Propane is a safe, reliable and clean-burning fuel that’s used in millions of home across the country. When you think about all the homeowners that are switching to propane, it’s easy to see why. Propane makes everyday comforts, such as home heating, hot showers, and barbecuing, more efficient and cost-effective. Residential propane prices are much more affordable than electricity, heating oils and other fuels. Read on to learn about the countless ways you can use propane in your home.
Propane is most commonly used in home heating. Heating a home with propane costs about half as much as heating with electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Not only are propane furnaces they cheaper, but also they heat your air warmer and faster than electric heating systems. Propane furnaces supply heated air at 120 degrees F, while electric heaters produce air at 95 degrees F (which is lower than the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees F).
Another home heating system propane is commonly used for is fireplaces. Propane fireplaces are more efficient and environmentally-friendly than the wood-burning counterpart. Research shows propane fireplaces typically have an efficiency rating of over 90%, while wood-burning models are just 15% efficient. Additionally, they offer five to six times the heating capacity of electric fireplaces. Plus, there is no wood debris or ashes to clean up. As an added bonus, many propane models can be used during electrical power outages.
Though the initial investment can cost more, propane-powered water heaters cost less to operate than electric heaters. In fact, they use about 50% less energy, providing long-term savings.
Heating the Pool or Hot Tub
Sitting in a cold pool or “hot” tub is far from relaxing. Heat your pool or spa quickly and efficiently with a propane pool heater. Propane pool heaters can be above or below ground and get your pool to that optimum temperature faster than electrical or solar heaters.
Propane is incredibly versatile and can be used for both indoor and outdoor cooking. Propane-powered ovens and ranges provide more precise temperature control and cook foods more evenly. Cooking with propane is much cheaper than cooking with electricity. It’s also safer, as propane burners cool quickly after being turned off.
You can use propane to power your grill too. Outdoor propane grills are clean-burning, so you can enjoy your barbecue without negatively impacting the environment. In addition, propane appliances cost less to operate than electrical stoves and grills and can still be used during a power outage.
A propane-powered clothes dryer may cost a little more money upfront, but it’s totally worth it considering the long-term cost savings. Propane clothes dryers operate more efficiently and cost less to run. They quickly heat up to optimal drying temperatures to significantly reduce the drying time. Due to the moist heat produced by propane dryers, your clothes are less likely to fade or discolor. There are many different types of propane dryers to choose from, but on drying with propane will cut about 20% off your annual heating bill.
We’ve discussed that propane appliances can often still be used during a power outage. Along with this, propane can be used to power backup generators to ensure your family stays safe and comfortable during and after a storm.
These are the most common uses for residential propane tanks. To learn more using propane to power your home, visit us online at www.GasTec.com.
Millions of Americans rely on propane for home heating, water heating, cooking, and drying their clothes. As the temperatures continue to drop, it’s important to maintain an efficient propane system and be well prepared in the event of a winter storm. Consider these propane preparation and safety tips to keep you and your family comfortable and safe all winter long.
Maintain an adequate supply of propane
In the event of a storm, you don’t want to risk running out of propane. It’s recommended to schedule a delivery when your propane tank is 30% full. However, if you know bad weather is coming, you should top your tank off just in case. A storm could leave the roads shut down, preventing your propane supplier from delivering your fuel.
At GasTec, we offer online ordering options, as well as automatic deliveries so you never have to worry about your tank running low. Our prompt and convenient service makes us one of the leading propane companies in Delaware County.
Install propane and carbon monoxide detectors
Your home should have Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed propane and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation and maintenance. Test the detectors and replace the batteries as instructed.
In addition to installing detectors, know what propane smells like. Though it’s naturally colorless and odorless, a potent smell is added to make it easier to detect propane leaks. The smell resembles rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray. Make sure everyone in your household knows what propane smells like, so leaks can be detected as quickly as possible.
Mark the tank
Whether your propane tank is located above or below the ground, it should be clearly marked so it can be easily located. Mark the tank using a stake, pole, or flag that’s higher than the average amount of snowfall for your area. Marking your tank will prevent accidents and make it easy for your propane supplier to locate when it’s time for a refill.
Clear snow and ice
Maintain a clear pathway to your propane tank for easy access. Keep your propane system and all outdoor vents, chimneys, and flues free of snow and ice.
Consider a propane-powered generator
During winter storms, it’s common to lose power. To prevent power outages, install a propane-powered generator for uninterrupted backup during blackouts.
Propane-powered generators trump gas-powered ones for a number of reasons. Propane is a clean-burning fuel and costs less per gallon than gasoline. Additionally, propane has a long shelf life and can be acquired when there’s a power outage.
