What is the Difference Between Propane and Natural Gas?

Unlike the famous word from the constitution, all gases are not created equal.

For instance, when it comes to your home, you can choose between propane gas and natural gas. Both will get the job done. Either can be used to heat your home, provide flames to your outdoor grill or even turn on your gas fireplace. However, there are major differences between propane gas and natural gas.

What are these differences and why should you know about them? We’ll take a closer look at how propane and natural gas compare/differ.

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It is good to know that propane is heavier than air, while natural gas is lighter. In the event of a gas leak, natural gas will rise, while propane will hang in the lower parts of the home, such as the basement.


Propane is stored in a storage tank. Tanks range in size from 120-gallons, which can be placed beside your home and is ideal for moderate consumption, such as gas stoves or fireplaces. Other sizes include 250-, 330- and 500-gallon tanks. Tanks can be installed above- or underground.

Natural gas is not stored. You must be connected to a natural gas network line. A line must be available in order for you to access natural gas. Propane can be stored anywhere. Diversified Energy is one company that offers automatic home delivery so you can ensure you never run out!

Environmental Impact

If “clean and green” is your concern, then propane might be your choice over natural gas. Considered a green fuel, propane is non-toxic to the environment. The impact of natural gas, which is also considered clean, is negligible, but it does emit a small amount of carbon dioxide (albeit far less than coal or oil).

Energy Efficiency

Propane burns hotter than natural gas; thus, it is more efficient when heating your home or when used for cooking. It also burns less volume per hour than does natural gas, so there’s the savings cost, too. (Prices for propane and natural gas do fluctuate, however. But in many cases, propane is the cheaper alternative).

Speaking of costs, if there’s a gas leak in the gas line when you’re using natural gas, you’ll, of course, see a rise in your utility bill. The corresponding rise will be much more than with a leak in a propane gas line attached to a specific amount of stored propane. Also, the installation of a natural gas line is more expensive than having a propane storage tank installed.

Any or all of these differences could sway your decision toward propane when it comes to choosing how you want to heat your home and power your appliances.

Diversified Energy: Your #1 Propane Gas Supplier

If you’ve made the choice to go with propane and you live in North Carolina or in the Mount Joy area of Pennsylvania, you’re in luck: Diversified Energy is a top supplier of residential propane on the East Coast. So you get the benefits of dealing with the pros! (We also serve parts of Virginia and South Carolina).

From storage tank installation to gas line repairs, Diversified Energy does it all. We also carry top brands in gas stoves, fireplace inserts, grills, and even tankless water heaters. Visit one of eight locations in NC or the Mount Joy showroom to visit with a representative and check out displays of the products we carry.

Or you can simply call 1-800-719-1194 to ask about propane use, safety, conversions and any other questions you might have.

Perhaps the biggest difference between propane and natural gas is: if you choose propane, you have the opportunity to have Diversified Energy at your service!