Propane Grilling for Football Playoffs

The Philadelphia Eagles are in the playoffs with home field advantage! What a time to live in Bucks County, PA, and be a birds fan! But just because temperatures will likely be below freezing in Philadelphia throughout most of the NFL playoffs doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite tailgating rituals before the games.

Barbecuing with a propane grill is a staple of any tailgate and we want to help you keep grilling for the big games this winter with some useful tips.

So if you’re an Eagles fan that’s planning on heading down to Lincoln Financial Field for some festivities or one that will be entertaining fellow Philadelphia fanatics at your home, here’s how you can continue to use your propane grill in frigid cold weather.

Location, Location, Location: The first step to grilling in the winter is to find a good spot to do your barbecuing. You’ll want to shield yourself from wind as much as possible, but make sure that you absolutely never grill in the house or in an enclosed porch or patio.

Preparedness: Cold temperatures can affect the temperature inside of your grill, so you’ll want to head to your nearest propane refill station in Bucks County and make sure you get some extra propane to have on hand just in case you run out. Grilling in the winter months can typically use about 35-50 percent more fuel.

Adjust Pre-Heat Time: Pre-heating a grill is always important so that your food does not stick to the grates, but in the winter you’ll want to increase this pre-heat time to make up for the colder temperatures. You may have to double your normal pre-heat time.

Food Choice: When grilling in the winter, it is wise to choose food that either cooks very quickly like fish or hot dogs, or food that cooks very slowly like barbecue. Either way you won’t have to spend too much time hovering over the grill.

Two Heat Sources: Keeping one side of your grill on high and the other on low can be a good strategy in the winter. This will allow you to vary your cooking times for the different types of food that you have on the grill. The low side can also be used to keep already cooked food warm.

Cast Iron Pan: Speaking of keeping food warm, having a cast iron pan on deck is always a good idea as well. Cast iron pans hold heat well and are great for keeping food warm when they are covered.

New to Propane Usage? Don’t Sweat it!

propane companyThey say there’s a first time for everything, and if you’re someone who just bought or is renting a home that uses propane as its main source of power, the way it works might be something that’s new to you.

Many people are used to having natural gas or electric power their homes, but others may use a big propane tank that usually sits somewhere in the backyard. The only real difference between propane and these other forms of residential power is that propane gets delivered to you by a propane company that fills up your propane tank with a tank truck.

Having these propane professionals come to your home might seem like an unnecessary added step when it comes to supplying your home with power, but having propane company representatives visit you has extra benefits that you wouldn’t get with natural gas or electric. When a propane professional comes to refill your tank, they will often time check to make sure your energy supply is adequate and your propane gas system is running properly. This is important because, just like electricity or natural gas, propane can become dangerous if it is not handled or maintained the right way.

If you’re unsure of which propane company to call for help or tank refills, you might be able to find the answer on the tank itself. Many times propane tanks will have sticker or something else on it that gives the name and number of the propane company that is familiar with and usually services your tank.

If you’re renting a home with a propane tank, it’s wise to contact your landlord to gather more information about the tank and the propane company that services the tank. If you bought a home with a propane tank, contact the propane company yourself.

Now here’s a VERY important tip for anyone who is new to propane usage. When your very first propane gas delivery arrives, have the propane tank truck driver show you what propane smells like. This way you will know if there is ever a propane leak on your property, in which case you would have to contact your propane company immediately.

So if you’re about to embark on your first propane experience, don’t sweat it! Propane tanks are common forms of residential energy and the professionals at propane companies are there to help you along the way.

Residential Propane Tank Sizes and Their Common Uses

propane

Buying or renting residential propane tanks is a situation many homeowners find themselves eventually. But understanding the right type to get can be a challenge for some.

Residential propane tanks come in various sizes and capacities, and each type has different uses. To help you understand which propane tanks get used for which purposes, here’s a guide to the various types of residential propane tanks and their common uses.

