Monthly Archives: September 2014

6 Advantages of a Residential Propane Service

When you live in a rural or suburban area, it can be hard to choose how best to heat your home. These days, more and more people are switching to a residential propane service—and not only for the convenience it provides. Propane offers substantial advantages over other energy sources, including:snow

1.       No more chopping wood

Many homeowners who switch to a propane furnace still like to light up a traditional fire in the fireplace now and then—it’s a relaxing, social experience. But if you’ve ever relied on a wood burning stove or fireplace for your heat, you know there is nothing relaxing about chopping large volumes of wood and constantly stoking up the fire. A residential propane service means heating your home becomes hassle-free.

2.       No more messy fuels

Many suburban and rural homes use furnaces that burn fuel oil. Aside from being inefficient, fuel oil is messy, heavy, and toxic. If it’s spilled, it will pollute your land and your groundwater. Propane is a non-toxic and harmless alternative. A leak is easy to detect because it has a distinct scent. It’s also safe and a lot easier to work with than oil.

3.       Save money

Propane homes are more efficient than electric homes and propane heating offers serious cost savings. One of the nicest things about switching to a reliable residential propane service is seeing how much less you spend over the course of a year on your energy costs.

4.       Get tax credits

Not only is propane more efficient, it’s also greener than fuel or electricity, and like many green choices that means there are tax credits available. Depending on your location, both local and state tax incentives may be available.

5.       Stronger heating

Money aside, the biggest thing most homeowners want out of their choice of heating system is simple: reliable, strong, toasty warm heat. Propane furnaces deliver, putting out more degrees of heat than equivalent electrical units. Propane offers pleasantly conditioned air, efficiently, almost as soon as you turn on the heat.

6.       Add more heated space

Another benefit of having a propane-based heating system is that it’s easy to add on a propane patio heater which can turn a screened porch, garage, rec room or three reason room into additional heated space. That can be useful on a temporary basis (like while you work on the car or when hosting a party) or for ongoing use.

Are you considering switching to propane? What do you want out of a residential propane service?

Top 5 Reasons to Use Propane This Winter

There are a growing number of propane companies in PA in part because of the rising demand from homeowners. Many people are turning to propane for their heating and cooking needs instead of electric or oil-burning furnaces. So why the switch? Here are the top five reasons people prefer propane:propane

1.       It’s more environmentally-friendly

Propane companies in PA know that propane is one of the greenest options for conventional home heating and cooking uses, generating far less greenhouse gases than electricity produced at a coal-burning power plant. Because of this environmental advantage, the government encourages the use of propane and there are tax rebates available for homeowners who use propane. And as is often the case, going green with propane also means saving money.

2.       Efficient heating

For many Pennsylvania homes, electrical heating is installed by default—but this is not in the homeowner’s best interest. Electrical heat and is inefficient as are electrical appliances generally. A home that uses all propane-powered appliances will almost invariable see lower energy costs than one with electric. And a propane furnace in general is a huge benefit: not only is it more efficient, it tends to perform better, putting out substantially more heat than an electric equivalent. During a Pennsylvania winter, having the best heat system available is a must—especially when it also lowers your heating costs.

3.       Gas cooks better than electric

The simple truth is that using an electric stove is not fun. The burners take time to heat up, whereas a propane stove provides instant on/off capability. It’s also easy to visually gauge how hot a gas burner is, and gas burners cool more quickly after being turned off, which makes them safer. But the biggest reason people prefer to cook with gas is simple: it gives you better control and a more even heat, leading to better meals.

4.       The tankless water heater option

While there are many fringe benefits to switching to propane, one in particular that needs to be called out is the use of propane water heaters. We’ve already discussed how propane heaters are more efficient than electric, but the most efficient option for heating water is a tankless heater—in other words, one that heats water instantly when you turn on the shower or sink, thus giving you a virtually unlimited supply of hot water. These tankless heaters require gas to work, are more energy efficient than traditional water heaters, and provide the luxury of never having to wait for hot water again.

5.       Nontoxic

Unlike fuel oil, propane is nontoxic and does not harm the ground or your water supply. It is a safe, clean alternative to other heater fuels.

