bradford White 75 gallon water heater. Extremely professional and hard working. They not only just did the work, but also explained the procedure thoroughly and maintenance focus points. Kept the work place tidy and in order. Highly recommended to everyone. JJ
mr2008 2.0mr2008 2.0
04:08 12 May 24
excellent carrier furnace and air conditioner installation, highly recommend to others
20:52 06 May 24
It was great to see a father and son team work so professionally in the delivery and installation of our new Bradford White water heater. Thanks team for a wonderful job.
Arman GillArman Gill
03:21 30 Apr 24
Friendly staff and did amazing work with carrier hvac
Inderpal SinghInderpal Singh
02:59 30 Apr 24
Amazing work. Good work on AC installation. Competive rates
Fast response due to the urgent occasions. The team is very experienced. Highly recommended!
Tushar AroraTushar Arora
23:04 06 Apr 24
Comfort union offers top notch furnace and hot water tank replacement services - contact the best furnace company in Calgary for all your needs. Highly recommended!!
Dipendra SitaulaDipendra Sitaula
18:28 02 Apr 24
Great and reliable service.
sunny Maharjansunny Maharjan
10:11 01 Apr 24
Best reasonable and quick in their response.
E TanE Tan
01:45 31 Mar 24
I recently hired Comfort Union to install a new hot water tank in my home, and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. They went above and beyond to ensure that the installation process was smooth and hassle-free from start to finish.Daryl's expertise and professionalism were evident from the moment he arrived at my home. He took the time to assess the layout of the space and discuss the best options for the installation, providing valuable insights and recommendations along the way. His attention to detail and commitment to quality craftsmanship were truly commendable.Throughout the installation process, Daryl and Mo worked efficiently and diligently, ensuring that everything was installed correctly and functioning optimally. They were respectful of my home, taking care to clean up any messes and leaving the work area spotless once the job was complete.I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to the entire team at Comfort Union for their outstanding service. Thanks to their expertise and dedication, I now have a reliable water heater that meets my needs perfectly. I would highly recommend Comfort Union to anyone in need of plumbing services – their professionalism and quality workmanship truly set them apart.
Ayaan DawoodAyaan Dawood
06:38 10 Mar 24
Imran Ahmed KhanImran Ahmed Khan
06:04 10 Mar 24
Maggie VaccaroMaggie Vaccaro
21:26 05 Mar 24
Quick response for appt. Came over and got all work done.Will call them again and will recommend them to others. Thanks!
Ashirul PatelAshirul Patel
22:57 26 Feb 24
We had great experience. They work out an efficient way to solve our furnace issues while maintaining the minimum cost.
Rakesh SachdevaRakesh Sachdeva
04:44 10 Feb 24
Muhammad is very professional and very cooperative. He has completed the work as explained. Everything was completed on same day we had issue. Very responsive.
Kly ClackKly Clack
22:28 08 Feb 24
Team at comfort union made me feel very comfortable about my purchases explained everything clearly and concisely so I could be confident in my decisions I would recommend them to anyone who asks.
Bhattarai AnuragBhattarai Anurag
02:33 07 Feb 24
Good service 👍🏽
Matt MelliesMatt Mellies
21:21 22 Jan 24
I had an issue with my furnace, went to reset my main breaker to power cycle trying to troubleshoot it... Breaker crapped out so I was sitting on an electrical, and furnace problem.Gave these guys a call and they were able to come out within 2 hours. Required a full main breaker replacement, and new gas valve on my furnace. They diagnosed it in only a couple hours, and fixed everything the same day.Had a great experience, the technicians that showed up were professional, and very knowledgeable. I'll definitely be using these guys when I eventually have replace my aging furnace.
Sharif ZayedSharif Zayed
00:15 22 Jan 24
Khan was so kind and considerate to help me during the -45 C calgary weather. We decided to replace our old furnace with newer and advance features choosing Carrier Furnace. We received the quote from Comfort Union which was competitively priced and the job was completed next day. Thanks.
Syed Zaigham RizviSyed Zaigham Rizvi
05:29 18 Jan 24
Had a bit of a crisis with rental property heating system in Calgary, our Goodman furnace gave out and had countless furnace repairs over the years. They got a new Carrier furnace installed quickly and very competitively priced compared to other carrier dealers. Wasn't expecting such quick service in the cold months. Definite recommend!
Mohammed SiddiqiMohammed Siddiqi
00:23 06 Jan 24
Absolutely stellar service from this HVAC company! The team was prompt, professional, and incredibly knowledgeable. They swiftly diagnosed and fixed our heating issue with precision. Their attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction truly set them apart. A 5-star experience – our go-to HVAC experts!
Agit KokuAgit Koku
21:40 13 Apr 23
I recently had Comfort Union come to my home to fix an issue with my hot water tank's pilot issue. Not only did the technician promptly fix the issue, but they also took the time to clean out my drain as a courtesy. I was impressed by their attention to detail and their commitment to providing excellent customer service.I would highly recommend Comfort Union for anyone in need of plumbing services.

