In order to be the best propane company in PA and NJ, our team needs to know when our customers will be in need of more propane. Our goal is to make a delivery with our automatic customers when they’re at about 30% of their total capacity. This is to ensure they don’t run out of fuel when they need it the most. If there’s a snowstorm or emergency and you run out of heating fuel, it could be a very dangerous situation. Our goal here at GasTec is to ensure this never happens, and you have all of the propane you need all year round.
How Do We Calculate How Much Propane Our Customers Will Need?
Determining how much propane a given customer will need is not a guessing game: In fact, forecasting is a science as well as a bit of an art form. Our propane delivery/weather forecasting method involves two terms: ‘Degree Days’ and ‘K Factor.’ Both are values that are used to calculate when propane delivery service is needed.
The first term, degree days, is based on heating values. We calculate degree days by reviewing the average temperature and comparing that to the average outside temperature when heating systems are turned on. Degree days are added to specific days when the outside temperature is lower than 65 degrees.
In order to calculate a specific day’s degree days, we use a formula. Don’t worry; it’s not difficult. All you do is add the high and low temperatures of the day and divide that number by 2. That number is then subtracted from 65. So let’s say on a cold December day, the high for the day is 38 degrees and the low is 24 degrees. When you put those numbers in the formula, you will get 34 degree days.
The second term is called K Factor, and these are the factors that apply to the individual customer. Every customer will have different heating needs and requirements that will affect how much propane they need. For example, the size of the home, the type/size/age of the heater, the set thermostat temperature, and other factors will all apply. A lower K Factor number will mean a household is using propane faster.
So let’s put the two together. We already determined 34 degree days for the cold day in December. Let’s say that the customer has a K Factor of five. This means they will use approximately one gallon of propane every five days. So if the given day has 34 degree days, the household will use almost seven gallons of propane that day. We then assess tank size and our goal number of gallons delivered to that tank to determine when propane delivery service is needed.
While this forecasting method is not always perfect, we can usually get it pretty close so we are serving our customers when they need us the most. Contact us today to learn more about all of our residential and commercial propane services!
Although summer is almost over, many households are still feeling it in their utility bills. With air conditioning, fans, and regular appliances you use every month, electric bills typically peak during the summer months. If you are looking for a way to reduce your utility bills, one potential area you should assess is how your water is heated. Many households, for example, still use an electric water heater to heat their water for showers, laundry, and more. Unfortunately, there are a few issues with electric water heaters.
First, they are expensive to use and will cause your electric bill to go up significantly. Second, they are pretty bulky and cumbersome. If things are cramped in your house already, the last thing you need is a giant, 50-gallon tank taking up space in your home. Third, they need to be replaced every seven to ten years, and a replacement water heater with labor costs could end up costing you $1,000 or more.
Many households in Delaware County are making the switch to propane water heating and for good reason. Propane hot water heaters offer many advantages over electric hot water heaters. For one, propane is less expensive than electric, so your utility bills are going to go down. Also, they have a longer life expectancy than electric hot water heaters. Most propane hot water heaters can be expected to last about 20 years. Performance-wise, propane hot water heaters allow for more accurate temperature adjustments, so the water is never too hot or too cold. They typically heat the water faster as well. Finally, propane hot water heaters are better for the environment than their electric counterparts.
In addition to that, you can opt for a propane tankless hot water heater and enjoy even more benefits. Can you imagine not having a 50-gallon hot water heater tank in your home and having the extra space? A tankless hot water heater does not require water storage and can heat up to eight gallons of water per minute. This means you should not have to worry about using up all of the hot water – a problem we can all relate to, especially in the dead of winter.
If you are thinking about making the switch to propane, our Delaware County team can help. We encourage you to contact us today to learn more about the benefits of going propane.
Summer is one of our favorite times of year, but there are times when Mother Nature can intervene to cause some inconveniences. A severe thunderstorm or tropical storm has the ability to knock power out in a region for hours, days, or even weeks. And as we remember from Hurricane Sandy, the threat of a hurricane is there this time of year as well.
