Propane, also known as liquified petroleum gas, or LPG, is a compressed gas stored as a liquid. In addition to being non-toxic, colorless, and odorless, it’s an “approved clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act.”
Besides being cleaner and better for the environment than natural gas, propane provides greater flexibility, is reliable, and is safer to use.
Many homes around the country heat their home in the winter using propane, and now we want to talk about the ways this fuel can power your home in the summer, too.
Being able to grill outdoors is one of the special perks of a New England summer. There’s nothing like food fresh off the grill. With a propane-powered grill, there’s no waiting for charcoal to heat up, you have a more even distribution of heat while cooking, and they are much faster when it comes to clean-up. The other benefit of grilling outside on your propane grill is lower energy costs, and you’re not heating your house up during the hot summer nights.
There’s something so magical about warm summer nights when everyone is hanging out on the patio, and the warm glow from the outdoor lights creates an enchanting feel to the evening. Propane tiki torches, or fire torches, are a safe, pretty way to bring ambiance to your backyard. Just be prepared to host backyard parties where no one wants to leave at the end of the night!
Summer nights under the stars can only be ruined by one thing: pesky mosquitoes. Did you know propane mosquito traps are great ways to trap and kill mosquitoes while you’re outside? They are self-contained and use the same signals that the bugs use to find their human victims: heat, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. Propane traps create all three. A catalytic converter changes the propane into carbon dioxide and can catch thousands of mosquitoes in a week.
Propane heaters are a great way to heat not only your patio, but also your pool, spa, or hot tub. They ensure your midnight dip in the pool is always at the right temperature, and they conserve energy, all while saving you money. For any impromptu swims or hot tub parties, propane heaters will heat your water to the perfect temperature more quickly.
Patio heaters can help turn your patio into a three-season feature, rather than a one-season amenity. As opposed to electric heaters, propane-powered heaters are more efficient and cleaner for the environment. They not only can keep your family warm when summer nights start to get a little chilly, but they are also safer than wood-burning fires and electric heating appliances.
The same weather that gives us those warm summer nights also gives us those massive and often destructive summer thunderstorms. When the power goes out, a propane-powered generator will ensure your house still has power. And unlike gas-powered generators, you won’t have to worry about whether the power outage has affected gas pumps. Depending on the generator, you may be able to power your entire house, including your air conditioning unit, and your home security system.
If you are already using propane to heat your home in the winter, it makes sense to use propane to power other appliances in your house, too. Not only does it save money, but it saves you energy when you use propane to run your stove, water heater, or clothes dryer. Did you know that propane appliances can produce twice as much energy as an electric appliance, in the exact same timeframe? In addition to being more cost-friendly and energy-efficient, propane appliances won’t stop working when the power goes out during those summer storms.
Need to know how long your propane tank will last with each of these unique summer uses? Read our blog posts ‘Propane 101: How long does a propane tank last?’ and ‘How to Read a Propane Tank Gauge (With Examples)’. Or, schedule automatic propane deliveries from Santa, so you never run out!
Propane is used in more than 14 million households in the United States. It’s become one of the most common fuels for heating and cooling homes because it’s clean, efficient, environmentally-friendly and versatile.
Additionally, propane is one of the safest fuels homeowners can use to heat and cool their homes. Let’s dive into each of the benefits of propane.
One of the factors that contribute to propane’s cost-effectiveness and broad use is the fact that 80-90% of the propane used in the United States is produced on domestic soil. Domestic propane cuts transportation costs, makes it easier for homeowners to obtain, and translates into a less expensive product for consumers.
With plentiful supply and ever-growing infrastructure in the U.S. to keep up with the demand for propane, there is enough propane to meet America’s needs well into the 21st century.
Propane is an excellent way for homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint. Actually, its listed as a clean fuel in the 1990 Clean Air Act, and Energy Policy of 1992.
Compared to natural gas, propane has:
The largest component of natural gas, methane (87%), is 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to trapping and holding heat.
Propane is a non-toxic, nonpoisonous fuel that will not create an environmental hazard if it’s released as a liquid or vapor into soil or water. Because of this, propane tanks can be installed underground without any worry of contaminating the soil.
Because it is a clean fuel, homeowners that rely on propane are actually protecting their appliances from untimely maintenance.
Sulfur dioxide and particulates are created from burning dirty fuels like gasoline and diesel. By burning dirty fuels, you’re creating soot and scaling in appliances, which can cause an increased need for maintenance.
On the other hand, by burning a clean fuel like propane, you’re decreasing the amount of soot and scaling on your appliances, which decreases the need for maintenance. Clean burning also increases heating efficiency and makes for appliances that run better, longer.
Another reason propane has become a dominant heating source for many American households is due to its versatility. Virtually anything in your house, restaurant or building that can run on electricity or natural gas can run on propane, specifically:
One of the biggest problems for homeowners who want natural gas is its inconvenience. Homes that aren’t already equipped for natural gas can expect to pay $10,000-$20,000 to bring natural gas piping into their home. And, not every location in the U.S. can get natural gas easily, which can make its reach limiting.
With about 70,000 miles of interstate pipelines, propane, on the other hand, is readily available to almost everyone in the country. Many propane companies will also provide scheduled deliveries, so once you’re running low, you can automatically get a top off without worrying about running out of fuel. Portable storage tanks make it easy to have propane accessible for use at all times, even if you’re not at home.
Propane tanks are environmentally friendly, require little maintenance, are easy to install, and can last more than 10 years with proper maintenance.
A propane-fueled home is less costly to operate than an electric home, or a household run on natural gas.
For example, did you know that propane water heaters can produce twice as much hot water as electric units–in the same amount of time? That efficiency equals cost savings. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Energy, says that homeowners that heat water with propane rather than electricity save $175 each year.
When it comes to natural gas, even though consumers pay a higher price per unit for propane ($26.99 per gallon) than natural gas ($6.23 per cubic foot) by volume, propane is more efficient than natural gas, which means it lasts longer.
One cubic foot of propane equals 2,516 BTUs, while one cubic foot of natural gas equals 1,030 BTUs. In other words, propane provides more than twice the energy of natural gas, which makes it a far less expensive alternative to natural gas because you get more for your buck.
Most importantly, propane has a solid safety record. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has imparted stringent codes and regulations to ensure it’s safety. That means, a home outfitted for propane is clean, efficient, environmentally-friendly and also a fuel you can count on to keep your home and family safe.