Do you use propane in your home?

How the State of Pennsylvania can Help You Afford a Propane Powered Car

car driving

Have you ever thought about owning a vehicle that ran an alternative fuel? As gas prices rise and more people become concerned about the environment, curiosity about non-gasoline powered cars has risen. When most people consider cars that don’t run on gasoline, they immediately think about solar powered or electric cars. The Nissan Leaf may be popular, but it’s hardly the only alternative-fuel car available.

You may not know this, but propane has been used to power vehicles for decades. Many farmers and people in the agricultural business use these vehicles for work, and some car manufacturers have been making propane-powered vehicles for quite some time now. The Propane Education and Research Council estimates that there are over 147,000 propane vehicles in the United States. The vast majority are used for fleet purposes, so a variety of shuttles, police cars, and even school and regular buses run on propane. Many propane vehicles work like regular gas-powered cars and use spark-ignited engines. Propane vapor is drawn into the combustion chamber where it is burned to produce energy, just like gasoline.

Thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 1992, propane is considered an alternative fuel source. Propane gas is clean burning, produces very little pollution, and isn’t even considered a greenhouse gas. Propane isn’t just good for the environment— it’s also very abundant and cheap. Plenty of propane companies in Montgomery County and around Pennsylvania will tell you how inexpensive propane is. Much of the propane purchased in the United States came from within the country, so if you opt for a propane-powered car you’ll have the added benefit of buying American-made fuel.

Are you interested in trying out a propane car, and eventually purchasing one of your own? If so, you are in luck! Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has recently approved an extension of the state’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program. The state has invested $4.35 million in the program since it was founded in 2011, and it has been extended to last until the end of 2014. The program gives PA auto buyers rebates if they purchase any of the following:

  • a large-battery system plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
  • a battery-electric vehicle
  • a fuel cell vehicle
  • a propane-powered car

If you choose to purchase a propane-powered vehicle, you can be eligible to receive a rebate of $1,000 for your purchase. If you want to take advantage of the rebate you’ll need to act fast, as the state only extended the program to cover a couple hundred more vehicles.

Talk to us at Gas Tec today to find out how to power your personal vehicle or even a fleet with propane!

Common Questions about Propane

Winter is probably the last thing on the minds of the average PA resident during the end of summer, but temperatures are going to drop before you know it. Considering last winter and the relatively cool summer we’ve had, the cold could sneak up on the Keystone State a little earlier this year – and you’ll want to be ready sooner rather than later.

If you thought that your heating bills were too high last winter, you may want to consider switching to propane, and there’s no better time to do so! Propane prices in PA are extremely affordable, and these systems are some of the cheapest heating and energy options you’ll find. If you aren’t familiar with propane, you’ll probably have a lot of questions about using it in your home. If so, this post should provide you with answers.

 propane tank in PA

What is propane?

Some people are confused about what form propane actually takes, since it also goes by the name of “liquefied petroleum gas.” Propane is transported and stored as a very cold liquid, but is converted to gas inside of tanks and cylinders.

Is propane dangerous?

Every heating option requires some caution, and propane is no exception to the rule. You should always use propane safely but, on its own, the substance is relatively harmless. Propane is non-toxic, colorless, and odorless and since that is the case, manufacturers add a distinctive odor to the substance so that it can be properly detected.

What else can propane do aside from heating and cooking?

When most people think about using propane, they expect to heat their homes or do some cooking; however, there are plenty of other things that the substance can be used for. Did you know that propane can power cars? There are over 100,000 propane-powered vehicles on the road in the United States. As traditional gas prices increase, more people may discover this affordable alternative. Propane also has its place in the agriculture and landscape industry, where it runs pumps and engines for harvesting, and can even help dry and process crops.

Is propane really good for the environment?

As interest in alternative fuel sources has increased, people have started to tout the environmental benefits of propane. Propane is a clean burning fuel, and produces very little in terms of exhaust emissions. Propane isn’t considered a greenhouse gas, and doesn’t harm salt and freshwater eco-systems.

What else do you want to know about propane? Contact us today at Gas Tec to find out why propane is right for you!