How to Safely Transport your Propane Cylinders

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, camping and outdoor activities have seen a huge rise in popularity. While the colder months will soon be arriving, this has not slowed down the number of people getting out of the house and driving out to a campsite. Most, if not all, of the popular camping foods – hamburgers, hotdogs, corn on the cob, etc. require a grill. When planning for your next camping cookout, it is important to understand how to safely transport your propane to your campsite so you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind.

Before You Load

– Before loading your cylinder into your trunk, make sure the valve is off and, if necessary, closed with the accompanying plug. Even when transporting an empty cylinder, always ensure the valve is turned off to prevent a potential gas leak.

– Sedans or SUV’s may carry up to four propane cylinders at once. Each cylinder cannot exceed a capacity of more than 45 pounds. The total combined weight of all propane cylinders may not exceed 90 pounds per vehicle.

– Plan ahead, it is not advised to keep your cylinder in car for extended periods of time. Have a destination in mind, take infrequent rest stops to reach your destination as quickly as possible. Once you have arrived plan to immediately remove the propane from your vehicle.

Packing Away Your Propane 

– It is essential to always transport your propane cylinder in an upright position to prevent rolling. If you are concerned that your cylinder may shift during the drive, you can place your cylinder in a milk carton.

– Make sure your propane is stored in a well-ventilated area to keep from overheating. Never leave your propane for extended periods in a hot environment like a vehicle or RV. When overheated, propane expands, which can lead to a gas leak or explosion.

– If you are unsure of the safest way to pack your propane, ask your propane services provider to help secure your cylinder.

Unloading Your Cylinder 

– Once you have unloaded your cylinder from your vehicle, check for leaks by looking to see if the rubber seal has been broken.

-When storing propane at your campsite, keep the cylinder in an open, clear area. Do not store in a shed, within a cabin or near a campfire.

When you are finished camping and ready for a propane tank refill, head over to our headquarters where you can fill your tanks on the spot.

Gastec propane delivery service

Plan ahead this Season with a Propane Fireplace

As the tristate area suffers through yet another heat wave, we cannot help but daydream of fall and winter and all that comes with the temperature relief! The start of football season, the return of pumpkin spice lattes, the many holiday celebrations like trick or treating (if we are lucky this year!) and warming up by the fire on those cool nights! It is hard to believe we will be bundling in sweaters and sweatshirts in just a month or two.

Thoughts of fall and winter not only focuses on the fun stuff but also on “housekeeping” items like, how can we cut expenses and potentially get a break on our increased gas/electric bill that is sure to come during those chilly months! As much as you keep a good check on your thermostat and choose to add a layer of clothing or a blanket instead of bumping the heat up, most people manage to get hit with a few overly high heating bills as we make our way through January and February each year. Although we are currently searching for a relief from the heat, what better time than now to plan for the colder weather that is just around the corner?

One common way to supplement your heating system is to install a propane fireplace.  When comparing propane fireplaces to gas and electric heating or to traditional wood burning fireplaces, there are loads of benefits. Propane fireplaces are known to cut overall energy costs by using a fraction of the BTU’s that other heating sources use. Whether you choose to install a direct vent unit that draws outside air to keep the flame lit or you install a vent free unit that works with indoor air combustion, you are bound to see a break in your budget.

Another benefit of a propane fireplace is that propane is considered a non-toxic fuel. It produces no fumes, particles, or pollutants in your home. There is no soot and very minimal, if any, clean up or maintenance required. By choosing propane, you can be rest assured you are creating a safe environment for your family and helping to keep the planet clean!

Propane fireplaces are also simple to install and maintain. You can convert a traditional wood burning fireplace to propane or you can purchase a new free-standing unit. Direct venting can easily be installed through the wall or roof or you can opt for one of the vent free models. If a fireplace is the only propane source in your home, a small tank can be purchased and refilled as needed. Or, if you use propane for other appliances as well as the fireplace, a larger tank can be arranged to service all sources.  The propane tank can be filled each season or setup to fill on whatever reoccurring schedule is necessary.

When you are ready for a tank refill, give us a call for our propane delivery service.

As you sit by the pool or escape the heat in the comfort of your AC, take some time to plan for the colder temps soon to come. Installing a propane fireplace now will prepare you for the east coast winter ahead! As you sip your latte and enjoy family time around the fire in late January, you (and your bank account) will be thankful that you did!

Benefits of Grilling with Propane

benefits of grilling with propane

Many of us have spent more time cooking at home, giving us plenty of time this season for our favorite summer pastime of grilling. There has long since been a debate among propane grilling enthusiasts and charcoal grillers over which method is the most efficient and, while charcoal is not without its benefits, Gastec acknowledges that there are a host of benefits for grilling with propane. For the benefit of those considering purchasing a grill this summer, Gastec includes a few benefits that propane grills have over their charcoal counterparts.