20lb Propane Tanks: A 20lb propane tank is approximately 1.5-foot tall and 1-foot in diameter. They hold a little less than five gallons of propane when full and can be used for things such as home grills and patio heaters. GasTec does not fill this type of tank on site (but we do have a ‘walk-in’ propane refilling service at our Ivyland facility)

100lb Propane Tanks: A 100lb pound tank is approximately 4-foot tall and 1.5-foot in diameter. These types of residential propane tanks will hold a little less than 25 gallons of propane when full and can be used for things such as home fireplaces, dryers and grills. These tanks are small enough to fit in many places larger tanks can’t and they’re also light enough for GasTec to offer an exchange service for residential use. These tanks are not made with a gauge that tells you how much propane you have remaining. That is why it is recommended to have two set up and connected by an automatic change-over regulator that will change from green to red when the first tank runs out.

420lb Propane Tanks: A 420lb tank is approximately 4-foot tall and 3-foot in diameter. These tanks can hold 100 gallons of propane when filled to 80-percent capacity. They can be used for things such as home heating, hot water, dryers, fireplaces, generators, and pool heaters. There are restrictions on the placement of these tanks, including not having more than four of them hooked up side-by-side.

500-gallon Propane Tanks: A 500-gallon propane tank is about 3.5-foot tall and wide by 10-foot long. These tanks hold 400 gallons when 80-percent full. They can be used for whole home heating systems, generators, and pool heaters.

Important Questions for Homes with Propane

If you are in the market for a new home, be sure to ask the questions discussed in today’s post if the home utilizes propane. There will be plenty of questions to ask the realtor or homeowner as you walk through the house, so adding a few more pertaining to the propane will not make much of a difference.

Who Owns the Propane Tank?

One of the most important questions you should ask centers around ownership of the propane tank. In many instances the homeowner owns the propane tank outright. There are instances where the tank is rented from a propane supplier. This will help you gauge how much you will need to spend monthly on both propane and rental fees, if it is not owned by the homeowner.

What is the Propane Used for?

The next question you should ask the realtor or homeowner centers around the use of the propane. Many homes use propane for appliances, such as outdoor grills, water heaters, stoves, clothes dryers and more. Prior to making an offer on the home you should determine whether or not the appliances will need to be upgraded.

Where is the Tank Located?

Find out ahead of time where the tank is located. If it is not outside the home, it is likely in the basement. Ask the realtor or homeowner to show you where the tank is located. Some tanks that are kept outside can be buried underground if they are owned by the homeowner. A pipe will then be installed from the underground tank to the house so the propane can be used. A second pipe will be installed so the tank can be refilled by the supplier.

What is the Size of the Tank?

The size of the tank is important when considering the purchase of a home with residential propane service. The larger the tank, the longer you will be able to go without having to get the tank refilled with more propane. This means you might only have to refill a couple times per winter season if it is only used to heat the home.

The Many Uses of Propane Autogas as an Alternative to Gasoline

LPG gas cylinders in the truck the engine of which uses the liquefied gas

Since the 1940s, propane autogas has been one of the world’s preferred gas alternatives. In fact, there are about 17 million propane-auto-gas fueled vehicles on the road today worldwide and 300,000 in the U.S. Propane autogas is the most affordable alternative fuel there is and it’s supplied at Camden County propane companies such as GasTec.

Many companies, organizations, municipalities and even everyday people are turning to propane as a trusted gasoline alternative because it is clean, safe, affordable, available and long lasting.

Propane autogas has grown to be the third most common engine fuel choice behind gasoline and diesel. With about 2,500 refueling stations available to the public nationwide, propane autogas is now more available than ever.

GasTec decided to take a moment to examine some of the more common uses of propane autogas.

Private Sector

Because there are refueling stations in all 50 states, propane autogas is becoming increasingly popular in the private sector. Propane can abe used to power person machinery such as forklifts, lawn mowers and vehicles. And believe it or not, converting a light-duty car to propane autogas is about half the cost of converting the same vehicle to compressed natural gas.