Propane Vs Electric Furnace - Comparing Features

Propane vs Electric Heating Cost Analysis

Propane Furnaces:

In Canada, a high-efficiency propane furnace can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $6,500, not including installation costs. Especially in more remote places where getting the service set up could be more of a hassle owing to lack of infrastructure, this pricing can change based on the unique needs of each residence and the area in question.

Electric Furnaces:

In comparison to gas furnaces, electric furnaces cost less to begin with. An electric furnace installation in Canada can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 on average, with a simple installation costing around $1,000 to $3,000. Choosing a high-efficiency model and the difficulty of the installation process at home are two factors that can affect the upper end of this range.

Propane Furnaces:

In colder climates where heating needs are higher, propane furnaces can be a cost-effective choice due to their efficient fuel use. Although propane costs can rise and fall with the market, propane furnaces are typically more cost-effective in the long run due to their efficiency, which makes them a good investment.

Electric Furnaces:

Although electric furnaces tend to be more cost-effective to install initially, their operating expenses are often greater. This is because, especially during the winter months, the cost of power can be much higher than that of propane. Further contributing to higher energy use and utility costs is the fact that electric furnaces are less efficient in really cold weather.

Propane Furnaces:

Some propane gas furnace types reach an energy efficiency level of 95% or higher, making them very efficient. Propane furnaces are very efficient, meaning they can save waste and running expenses by producing more heat with the same quantity of fuel. Propane furnaces can achieve higher temperatures faster, which helps with even heating throughout the house, which improves comfort and cuts down on operating times.

Electric Furnaces:

Since they are able to turn nearly all of the power they utilize into heat, electric furnaces usually have high-efficiency ratings, nearly 100%. This efficiency, however, can be diminished depending on the power source. Due to the carbon emissions involved in energy production, the overall environmental advantages and efficiency can be reduced if the power is generated from fossil fuels.

Electric furnaces, from a broader energy usage standpoint, can be more eco-friendly and efficient in areas where power is produced from renewable resources.

Propane Furnaces:

Propane is highly regarded for its economical nature and impressive energy production. The main reason propane furnaces are more cost-effective than electric ones is that they can heat the air to temperatures between 130 and 140°F in brief, efficient bursts. With less operating time and cheaper heating expenses, it is possible to produce higher temperatures rapidly.

Electric Furnaces

The upfront cost of installing an electric heating system, such as a heat pump or furnace, is typically lower. However, because power costs are higher in the long run, their operational costs are typically higher as well. While electric heat pumps work well in moderate temperatures, they lose some of their efficiency when the weather gets very cold because they draw heat from the air outdoors.


Particularly in places where power outages are common, propane's dependability stands out as a major advantage. Regardless of the power outage, you may always have a reliable source of heat with propane stored in tanks on your property. Propane heat is also completely harmless; it causes fires only at extremely high temperatures, is insoluble, and does not harm soil or groundwater in any way.


All of the power for electric heating systems comes from the national grid. In regions with unpredictable electrical services, the fact that these systems may not function during power outages can be a major drawback.

Choosing the Best Heating System for Your City

The efficiency of propane furnaces in cold times makes them a superior alternative for Calgary. If you want to stay warm in Calgary during winter, propane is the way to go because of its higher heat output. Given the increased energy needs during extended cold spells, propane may also prove to be more economical in the long run.

The high heat production and dependability of propane furnaces make them the best choice in Edmonton. Home comfort is guaranteed by propane’s capacity to deliver powerful and constant heating, even in the most frigid weather. Propane is the superior heating option to electric heating solutions in extremely cold climates, including Calgary.

Toronto is a good place to install either an electric or gas heating system. Because of their greater heat production during harsh winters, propane furnaces can be a better choice. On the other hand, homeowners in Ontario may be influenced by personal preferences for eco-friendliness and the relative cost and availability of propane and electricity when deciding between the two. This is especially true when it comes to hybrid models that are more efficient at handling lower temperatures.

The moderate weather in Vancouver makes electric heat pumps a great fit for the city. In climates where temperatures seldom go below freezing, heat pumps work well. Electric heating is more environmentally friendly in British Columbia because a large amount of the province’s power comes from hydroelectric sources.


Your individual requirements, the cost of energy in your area, and your concerns for the environment should all be considered when deciding between propane and electric heating systems and any other furnace types like natural gas ones. Particularly in areas that suffer from regular power outages, propane has substantial advantages in terms of efficiency, dependability, and cost-effectiveness. On the other hand, homes in milder regions or those with access to inexpensive renewable electricity may find electric heating to be the better option.

To make sure homeowners get a heating system that works for them now and in the future, it’s a good idea to contact with HVAC experts like those at Comfort Union before making any major decisions about installs or modifications. Choosing between an electric heat pump and a propane furnace comes down to weighing the two in terms of initial investment, ongoing operating costs, and ecological footprint.

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