Convenient to Use

One of the inherent benefits of grilling with propane is the ease of use. Those that have used a charcoal grill know that it can take a few attempts to properly light, but that is simply not the case with gas grills. With just a turn of the dial, a propane grill is up and ready to go. Propane grills also heat up quicker and maintain a steady temperature much more easily than alternatives.

Healthier

Experts have found that grilling with propane is notably healthier than using charcoal. The reasoning for this is because propane grilling reduces the risks of carcinogens polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines, or PAHs and HCAs, being imparted onto your food during the cooking process. This typically occurs when charcoal causes fat drippings from meat to fall onto the coals under the grate, which generates smoke underneath that can potentially introduce the carcinogens to your food. Gastec notes that this is not an issue when using propane grills instead.

More Efficient Temperature Control

Those that have used gas stoves in their households know that precise control of cooking temperatures is a great benefit, and propane allows for similar control when grilling. Propane grills maintain temperatures easily, reach peak temperatures after only 15 minutes after startup, and are not susceptible to the unpredictable heats or dwindling heats that charcoal grills can fall victim to. Remember that your meats reach a certain cook because of their internal temperature, and it can be easy to make a mistake if the temperature of your grill is constantly fluctuating. With propane grills, you can ensure consistent results much easier.

Easy Cleanup

Propane has a cleaner burn than coal, and after use you do not need to worry about disposing of soot, briquettes, and other messes. When cleaning a propane grill, you only need to scrape off and wipe down the grates and you are ready to cook again. Propane grilling ensures that we do not need to spend our newly acquired free time cleaning up a messy grill and can get on to the next tasks quickly and efficiently.

When you are ready for a tank refill, come on by to our Bucks County location in Ivyland, PA.  We offer walk-in propane tank refills. Only $9.95 for a 20lb Propane Tank.

Advantages of Propane Heating

Individuals that are in the process of looking at new homes or updating their current one need to look into a lot of facets before either signing a contract or starting construction. One of the important things to consider during this time is the heat source that is best for your home needs. While some older construction already utilizes propane tanks, some have other forms of heat such as oil, gas, and electricity. The diversity of these heat sources is vast, and it is best to carefully consider the pros and cons of each to help you determine which is right for your home. In this article, we discuss some of the biggest advantages of using propane for heat in your household versus other forms of heat.

Saves Money

One of the inherent benefits of using propane for heating your home is that it saves money when used in place of electricity for appliances and water heating. It has been found that using propane instead of alternatives could save homeowners as much as 30 percent annually on heating water. Also, since the average propane water heater lasts significantly longer than water heating pumps that use electricity, homeowners can save money on maintenance and need to replace their tank less often.

Works During an Emergency

Anyone that has lost power during a severe snowstorm or another event can attest to the fact that it is a major inconvenience if you have electric heating systems. Propane is a useful heat source because, if you happen to lose power, you will still be able to have heat and use your propane appliances. This provides a level of comfort during emergency situations, as you do not need to worry as long as the emergency is not damaging your home’s infrastructure.

High-Energy Alternative

Propane is a high-energy fuel alternative. Propane has a higher octane rating than gasoline, showing its stability as a fuel source. Propane is colorless and odorless but has a scent added so that people can detect leaks. Propane can also reheat a hot water tank more efficiently than electricity, taking 20 minutes to electricity’s hour to do the job.

Safe Energy

Propane is considered a safe energy pick for a multitude of reasons. Propane tanks are up to 20 times more puncture resistant than other gas tank options on the market. Because of the odorant added to propane, which adds an extra layer of safety that makes it easier to detect a leak and get it attended to.

Important Things to Understand About Residential Propane Tanks

We always appreciate the opportunity to help our clients convert to residential propane tanks. They’ve never been easier to use, but a lot of consumers are wary of making the switch as they don’t know how much making the switch will alter to their daily lives. Today, we will look at some of the most important things to understand about residential propane tanks.

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#1 GasTec can deliver your propane, but you could refill your propane on your own

We are always pleased to help families who choose GasTec to come out and refill their residential propane tanks.

#2 You can own or lease propane tanks

Depending on your use of the propane there may be a small fee that is usually associated with leasing a propane tank from a propane company. However, there’s little to no upfront cost with leasing a tank whereas there is an upfront cost associated with purchasing one. The biggest benefit of leasing a tank is that when the time comes to either repair or replace the tank, the leaser is not responsible for the costs associated with it. The biggest benefit of owning a tank is that if there’s no need for maintenance or repairs it will usually provide some long-term savings. The best dealers will go over the options and not force a residence into either decision.