Fleets

Vehicle fleets can include golf carts, limos, shuttles, or delivery vans. And if you own or operate a fleet of vehicles, converting to propane autogas could be a wise decision. Using propane autogas to power your fleet of vehicles will cost less than gasoline, while offering a comparable driving range, according to the Alternative Fuel Data Center. And because propane runs cleaner than gasoline, your vehicles will operate smoother for longer.

Government

Because of the environmental and financial benefits that propane autogas offers, many government agencies have converted their fleets to this clean, safe and convenient alternative fuel source. By switching to propane, the government will increase the lifespan of the engines in its vehicles and reduces overall maintenance cost.

Practical Uses of Propane

EM2_4781-EditWhen most people think of propane tanks, they probably picture them as a way to heat your grill for barbecues and cookouts. But there are several other very good reasons to use propane gas. And now with Gas Tec’s propane delivery service, you don’t even have to leave your home to get the propane tank you need.

We decided to explore some of the more practical uses of propane tanks to help give you an idea of the many reasons to give us a call.

Pool, Spa & Hot Tub Heaters

Propane heaters can get your pool, spa or hot tub to its perfect temperature much faster than electric heaters. They also conserve energy, which saves you money on energy costs. Propane heaters, which are available in both above-ground and in-ground models, can range in size from as small as 5,000 Btu/hr (British thermal units per hour) for a spa or hot tub to 400,000 Btu/hr for a full-size swimming pool.

Patio Heaters

A propane-powered space heater for your patios can offer some warmth in cold temperatures. Some propane heaters can emit radiant heat to a 20-foot radius and raise the outdoor temperature by about 10 to 30 degrees. Propane patio heaters come in various shapes and sizes. Most models offer adjustable temperature controls and numerous safety features.

Stovetops & Ranges

We’ve already discussed using propane to help you cook on the grill outside, but it can also be used for your indoor stovetops and ranges. Cooking with propane can be cheaper and more energy efficient than cooking with electricity. Propane-fueled ovens and ranges give you more control over cooking temperature and tend to heat food more evenly. Propane-fueled burners also cool quickly.

Clothes Dryers

Propane-fueled dryers will dry your clothes more efficiently and cost you about half as much to run as electric dryers. Propane dryers heat up faster, saving you time. The moist heat of propane dryers is also less likely to burn or discolor your clothes than the heat produced by electric dryers.

Water Heaters

Smaller storage space is needed for propane water heaters than electric ones. The temperature adjustment of propane water heaters is more precise and there are more sizes, installations and venting opportunities to choose from. Propane water heaters also tend to be sturdier and last longer. Propane water heaters can fulfill the needs of household water sources such as sinks and showers, as well as larger settings such as a greenhouse, workshop or building.

Furnaces & Fireplaces

Stay warm inside by fueling your furnace or fireplace with propane. Propane furnaces and fireplaces heat up faster and more efficiently. So not only will you get warmer quicker, you’ll also be saving money on energy costs in the process. Propane furnaces and fireplaces also last much longer than electric ones.

Generators

You never know when a power outage is going to happen, but you can be prepared with a propane-fueled generator. Generators can provide your home with a reliable source of energy when the electricity is out. Generators run on propane or natural gas and can be hooked up directly to your existing gas line.

What to Know About Propane Safety Before Using the Grill this Summer

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Before you fire up the grill this summer, GasTec wants to help you review some important safety tips for using propane fuel.

Location, Location, Location

Make sure you’re grilling in an appropriate place. That means somewhere outdoors in a well-ventilated space. Never grill inside the garage or in the house. Place the grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 27 percent of home structure fires involving grills start on a courtyard, terrace or patio; 29 percent start on an exterior balcony or open porch; 6 percent start in the kitchen.

