UC News > 3 Things to Ask When Buying a House with Propane Heat

3 Things to Ask When Buying a House with Propane Heat

Nov 20, 2020

Propane heat is a major selling point when buying a home. As an affordable, cleaner alternative to oil, it’s the fuel of choice among a growing number of homeowners. Cheaper than electricity and more efficient than natural gas, propane heat is something you should look for when house hunting. That being said, buying a house with propane also brings a number of factors you might not have otherwise considered if you are accustomed to gas, oil or electric heat.

WHAT IS PROPANE BEING USED FOR?
Propane is an incredibly versatile fuel. In the home, it is most commonly used for heating and powering certain appliances. Stoves, barbeques, water heaters, clothes dryers and more can all run off propane. If the home has only been recently converted to propane, however, not all appliances may be using it. When making an offer, consider whether or not you’ll need to upgrade the appliances to take full advantage of propane.

WHO OWNS THE TANK?
About 25% of homeowners own their propane tank outright, while others rent it from a fuel company. Both arrangements have pros and cons. With a tank that is owned outright, there is no need to worry about budgeting for monthly rental fees. You’ll also have more freedom to make long-term decisions about your home’s fuel use. The downside to this, however, is that purchasing a tank can be a significant cost up front, so that cost will definitely be factored into the asking price for the home.

On the other hand, the main advantage to renting is that you’re not responsible for the maintenance of the tank. If the unit ever needs repairs or replacing, it’s not an expense you will have to worry about. Most fuel companies will happily transfer over a tank rental agreement when the house is sold.

HOW BIG IS THE TANK?
The larger your tank, the longer you can go before having a delivery scheduled. Home propane tanks range in size from 120 to over 1,000 gallons. Be sure to ask what size the tank is so that you know how often you’ll be in need of a refill.



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