Everything about Using Propane Gas Appliances!
Having a propane tank at home can be quite handy. A number of appliances run on propane these days, right from water heaters and grills to freezers and fireplaces. As a homeowner, you have to be careful about two important aspects. Firstly, caution must be exercised with propane-fueled appliances, and secondly, you need to understand the usage rates. In this post, we will try to cover some of these aspects in detail.
Why choose propane?
Well, there’s no denying that propane is much more efficient and cheaper than oil. It is also cheaper than electricity in some cases. As long as you follow the safety rules, regulations, and instructions, propane is also a safe option and burns cleaner than other fuels. Many people have found that switching to propane has decreased their energy bills, thus adding more to their savings. Furnaces that run on propane are cheaper in comparison to electric ones, and the installation is almost the same. There are some high-end furnaces that can cut energy costs in double digits percentages.
Understanding propane use
Every home has a different set of needs and requirements, which naturally leads to various sized propane tanks. Typically, most homes have a 500-gallon or 1000-gallon tank. Each gallon of propane gives around 91,500 BTUs per hour. BTU stands for British Thermal Units, which is a unit of measurement describing the amount of energy required to heat one pound of water by a single degree. You can find out how much propane a water heater uses here, and there are many other sources where you can check detailed numbers on other appliances, as well. A simple gas range typically consumes around five to ten gallons per month.
Factors that matter
While such numbers are handy for calculating the amount of average propane you use each month, the final estimate can vary, depending on certain factors. For example, if you have seven people in the house, the appliances will be used for a much longer times than what would be the average consumption for a household of two or three people. Talk to your local propane supplier to understand your average use, which will determine the frequency of refueling.
Quick safety tips
Do not store your small or portable propane tanks in the basement or attic. If you have a BBQ grill fueled by propane, always use it in the open. For propane gas appliances, it is important to be cautious with leaks. Once every few months, ask your retailer to send certified technicians to check for possible leaks. If propane is burning correctly, you will see blue flames, but in case you have yellow flames, talk to the supplier right away. Propane smells bad, and that’s an intentional step taken by manufacturers. You can detect the gas quickly with the smell. Do not paint your portable tank with any paint but the ones that are recommended for metal surfaces. Also, propane tanks must be light in color, because darker shades absorb more heat, which can heat up the gas inside the cylinder.
Make a list of do’s and don’ts before buying a propane gas appliance!