Check for Leaks

When you take your grill out for the first time after storing it for the winter, check the liquid propane tank for any leaks or general disrepair. If you suspect a leak, turn off all of the grill’s controls and turn the propane tank to the full “on” position. Don’t use a flame to check for gas leaks. Use a solution of dishwashing soap and water, and spray it on all of the propane tank’s fittings. Look for any bubbles where gas is escaping. If you find a leak, get it serviced by our propane professionals or exchange the tank.

Chain of Command

Once you’re ready to cook, turn on the propane tank first, then the grill. When you’re done, turn the propane off first and then turn off the grill to minimize the amount of residual pressure left in the gas hose. Keep the grill off and propane tank valve closed when not in use.

Better Safe than Sorry

You should always keep some sort of fire extinguishing device nearby when using a grill fueled by propane gas. A commercial fire extinguisher is probably the best bet because it can cover a wider area than conventional extinguishers. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher handy, keep a box of baking soda lying around for grease fires. Sand and even cat litter can also be used to extinguish flames. Worse comes to worst, know where the garden hose is located.

Transporting the Tank

Driving with a propane tank is perfectly fine as long as you’re cautious. Even if the tank is empty, make sure the valve is closed tightly and keep the tank in an upright position. Also, keep the car well-ventilated by cracking the window open. And definitely don’t keep the tank in a hot car for a prolonged period of time.

Storage

If storing a gas grill indoors, make sure the propane tank is completely disconnected, removed and stored separately outdoors. Never store a propane tank indoors.

Don’t be Stupid

If you smell gas while you’re cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Also, don’t ever smoke while handling a propane tank.

 

Propane’s Proliferation Means Easy Access For Consumers In Need Of Refill Station Services

kIt may be hard to imagine in today’s near limitless world of energy options, but heating your home was once done by a fireplace or coal and that’s about it. If you could chop down a tree, you could keep warm. If you could get a delivery of coal sent to your basement to feed the furnace, you could keep warm. Thankfully for our health and that of our planet, the efficiency of your average residential home has come a long way in the past 100 years.

Even just going back 50 years, those who didn’t have massive amounts of income often found themselves in the row homes of developing cities or single-story simple structures of the suburbs. Heating these structures in more modern times typically fell to electricity, natural gas or oil. Another option consumers could have sought out during these past decades was propane. First discovered around the turn of the last century, propane’s uses soon grew to cooking purposes and for high-concentration cutting.

Propane, an odorless and colorless gas that’s also been deemed non-toxic, offers both residential, business and industrial consumers another option for heat and powering appliances. Readers searching for a propane refill station near me will benefit from the convenient services of your local provider. Propane tanks come in a variety of sizes, from the backyard variety used by retail customers to power grills to 90,000-gallon cylinders. While the former can often be refueled at many walk-in stations, the latter will require a visit from your propane provider to top off the tank. The clientele of propane customers also varies as we make our way up in tank size.

Residential users can benefit from the well-known safety and stability of the substance while work sites can use a propane tank to power a small heater and the industrial sector can benefit from propane by way of larger tanks providing a constant source of fuel. When visiting a propane refill station, be sure to have the safety of your cylinder checked by a professional. Additional services offered by propane companies including setting up delivery services and appointments, offering safety tips on the substance and helping to manage your account.

GasTec Secures Top Honors In Annual ‘Bucks Happening’ Contest For Second Year In A Row

As residential propane continues to gain in popularity and its uses become more diverse, retail providers are continuously faced with new questions, customers and concerns. It’s thus a testament to the services and skills of GasTec that the Ivyland, Pennsyvania-based company has for the second year in a row received top honors in the annual “Bucks Happening” contest.

GasTec was recently announced as the overall winner in the “Home” category for “heating fuel” providers, beating out another finalist and two nominees in the process. More than 150,000 people voted last year in the contest that’s organized by Bucks Happening, which is the premier digital magazine that’s locally owned and operated and covers Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Bucks Happening offers lifestyle, financial and entertainment news to the region that more than 620,000 people call home, according to U.S. Census figures. That population represents a lot of households and for readers researching propane companies in PA, they are sure to benefit from services provided by GasTec.

