Converting Appliances From LP to Natural Gas

In the past, appliances could be converted from propane to natural gas. However, today’s appliances are manufactured specifically to be used with only one type of fuel. They are purposely engineered to not be convertible. This has resulted primarily because of individual home consumers who believed that simply changing out the orifice of the appliance was enough to convert, at great personal risk to their safety and the structure of their home.

In addition to the orifices, other factors need to be addressed in a gas conversion. Appliances are “converted” by changing the internal parts to coincide with the different pressures of different gases. The appliance regulators (which control the amount of pressure under which gas is released) and burners may possibly need replacement. There may also be a need for new venting. For some appliances, gas conversion kits are available; however, the conversion should still be handled by gas appliance professionals, who will ensure that all the necessary adjustments have been made prior to actually operating converted appliance.

Regardless of the gas preferred, both propane and natural gas vapors can be dangerous and tremendously explosive. Your home should periodically be inspected for gas leaks. Gas fired appliances can also have problems with carbon monoxide or improper combustion. An inspector will look for clues, such as size of pilot flame, to make sure that there is a correct ratio of air to gas. Given the potential volatility of making such a conversion, it should be performed only by a licensed technician. If you are considering a conversion, please contact your local HVAC contractor to help clarify all of your questions and concerns.

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