From an indoor air quality standpoint, electricity is better than unvented combustion. From an environmental standpoint, electricity can be better, depending on what makes the electricity. We are now in a area that’s completely hydro produced, at .05 / kWh. Clean and cheap. No more propane, or other fossil fuels.
I tend to disagree that electricity is clean. It’s incredibly inefficient when delivered to our homes via a utility company. Most electricity generation plants are still creating the power while giving off high levels of pollution, or creating toxic wastes (nuclear). As for propane being dangerous. Most forms of energy if used improperly are dangerous. Make sure all of your appliances are up to code and the safety features work. I won’t run anything with a pilot light. Anything that started electronically by itself (on-demand hot water tanks) should have safety sensors to ensure that if the spark doesn’t ignite, it shuts the gas off. Make sure your lines are well marked (bright yellow here) and you have shut offs for each appliance as well all your mains coming in. And of course, install them properly, inspect regularly and keep your stuff maintained. IMHO there are probably more accidents as a result of electricity use in homes than there are cases of gas being used improperly.
You didn’t read what I read. I said electricity is better for your indoor air quality than combustion, and can be better for the environment depending on what generates the electric. As I stated, in our case, it’s hydro, not 20 miles away, and much cheaper than propane or oil. For water and space heating, my personal preference is solar preheating a outdoor wood boiler.
If you burn anything inside a building, that can generate carbon monoxide poisoning, then invest in a CO monitor – this applies more for LPG burning/combustion (including PROPANE), than other fuels. However, if you can GUARANTEE good permanent ventilation internally, with good venting of the waste flue fumes from propane combustion, then consider it a 2nd back-up to an electrickery power failure. Please remember that ANY LPG leak into an enclosed space, such as a house, when mixed with air properly, becomes another form of fuel – air explosive, whose power proportionally is ONLY superceded by nuke weapon devices (it will suck oxygen thru 2 metres of reinforced concrete with considerable ease, in the vacuum stage of detonation – so it will implode structures, only to have a few milliseconds later, the complete opposite take place – one massive explosion). Those of you who doubt these words, might well take some though time to consider the whole concept of this fuel-air explosive mixture being scaled up substantially, in the film CHAIN REACTION, where a hydrogen production plant was broken to allow freely produced hydrogen to escape into the confines of an old steel mill structure in Chicago, which when the correct concentration was reached, then remotely detonated to automatically wipe out 8 sq miles of that city. If someone like Al Queda where to apply that method to some deserted, but sealed industrial building in some major American city – well I leave the potential to your imagination.
I prefer propane over electricity for most things around a rural property. 1) For cooking it makes total sense, you get instant heat, and when it’s off – it’s off. The cost in comparison to electricity is much lower, and the amount of energy consumed to create the electricity used on a stove is ridiculous. If you’re running a home off of batteries, it’s the only way to go for an indoor stove IMHO. 2) For drying clothes. If it’s not out on a clothes line, it should be in a gas dryer. They’ll dry much quicker as well. 3) For hot water heating if you need supplemental water heating and don’t have a method of heating it in which you’re using excess energy from somewhere else. I like the on-demand water heaters, they are extremely efficient compared to electric water heating. In the summer time I recommend a solar-hot water heater backed up with an on-demand system. As for heating your home with propane, it’s insanely expensive where I’m at – so it would be my last choice.