Create an emergency preparedness plan
Create an emergency preparedness plan, and regularly review it with your household. Make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Everyone should know how to turn off the propane system, electricity, and water, as well as where to access the emergency preparedness kit.
Your emergency preparedness kit should include a list of emergency phone numbers, water and canned food to last for several days, extra clothes, blankets, flashlights, batteries, medications, a can opener, and a radio. If you have pets, your kit should include pet supplies, including food and water. Also keep snow removal equipment, firewood, and a fire starter on hand.
Scope out the scene
Strong winds, snow, and ice can cause damage to your propane system and nearby power lines. Carefully inspect the area after a storm to ensure it’s safe. If you notice anything potentially hazardous, contact your local utility company or propane supplier.
Follow these propane preparation and safety tips to keep your household protected before, during and after winter storms. For more safety advice, contact us: 888.449.3585.
Living in the country can be a dream: wide open spaces, fresh air, lots of privacy and less stress. However, if you are moving to a rural area from the city, or getting a vacation cabin or cottage for the first time, there are a few things you could easily overlook. Here are three of the biggest things to make sure of when you are moving to the country.
1. You have a good propane service – Most rural houses use propane for at least some of their energy needs. Depending on where you are, it’s likely that you will have the option of on-grid electricity and will not need to use a generator. However, gas service may or may not be readily available in your area and propane might be your fuel of choice for a stove, water heater, and other gas needs. Additionally, propane heaters are extremely efficient compared to other types of heaters and are often the best choice for home heating. All of this means that you will need a residential propane service that will come to change or refill your propane tank. Look for a service that offers flexible plans, that adjusts its prices to reflect the energy market, and that has a reputation for good service.
2. Your septic tank is in good working order – Depending on where your home is located, you may not have a hookup to municipal sewerage, which means you typically will have a septic tank. A septic tank is generally a very effective and low-maintenance feature; however, you will want to know the history of it and how it was constructed. A septic tank ultimately drains through a gravel layer into the soil, which means that it needs an adequate drainage field. Additionally, there should be easy access to the tank for pumping it out and an inspector should be able to tell you whether the tank is in good shape or contains any waste that it cannot process, which will require cleaning.
3. Your communication needs are met – The communication and Internet services available in rural areas vary widely. For many who want to live in the country, this is not a major concern, as being more isolated is part of the allure. For others, having good communication is still a must for work or just for personal preference. Find out in advance what Internet services are available in your area and what they cost. Satellite Internet is an alternative, but is not as fast as the best high-speed Internet and may have spotty service depending on weather. Cell phones are an easy replacement for a land line, but check how good your reception is in the area.
What else is on your checklist for your move?
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:
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?
Propane is one of the best in-home fuels, and has been touted for years as a low-cost, reliable option for heating. And more and more people are looking into residential propane service. Why? Here are five of the biggest reasons:
1. It’s environmentally friendly – Propane is actually an incredibly earth-friendly fuel. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that propane gas is a non-contaminant. It is non-toxic and non-caustic, meaning it’s safe to handle and be around, and it does not pollute the air, the land or your groundwater—neither in its gas form, nor during burning. In fact, many localities consider propane a green energy.
2. It’s affordable – In addition to being environmentally friendly, propane is a relatively inexpensive fuel to use. A residential propane service can often deliver propane to your home and keep your tank refilled for less than the cost of competing fuels such as oil. Propane burning devices are also competitively priced and reliable. Considering its tremendous versatility, propane is one of the best investments you can make in your home.
3. Propane heat is highly efficient – When you’re heating your home in the winter, you want to get the most out of your fuel. If any of it is wasted, it means you are throwing money away. Propane burners are among the most efficient heaters possible, typically using their fuel with over 90% efficiency. As a comparison, oil heaters run at around 80% efficiency. Oil heaters also tend to lose efficiency throughout the season, unless they receive continuous maintenance, whereas clean-burning propane keeps its efficiency long term. Considering that oil typically costs more to start with, is there any good reason not to go with propane?
4. Propane heat warms you up more, faster – The intense warmth that comes from a propane heater makes a noticeable difference when you need to warm up fast. There’s nothing worse than coming in from a cold day, cranking up the heat in the house… and still feeling cold for a half hour or an hour more. You’ll notice that most thermostats max out at less than 100 degrees, but the hot air created by a propane heating system can come out at up to 120 degrees. That means you can choose to make your home toasty warm in minutes.
5. Propane makes an easy add-on – One of the benefits to residential propane service is that it’s easy to install at low cost. For instance, let’s say you install an outdoor hot tub or want your pool heated. Do you really want to pay thousands of dollars to have gas or electric extended out to the yard? A propane heating unit can be installed cheaply and a residential propane service means it will never run out of fuel.
Do you have a residential propane service?