Although the initial cost to purchase a propane gas refrigerator is a bit higher than an electric refrigerator, the long term costs should be considered, since there are a number of cost factors. Gas-Fridge would like to share some of the money-saving features of a gas refrigerator.
First, comparing an electric refrigerator with a propane refrigerator is like comparing apples to oranges. An electric refrigerator runs with Freon and a compressor to pump the refrigerant through the system. A propane-powered refrigerator operates with a propane gas flame to heat the ammonia and distilled water, using hydrogen gas to circulate steam vapor and liquid ammonia to cool it down. No electric lines or inverters and generators are needed to power the refrigerator.
- Comparing the operating costs of appliances that use fuels as different as propane and electricity is no easy task. The two fuels produce energy differently, they are measured and priced differently, and their energy is used differently by appliances. So a direct operating-cost comparison between a propane appliance and an electric appliance requires an understanding of energy cost, energy efficiency and appliance design.
- Let’s look at one of the long term cost differences: the energy needed to run the refrigerator. The first step in comparing the operational costs of appliances that use the two fuels is understanding how much energy each fuel contains per unit of measurement. Electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours, and propane is usually measured in gallons. A gallon of propane can produce the same amount of energy as 27 kilowatt-hours of electricity.
- The next step is to calculate the cost of an energy source per unit of measurement. For example, if the national average cost for residential propane is $3.08 per gallon, and the electric company’s baseline rate for electricity is 13.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, the 27-kilowatt-hour-per-gallon energy density of propane means it costs $3.67 to produce as much energy using electricity as it would cost to produce the same amount of energy using propane. As long as propane costs less than $3.67 per gallon, it’s a cheaper energy source than electricity. Today’s average rate for propane is about $ 2.36 per gallon.
The other cost-saving feature of a gas refrigerator is that it does not have moving parts like an electric refrigerator, which means in the long term there is less need for service and the appliance tends to last longer.
So the next time you are talking about getting a new refrigerator, consider the cost savings that could be realized with the purchase of a propane refrigerator – they’re not just for people living off the grid! To speak to an expert on propane refrigeration, contact Gas-Fridge at 928-636-6674.