#3 It’s easy to know when a tank is low on propane

A lot of customers are concerned about how easy it will ultimately be to understand that their tank needs replacing or refilling. However, modern tanks take the guesswork out of the equation. Today’s tanks from GasTec offer a gauge that allows you to clearly identify when they’re low. Some of the smaller tanks still do not have a gauge but the two-tank configuration offers a gauge that makes it easier to see when the time comes to switch out the tank.

#4 Propane can be delivered on your schedule

One of the biggest benefits of making the switch to propane is that every residence only utilizes what they need to. This means that there is no need to have a monthly appointment where more propane is delivered. Propane deliveries can happen as often or as sparingly needed as is required. Our staff can help point you in the right direction for what your needs will require.

As you can tell residential propane tanks offer many benefits and help eliminate a lot of the hassle. Are you considering residential propane tanks? Contact us with any questions you may have!

A Look at Residential Above Ground Propane Tank Maintenance

More than 50 million Americans rely on residential propane tanks to fuel their homes. For those that choose to rent their propane tank, maintenance falls under the burden of the lender. For those who own their residential propane tank, it’s up to them to cover the costs of maintenance and repairs. Either way, it’s great to know when a residential propane tank requires maintenance and how to prevent the need for unnecessary repairs.

The first way a homeowner can protect their propane tank investment is to ensure that the propane tank is unobstructed. An unobstructed residential propane tank is placed in an area where it can’t become covered in snow, leaves and other outdoor debris. The more added weight to a propane tank’s surface, the higher the likelihood of unwanted leaks. Because propane is a gas, this is extremely dangerous as the last thing anyone wants is an explosion. The next essential step is to store a residential propane tank in an area where it is clearly visible. Keeping a propane tank highly visible not only allows the owner to notice any unusual circumstances, but it also helps to ensure there are no unnecessary collisions. One of the most common mistakes is that grass grows high around the tank, which leads to the tank being hit with a lawnmower, weedwhacker, or other lawncare devices.

The best way to avoid unnecessary repairs is to ensure tank fittings and valves are secured. This is done by ensuring the lid of the tank isn’t exposed to unwanted elements like rain, ice and debris. The fittings and valves are located directly under the lid of the tank. One of the biggest outside elements to look out for when it comes to the safety of the tank’s fittings and valves are birds who find the area a perfect spot for nesting in the spring or bees.

Visibility is also extremely important when it comes to vehicles. Accidents happen, so even if a propane tank is clearly visible, it shouldn’t be in any way close to a path or road that allows vehicles to pass them. All it takes is a small bump from a car for a tank to leak or explode. When the time does come for maintenance and a leak is discovered, this job must be left to an expert. There’s always a temptation to take on a repair job yourself to save on unwanted repair costs. However, leaks in a propane tank cause very serious and dangerous situations. GasTec has the experts on hand who have the proper tools, experience, and understood protocol to fix the leak in the safest way possible.

 

4 Workers You Should Know at Your Propane Company

While more and more companies are beginning to offer propane in the greater Montgomery County area, we recognize that a large amount of these are small operations in which one person must do an entire team’s worth of work. That spirit is quintessential to our industry, but we also know that such companies can be overworked and not operating at the capacity to provide services at the level that you may require. What separates the great propane companies from the competition is a combination of many factors that are not necessarily achievable in smaller operations. Namely, the company must foster a knowledgeable and courteous staff to aid its client base in every step of the process. For convenience, we’ve included four team members that one should expect to see at a propane company and the ways in which they can help you with your propane related needs.

The Propane Dealer

The first person that you should meet when you inquire about propane prices will be the propane dealer. While there are many companies that refer to the position as a “sales” job, we argue that dealers on-the-floor should have the foresight to look beyond the possibility of an immediate sale. The most important facet of the propane dealer’s job is to educate you on your options for propane energy and enable you to make the best choice possible based on this information. Sales are not an overwhelming concern for a propane dealer because, if a propane dealer does their job to make things as transparent and upfront as possible, customers will be satisfied down the line, and transactions will happen naturally.

The Delivery Person

The delivery person is the team member that you will see most frequently if you sign up for residential propane service. When you schedule a time and date, the delivery person will show up to make the delivery to your dwelling. You can either set up automatic deliveries or simply call to request a propane refill. As part of their job description, delivery people are extremely respectful of your property and mindful of your privacy. The goal of the delivery person is to make the delivery and exit without disturbing anyone in your household.

