During COVID-19, many Americans saw the summer months as a welcome change to the monotony of stay-at-home orders. The warmer weather made visiting with friends and family a possibility by utilizing backyard space to meet with loved ones while safely social distancing. Now that winter is officially here, many families across the United States are not ready to go back inside for the winter and use skype for their social interactions. GasTec, one of the east coast’s leading suppliers of propane and gas accessories, has noted within the last month a new trend in propane services. Below, GasTec will discuss the ways people are renovating their backyards to continue to enjoy them throughout the winter months.
Outdoor Gas Fireplace
One of the most popular additions to backyards in the winter months is the outdoor fireplace. A stylish addition to any space, an outdoor fireplace is a great way to gather your friends and family outside in a comfortable, warm manner. When deciding on a fireplace, it is important to understand your options. Outdoor fireplaces come in two forms, gas and electric. Electric fireplaces are generally preferred by people looking for a safe, artificial flame to enjoy. Electric fireplaces are not known for giving off a lot of heat; however, they can be quite beautiful with a wide range of colored flames to choose from. Compared to electric fireplaces, gas fireplaces are an excellent heat source and are a less expensive alternative. If you live in a notably colder climate, a gas fireplace is the way to go for your next outdoor addition!
Not just used by restaurants, patio heaters are also a great way to warm up your outdoor space during the cold winter months. Patio heaters usually are thin towers that expel gas-powered heat over a large area such as a patio or deck. Propane patio heaters typically come in two models, mushroom top propane towers and pyramid style propane towers. The main difference between these two models is the amount of heat they give off and the style of the top section of the towers. Mushroom top towers have a ‘mushroom’ shape that contains a flame and reflect the heat downward. Pyramid style towers contain their flame within the tower itself, which more evenly distributes the heat. However, while the pyramid patio heaters more evenly distribute heat, their overall heat output lower than the mushroom top heater.
For the true grill lover, grilling is not just a summer activity. Many people continue to cook with their grill during the fall, spring, and even winter months. Outdoor kitchens are fully functional during winter; however, it is not advisable to keep the outdoor kitchen’s water supply active during the colder months as it may result in a burst pipe. For those looking to continue to entertain guests outside into winter, creating an outdoor kitchen may be right for you.
An unexpected result of social distancing regulations has been the rise in popularity of outdoor dining. Since restaurants first started reopening, many people have made a habit of dining out to break from the monotony of staying indoors. However, now that the colder months have arrived are people willing to retreat back inside? GasTec, a prominent Pennsylvania supplier of propane, believes outdoor dining can continue if restaurants invest in proper outdoor heating.
Patio heaters are a great alternative to expensive heating systems. Propane patio heaters are known for their heat output, and on average, they can release eight times as many British thermal units as electric heaters. Often made from aluminum, propane patio heaters are known to be lightweight and easy to move and store. While many propane patio heaters are weather-resistant, some upkeep is required. As propane patio heaters create fire to generate heat, some heater parts may need to be cleaned or replaced annually. Below are the most recommended propane patio heaters for the 2020 winter seasons.
Mushroom Top Propane Towers
Mushroom top propane towers are the most common propane patio heater, most likely due to the large amount of heat they put out. This style of propane heater is most popular for restaurants or bars looking to heat a large area of outdoor space. Mushroom top propane towers contain its flame within the top section of the tower and use its cap, or mushroom top, to deflect the heat downward. The one disadvantage of choosing the mushroom top is its maintenance. Due to their larger heat output, mushroom tops require more cleaning and safety precautions than other towers such as the pyramid style tower.
Pyramid Style Propane Heating Towers
While many pyramid style heating towers give out a slightly lower heat output than mushroom top towers, the pyramid is an excellent option for those looking for safety and style. Many popular pyramid models have ideal safety precautions, such as an automatic off switch in the event the tower is tipped. Another precaution of the pyramid is the glass tube design, which contains the flame at the tower’s center. This also helps to distribute heat evenly and keep guests from feeling too much heat in one area.
Propane patio heaters require upkeep and replacement of their propane tanks. Replacement is sometimes as frequent as much as once a week, depending on usage. GasTec understands refueling your propane tanks can be a difficult process, especially if your propane tank is within the 20lbs class. This is why many restaurants and bars take advantage of GasTec’s cylinder exchange programs. GasTec is known within the tri-state area for its easy pick-up and drop-off system, which helps restaurant and bars keep their customers warm and happy throughout the winter months.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#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!
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.
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.
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?
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.