Residential propane use is on the rise, as a lot of households are realizing the many benefits of this energy source. This clean-burning, safe, and cost-efficient fuel is used by 48 million households for water and space heating, cooking, clothes drying, and backup power. Whether you’re a current propane user or thinking about making the switch, read on to learn what makes this fuel so popular and effective.
What Is Propane?
Propane, also referred to as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a byproduct of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. It naturally occurs as a gas but can be compressed into liquid form for storage and transportation. It’s non-toxic, colorless, and odorless, but an identifying is odor is added so it can be easily detected. Because it is non-toxic and non-caustic, propane is considered a non-contaminant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Propane will not harm your local water, land or air resources.
Propane offers a large range of benefits, which is why it’s so widely used. In addition to its many uses in the home, propane can be used an alternative fuel for vehicles and also has a variety of agricultural, commercial, and industrial uses.
Propane is one of the most efficient and economical fuels. Propane burners are 90% efficient, though they can reach up to 98% efficiency. Meanwhile, oil units are just 80% efficient, and they can lose up to 15% of their efficiency through the year if not properly maintained. Not to mention, maintaining an oil unit can cost up to $400 annually, whereas propane units increase efficiency and have nearly zero annual maintenance costs. Therefore, residential propane prices are much more affordable.
The vast abundance of propane also keeps residential propane prices affordable compared to other fuels. While other fuels need to be imported, an estimated 90% of the United States’ propane supply is produced within its borders. The other 10% is produced still produced in North America though, in Canada and Mexico. Because it’s produced domestically, propane is readily available and economical.
Propane is considered a “green” energy source. It’s a low-carbon fuel that produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to other energy sources. It’s an approved clean alternative fuel under the National Energy Policy Act and Clean Air Act.
When used in home heating, propane offers unbeatable comfort. The average heat pump provides air between 95-100 degrees, whereas a propane system provides heated air at around 120 degrees. This allows households to feel comfortable in a shorter period of time, which is especially important during those cold winter months.
As you can see, propane offers numerous advantages when used in the home. To learn more about propane and its many residential uses, talk to your local propane supplier.