7 (practical) outdoor propane connecticutPropane, 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. 

1. Outdoor Grilling

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. 

2. Patio Lighting

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!

3. Mosquito Traps

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

4. Outdoor Heaters

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. 

5. Patio Heater

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. 

6. Back-Up Generator

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. 

7. Indoor Appliances

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!  

What is propane?

propane delivery connecticut

Aboveground propane tank

Scientifically speaking, propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8). The gas is also referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas, and LPG.

In layman’s terms, propane is one of the most widely-used fuels in America and can be utilized for a host of reasons, including:

Propane is plentiful, environmentally-friendly, and affordable, making it one of the most desirable options homeowners have for heating and cooling.

How is propane created?

A little known fact is that propane was not purposefully created. Rather, its energy density was discovered on accident by chemist Dr. Walter O. Snelling.

When Snelling was on his way home from a fueling station, he couldn’t help but notice the cork on his gas can kept popping off. After learning gasoline had volatiles in it, he discovered that if he could convert the fractionate — now known as propane — into an isolated liquid, he’d have an incredible new fuel source. The propane we have today is a by-product of natural gas processing and crude oil refining.

During natural gas processing, the liquid components recovered are:

Crude oil refining produces propane, butane, and other gases.

By extracting propane from each process, the result is a cleaner, more dense energy source.

Where is propane found and stored?

Between 80-90% of propane consumed in the United States is produced domestically. (The other 10-20% of propane is mostly from Canada.) That means if you power your home with propane, each time you refill your tank you’re supporting the U.S. economy.

Some oil companies, like those located in North Dakota, Montana, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, have natural gas processing plants located in their oil fields and separate the LPGs on-site.

If the hub is large enough, they may store their own propane, too. LPGs are typically stored in large underground salt caverns that were hollowed out in the 1940s, but some areas without suitable geology will use aboveground tanks.

How propane is transported and distributed

If a hub is not large enough to store their own propane, the transportation process begins. Propane is usually transferred through rail, truck, ship, or pipelines.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the distribution channels of propane are represented in the following image:

(Photo/EIA.Gov)

Propane distribution channels

After storage, propane continues its journey through a pipeline to a pipeline terminal. Watch this animated video to see where propane pipelines run through the U.S.

Once at the pipeline terminal, propane will travel to retail plants across the nation. From there, individual companies either sell or transport propane for consumer homes.

Getting Propane to Your Home

Regardless of where the propane is found, getting it your home is simple. In fact, you can access a comprehensive list of all propane locations in the U.S. and Canada from the U.S. Department of Energy.

And, if you live in Connecticut, you can find your propane at Santa Energy.

Santa Energy is known for its dependable delivery, and it’s reliable customer service, meaning you’ll get your fuel or service promptly, no matter how bad the weather conditions are. You can also set up an automatic propane delivery, which means we’ll track the levels of your fuel, and send out a new delivery before your supply runs out.

Learn more about Santa’s propane services.