Once you have decided to make an investment into a generator in the event of an outage, the next thing you will need to consider is whether you should go with a standby generator or a portable generator. A standby generator may cost more initially, but it is an automatic and permanent solution that can offer its owner(s) convenience when the lights go out for a little while.
Why Do You Need Power in the First Place?
If the power goes out because of a storm or mechanical issue, some families might be okay for a short while. Maybe going without the television or internet for a day might even be a good thing. But if the power goes out for an extended period of time, power will be needed to power the refridgerator, air conditioner, and cell phones. Also, some people need power for medical equipment and other applications that they can’t do without.
Automatic standby generators start when the power goes out. They are powered by propane or natural gas. Propane is often the best choice because it has a lower startup cost, and propane can be kept in an independent propane tank system on the owner’s property. These tank(s) can be stored underground or above ground depending on the preference of the owner. We encourage you to contact us to learn about our Bucks County and Hunterdon County propane services.
Unlike portable generators, which have finite capabilities, automatic standby generators can ensure homeowners maintain safety and comfort during the worst of a storm. Homeowners also don’t have to worry about refueling the generator in the middle of the storm, which they likely will if they use a portable generator. While portable generators may be a good option for homeowners who want a temporary solution and only need a few items powered, standby generators are an insurance policy for those who deal with many outages and cannot go without an interruption of power.
There’s a longstanding debate between grill enthusiasts about whether it’s better to cook with propane gas or charcoal. As one of the leading Montgomery County propane companies, we’re here to put the argument to rest and tell you why using propane to fuel your grill is the best option.
For starters, cooking with propane as opposed to charcoal eliminates the need to mess around with fire or any sort of open flame. Propane grills are easy and safe to start when done properly. It’s as easy as opening your propane tank valve and pushing an ignite button on the grill.
Charcoal can sometimes take up to 15 minutes or longer to light and get up to the right cooking temperature. Besides requiring more effort during the ignition process, charcoal is also much messier and dirtier to handle than propane. It’s harder to tell what temperature you’re cooking at and the temperature can’t be adjusted as quickly or easily as a propane grill.
When grilling for long periods of time, charcoal can also begin to lose its heat, which requires you to add more charcoal throughout the cooking process. Charcoal grills often times also lack many of the convenient accessories that propane grills have and require much more clean up afterwards.
Becoming good at grilling with charcoal takes practice and is not nearly as intuitive as using a propane-fueled grill.
Propane grills are more popular than charcoal grills because of the convenience and control they provide. They’re easy to start, heat up quickly, easy to clean, and can include some very helpful accessories or settings.
Propane grills also offer more safety while cooking. These gas grills are typically use metal plates, lava rocks, and ceramic rocks to absorb and radiate heat. This prevents open flames, flare ups, and makes cleanup much easier because it makes drips vaporize.
Some of the convenient accessories that propane grills can include are rotisseries, side burners, night lights, side tables, spice racks, storage drawers, and more. Some higher-end propane grills feature smoke boxes for wood chips.
So you see, the choice is quite simple; there is no real debate between charcoal and propane grills. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to master and maintain a charcoal grill then perhaps that form of cooking is not a terrible choice for you. But for those looking for a more controlled and convenient form of grilling, propane grills are certainly the way to go.
With the weather warming up and Memorial Day just around the corner, the smell of barbecue is in the air and many families will turn to cookouts for their long weekend at the end of May.
As one of the leading Mercer County propane companies, we’re sure to see an uptick in propane deliveries and refills in the coming weeks, but besides just providing top-notch propane services to our customers we also want to make sure they know how to use the clean-burning gas safely at their homes.
Although propane can be used in many residential ways, one the most common uses, particularly during warm weather, is for fuel to light up a grill. To practice proper propane safety while grilling this Memorial Day and throughout the summer, follow these propane grill safety tips for before, during, and after grilling.