GasTec, which has more than three generations of propane knowledge backing up its business model, has been in operation for more than six decades and also serves customers in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. For residential customers, Gas Tec offers planning assistance for homeowners considering making the switch to propane as source for heating their homes, using it to power their dryers, to warm their backyard pools or fuel barbecues.

Not only is propane considered a highly effective and cost-efficient fuel source, the Environmental Protection Agency has deemed it a “non-contaminant” since it’s non-toxic and won’t harm the  environment. For those in the commercial sector with propane needs, GasTec can offer industrial-sized propane tanks to provide the power you need to run a large-scale operation. From tanks holding 100 gallons all the way up to massive 90,000-gallon cylinders, GasTec can get you the right equipment to fit you needs. On the work site, propane can be used as a heat source for crews who need to warm up from the cold and rain during a construction process.

Clearly, the capabilities of propane application in the residential and commercial sector are diverse. More importantly, they can be a cost-saver when compared to the legacy fuel sources that are often far from earth-friendly. For more information on propane companies in PA, call GasTec at 888-449-3585.

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Propane Perks Abound But Residential Users Should Be Aware Of Price, Maintenance Issues

The perks of residential propane are indisputable: This versatile and clean-burning gas can be used to heat the home, dry clothing and cook dinner. Moreover, its reputation as the gas that fueled a million backyard barbecues is being quickly replaced as an earth-friendly alternative to traditional oil or electric heating. With residential propane prices now hovering around $2 per gallon, a walk-in business refill station cuts out the middle man and lets you get in, out and on your way. For homeowners who’ve switched over to propane as the means of powering their home, the decision does carry a number of logistical procedures to be aware of.

kGenerally, walk-in fill stations allow for users to transport and fill their own propane tanks during regular business hours. At these facilities, members of the public can bring their barbecue grill tanks, 30-pound and even up to the 100-pound varieties. Vehicles that run off propane, as well as mobile homes and campers who utilize the gas, are also often able to swing through filling stations. During these on-site visits however, special attention should be placed on the tank itself. Inspecting these vessels is crucial to ensure their safety and longevity. Employees of established propane providers know what signs to look for during inspection and can certify the safety of said tanks. There are also typically tanks for sale at the business to replace any out-of-date canisters that present a danger if re-used.

When it comes to refilling on the larger scale, home delivery is also a factor for tanks positioned either above or below ground. Clearly, transporting such tanks to a walk-in retail fill station isn’t an option so propane companies will make house calls similar to heating oil companies. The size of the tanks and frequency of usage will dictate how often re-fill visits will need to take place, but this is an arrangement that can be worked out with your energy provider.

As with traditional gasoline, industry experts say the price of propane will fluctuate based off of market signals. It’s also largely produced in the U.S. and thus a boost to the national economy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the residential price per gallon of propane hovered around $2.40 throughout much of March 2017. That figure represents a slight increase from a little more than $2 at this time in 2016. According to the EIA, 5 percent of households across the U.S. use propane for residential heating purposes. Those residents, the EIA said in a spring 2017 economic outlook, could this winter expect to pay slightly more than the current price if the weather is warmer than presently predicted.

For those homeowners who’vel made the jump to propane power, the fluctuation in price is part of the process. After all, every utility company bills on personal usage and not a flat fee. For those in the market for propane or prospective homeowners looking at a new place, the current configuration of the home is of considerable attention. While kits for converting traditional appliances to run off propane are available, it’s also a job best left to industry professions with experience installing such conversion devices. Those looking to move into a new place with immediate plans to adopt propane should ask the real estate agency about  the feasibility of doing so. Further, those selling a home with a large propane tank already on site should be able to provide proof of regular inspection.

Residential propane via on-site refills has quickly proven itself as a popular alternative to traditional energy sources. For more information on propane walk-in retail business, call 1-888-449-3585.