Which is Best: Kerosene or Propane?

Which is Best: Kerosene or Propane? by Megan Stewart for The Survivalist Blog

lthough the answer may be different for everyone depending on the specific situation and heating needs, preppers may wonder which is best: kerosene or propane?

Whether you’re preparing for a power outage or looking to supplement your main heating system, if this is a decision you’ve been wrestling with, there are several factors to consider when making your decision. We’ll touch on these factors below. But one thing is certain. If you want to survive any kind of extended SHTF situation, you’re going to need a good fuel source.

Fuel Efficiency

One of the key factors to research if you are trying to decide whether to use kerosene or propane for a fuel source is the fuel efficiency. When comparing fuel efficiency, make sure you are comparing correctly.

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It’s best to compare heat content in MM per BTU and consider the efficiency rating of any heating appliances when researching fuel efficiency to ensure you are making equal comparisons. Kerosene has more potential energy in BTU per gallon than propane which gives it the potential to be more efficient.

Cost of Fuel

For most people, the cost of fuel will be a significant factor. For those who are deciding between kerosene or propane for a long term heating solution, cost can be prohibitive. If you need a short term heating solution as a backup to your main heat source in a short term emergency, cost of fuel might not be as big an issue.

You can use a heating fuel comparison chart as a general guide. The approximate average cost of residential kerosene per gallon is $2.25. I’ve seen it as high as $4.65 per gallon in some areas.

The popular belief up until recent years was that propane is less expensive for heating than kerosene. And this may still be the case if you are buying small amounts via your local gas station.

But recent price hikes have turned the tables and you may find propane costs more than kerosene when bought in bulk amounts for residential heating purposes.

Make sure you do the research for pricing specific to your area to be certain. When researching prices, ask about off season pricing. You may find it’s cheaper to buy heating fuel in spring or summer months which are slower months for fuel companies.

If so, a little advanced budget planning can pay off in dollars saved. Also ask about bulk delivery, if you have the proper storage container, which can help make both fuels more budget friendly.

Fuel Storage

One factor you definitely need to consider when choosing between propane and kerosene is fuel storage. Think about your heating needs, the location of your fuel supplier, and how often you could be snowed in or otherwise unable to travel to purchase additional fuel. This will help you determine how much fuel you may need to keep on hand.

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