Before using your propane grill, check for leaks, especially if you’re using the grill for the first time in a while. Gas leaks are one of the most common culprits for grill fires and need to be checked for regularly. If the leak is substantial enough, you might be able to smell the fuel. However, this isn’t always a sufficient test so it is important to know other ways of checking. One way you can check your propane tank for leaks is to turn the tank’s valve to open, get a solution of half water and half soap and apply it with a brush to the propane tank’s hoses and connections. Watch for bubbles to form and if they do that means you have a leak.
While grilling, it is important to keep location in mind. Using a grill indoors or in a garage is never a wise idea, and you’ll also want to make sure the grill isn’t too close to the house or wooden fences when being used outside. Make sure the lid is open when you ignite the grill and always keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case. Baking soda, sand, or cat litter can also be used to extinguish flames if you do not have a fire extinguisher available.
When you are done grilling, turn the propane tank off first and then the grill. This is meant to minimalize the amount of residual pressure that builds up in the propane hoses. Always keep the propane tank valve closed when it’s not in use. When it comes to storing your propane tank, make sure it is completely disconnected from your grill and it remains outdoors. You never want to store a propane tank indoors.
If you’re an eastern Pennsylvania resident who receives propane from one of the many Bucks County, Berks County, Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, or Lehigh County propane companies, you might have a few questions about propane and its many applications.
The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association (PAPGA) is a trade association representing the Pennsylvania propane industry. Many people turn to PAPGA for information about propane and to have their questions about propane answered.
According to PAPGA, here are some of the most frequently asked questions by Pennsylvania propane users.
What is propane?
Propane is an American-made fuel that is more affordable and cleaner that other energy sources. It is usually compressed and stored as a liquid in tanks. It can be used for heating space and water, cooking, and as engine fuel. Natural propane gas is non-toxic, colorless and odorless. However, an identifying odor is usually added to propane that is purchased so that leaks can be detected.
Where does propane come from?
The Marcellus Shale production in Pennsylvania is where propane in the state comes from. Propane is a byproduct of both natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Of all the propane used in American, about 97 percent of it comes from North America.
What are the benefits of using propane?
Propane differs from other crude oil products such as gasoline or diesel fuel in the following ways:
- It’s more affordable
- It’s cleaner
- It’s more abundant
- It’s domestic
Who uses propane?
Propane is used by many households and industries across the United States. It is used in 48 million households nationwide as well as many businesses for space and water heating, cooking, clothes drying, and generators. Many industries are switching to propane use for their energy needs because it is cost effective and produces lower emissions. Transportation, professional landscaping, and agricultural businesses are just some of the many industries who have made drastic switches to propane.
How is propane distributed?
Propane in the United States is distributed between 56,000 miles of pipeline and about 6,000 retail dealers across the country. Not only is propane widely available, it is also affordable and easily transported.
How does propane contribute to Pennsylvania’s economy?
Pennsylvania’s propane industry distributes propane to more than 190,000 households across the state. Between all of this service, the industry contributes more than $1.3 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.
The Tri-State area has seen its fair share of snow this winter, especially late in the season. And with some storms bringing wet, heavy snow and high winds, the power outages in the region have spiked.
During these temporary losses of electricity, many homes were without heat, light, or hot water. But those who were already prepared with a generator suffered much less.
Generators come in all shapes, sizes, and types, and are great as emergency power sources for your home. Different sized generators fulfill different needs. A small, 10,000 Kilowatt generator is typically enough to run some bare essentials in your home like the freezer, sump pump, and a few lights. Larger generators, 17kW and up, can power additional appliances or even handle your whole home.
For generators that are run on propane, it is wise to have an independent propane tank system available, either underground or above ground, because of the variable amounts of propane that can be drawn unexpectedly in a short amount of time.
