Why Propane is Safer than Lighting Your Christmas Tree

by | Dec 27, 2015 | Heating, Electrical, Blog | 0 comments

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! It’s a great time of year, a little cold outside, but warmth and lights all throughout the home. Family celebrations of food, fellowship, and presents run throughout the day with different circles of friends and family. The decorations on your Christmas tree are especially beautiful, and they become the centerpiece for the event today.

Fairly recently, one method of lighting the tree (before the electric light but still a relatively common occurrence) was to place candles on or around the tree. As you may imagine, an open flame near dry wood is decidedly dangerous. A single upset and all that kindling becomes a blaze quicker than you imagine. Which leads me to the point: When you’re heating your home for the rest of this winter, a propane furnace is far better for you, health- and energy-wise, than a fireplace furnace.


Beautiful, energy efficient, and carrying the nostalgia of nearly every warm-feeling Christmas song you can bring to mind, fireplaces are great for warming up and cheering up any room. The trouble is, a fireplace can really only heat a single room. A house that’s planned properly can heat multiple rooms, but the temperature drops the further away from the fire you are. Even with great insulation, burning wood can only heat so much of your home.

To make a long story short, a fireplace is excellent for warming one room of your home. If you plan on being in only that room for an extended period of time, then lower the central heat and light up the fireplace. But larger homes mean that option is increasingly unlikely.

There’s also the increased fire risk. Fireplaces are usually a centerpiece for the room. Long ago, the fireplace mantelpiece housed decorations, family photos, and memorabilia. While some still do, the spot above the fireplace now houses a well-mounted flat screen (typically). Since it’s the center of the room, more people than we’d like tend to place their Christmas tree uncomfortably close to the fireplace. Anything flammable that close to a fireplace is a hazard.

Propane Furnaces

A propane furnace is only slightly less efficient than wood burning. Much of the heat from a flame escapes upward, through the chimney. Yes, you could redirect that heat back into the home, but it would carry all the ash, soot, and carbon borne aloft. Propane burns cleanly, generating heat that stays almost exclusively in the home, while its own carbon emissions are reduced and moved away from the home.

A fireplace generates a good deal of heat, but it also lowers the quality of air in the home. Smoke that isn’t caught in the draft, heavier-than-air ash, and other particulates settle in the air. A forced-air furnace filters the air, keeping it clean and pure. The forced air system also pushes air throughout the home, warming every room.

Finally, propane furnaces, when used properly, are nowhere near as heavy a risk for a house fire. Simply keep flammable items away from vents, registers, and the furnace itself and there is nothing left to worry about. There are no stray sparks or embers that can catch in a carpet or living tree.

Happy holidays!  We hope you all stay warm this winter.  If you happen to find yourself without heating, don’t hesitate to call Boulden Brothers.  We work on all kinds of heating systems, from boilers to forced air furnaces!

Give us a call at (302) 368-3848 for any of your Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania home service needs — plumbing, electrical, HVAC, propane, and more!

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.

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