The Technician

Technicians serve an integral role in the team and should have both a lot of experience in the field and formal training in propane. With this expertise, the technician is suited to perform repairs and maintenance tasks. If there is ever a problem with your propane, a technician will be there to offer a quick and effective fix. Even if there is not currently a problem, routine maintenance should still be performed, and the technician is the best team member to handle the job.

The Office Staff

The Office staff plays an important support role by offering important answers to questions pertaining to your tank, service plan, bill, or any other inquiries you may have while in contact with a company. Because The office staff needs to have the answers to customer service questions, there is an emphasis on the office staff to be courteous, well-educated on propane, and willing to help whenever you may need it.

With a good team available to assist, propane makes for an easy choice for your household. What about propane has gotten you interested in trying it out?

Residential Propane Safety Tips

With owning a home comes multiple responsibilities. For example, there are a plethora of items that your home will need in order to ensure that your family and property are safe from harm such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, etc. Homeowners also need to be aware of propane safety tips if their heat or appliances use propane.

Never Run Out of Propane

If your home uses propane, it is important that you never run out.  In order to tell where you stand, propane tanks have a gauge that shows homeowners how much propane it has. This is an asset, and an individual should be sure that they check the gauge to keep it at an optimal level. Usually, people fall into a pattern with their propane usage and, in those cases, it can be helpful to utilize forecasting methods in order to schedule your next delivery. The importance of not running out of propane can not be stressed enough, as it can lead to explosions, fires, or other serious issues.  In some cases, a Remote Tank Monitor may be used to send daily updates of the tank level to the office.

Install a Propane Detector

Homes undoubtedly need smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to keep your house and family safe, but a propane detector is also a great idea to have in your home as well. Propane leaks can usually be noticed by smell to alert you of the need to seek assistance, but propane can sometimes lose its distinctive smell. This would make a leak harder to detect. A propane detector takes the guesswork out of ensuring that your tank remains leak-free and protects your family and property from the possibility of an accident.

How to Use Propane Appliances

It is important to practice caution when dealing with appliances that use propane. For example, if you have a propane grill, you should never use it inside your home. This includes other enclosed parts of your property like garages and sheds. Generators that operate by utilizing propane should be given the same treatment and are required to be outside when operating. Adhering to these rules is simple and can be performed by running an extension cord inside of your house for power. Remember to never use propane appliances like stoves as a space heater or for any purpose other than its intended one.

Don’t Hesitate to Call 911

If you ever smell propane in your home, call 911 immediately. Do not turn on or off any of your appliances and evacuate as quickly as possible. It is important to remember that you are not to re-enter your home until you receive confirmation from the fire department that the action is a safe one to take.

Propane extremely useful for heating and appliances, but it is important to remember that there is a level of responsibility associated with it. Always remember to practice safety tips in your home as you research residential propane prices.

See our service area should you need any of our expert’s assistance.

The Main Benefits of Switching to Propane to Heat Your Pool

Kid in Pool

After another brutally cold winter, we are happy to have helped many families and businesses stay warm with propane deliveries in Hunterdon County. With the arrival of spring, we know how important it is for locals to get the very most out of the warm weather season. It’s our goal to help everyone extend the time they can enjoy their summers through our propane pool heaters. With a propane pool heater, the typical 3-4 months of fun in the sun can be extended deep into the fall season. Today, we will examine some of the many benefits of utilizing propane to heat your Hunterdon County pool.

Environmentally Friendly – Many people look to solar pool heaters as a means of being environmentally conscious. These heaters rely on natural sunlight to be effective and do not provide as much control as their propane heater counterparts. The good news is that propane heaters are environmentally friendly as well. As a clean burning fuel, propane saves energy and works to reduce the carbon footprint.  Pool water runs through copper coils and returns to the pool at the desired temperature. This process is quicker than solar heaters and provides a higher level of control in regards to pool temperature.

Financial Benefits – Our experts understand how to ensure that a pool heater is sized properly for the pool and the elements of our area. The proper match is critical to fuel efficiency. Solar pumps will raise an electric bill by $300 to $950 a year as you have to keep the pump running at all times. Because propane heaters heat a pool so quickly, it’s much more of a pay as you go system.

Health Benefits – Warm water can help you relax sore muscles, increase blood flow to injured areas of your body and lower your stress levels. There’s something therapeutic about taking a dip in a warm pool after a long day at work.

We want to provide you with the best pool heating propane service for your unique needs.  Our propane heaters also give you the flexibility of utilizing propane to fire up your grill for a barbecue or heat an outdoor patio space on a cool evening. The power of propane is limitless. Click here to learn more about our propane pool heating in Hunterdon County and the greater Delaware Valley!

 

How Do We Forecast When Propane Delivery Service Is Needed?

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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!