Many people in the Tri-State area such as those in Mercer County already have generators, and those who don’t are likely considering getting one after this harsh winter. But if you do get a new generator in the near future, we’re here to tell you why you should get one that you can power with Mercer County propane.
Fuel and Maintenance Costs
Preparing for an emergency or disaster can sometimes be very costly. But using propane to fuel your generator can help save on these costs. Propane is a low-cost fuel that is available throughout the country. The maintenance costs of propane-powered generators as opposed to gasoline generators is also much less. The carbon buildup and deposits that take place in gasoline systems are not an issue with propane generators.
Propane is a clean-burning fuel, meaning it produces a lower amount of carbon monoxide than most other fuel sources, particularly gasoline. Unlike gasoline, there is also no risk of spilling propane because it is stored safely in tanks with security valves.
Also unlike gasoline, propane’s shelf life is limitless. Gasoline will only last a few months before it starts degrading, but propane gives you the option to store fuel for a much longer period of time. Don’t worry about wasting unused fuel when you power your generator with propane.
There are several Chester County propane companies to choose from, but what sets GasTec apart from the rest? Well, the answer is simple: GasTec is a full-service propane company that offers residential and commercial services, as well as propane auto gas.
Here’s a closer look at the full range of services offered by GasTec:
GasTec can help heat your home, cook your dinner, or keep your lights on when your power goes out. Residential propane has many uses and GasTec can have you utilizing all of them. Offering some of the most competitive residential propane prices in Pennsylvania and beyond, GasTec will work with you to build a plan that will fit your budget and reduce your energy costs. So next time you need residential propane for house heating, pool heating, hot water, or as a power supply for generators, give GasTec a call and we’ll have your needs taken care of in no time.
When it comes to supplying restaurants, constructions sites, warehouses, and bulk facilities with propane, you won’t find a company more reliable than GasTec. Our commercial services provide propane solutions for all types of commercial properties. We even offer on-site filling stations to keep work crews warm throughout the frigid winter months.
These days there are many people looking for an alternative to gasoline to fuel their vehicles. Propane auto gas has been a preferred method of many since the 1940s, and today, approximately 17 million propane-fueled are on the road. Propane auto gas is affordable and available at GasTec.
But what really sets GasTec apart from the competition the most is its unmatched reputation, which has been built over more than 60 years. Our immense knowledge of the propane industry, reliable installations, and dedication to customer service all keep our customers coming back time after time. Not to mention, you won’t find better prices on propane services anywhere else southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware!
Did you know you can contact your propane company and enroll in automatic propane delivery services? That’s right! Doing so means you would no longer have to call and schedule propane deliveries every time you need a refill. Not only is this type of service convenient, it also comes with tons of other great benefits.
To dig deeper into this topic, we’ve provided some of the best reasons to sign up for automatic propane delivery.
No waiting: Sometime when you call propane companies to schedule a delivery you end up getting placed on hold for an extended period of time, especially in the winter when propane is in higher demand. Enrolling in automatic deliveries and eliminating scheduling calls means no more waiting on hold!
No scheduling: We’ve already touched on this, but automatic propane deliveries means no more having to call the propane company yourself to schedule each one of your propane refills. The propane company monitors your propane levels for you and knows when you’ll need your next delivery.
No checking: Speaking of monitoring, propane companies will also check your tank gauge each time they come out so that they can monitor your tank level and deliver propane to you when you need it. This saves you the extra task of having to check your gauge yourself.
No emergencies: Running out of gas, especially in the winter, is a horrible feeling. This won’t happen when you enroll in automatic propane deliveries. The chances of ever running out of gas while signed up for automatic deliveries are slim-to-none. Many propane companies also regularly conduct leak checks to help prevent any emergency gas shortages.
Peace of mind: Not having to call to schedule deliveries or monitor your gas level makes for total peace of mind when it comes to your propane needs. Leave it in the hands of the professionals by signing up for automatic deliveries and you won’t have to give a second thought to your propane supply.
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.