Switching to Propane

What Should I Know When Switching to Propane

A type of liquid petroleum made through refining and natural gas processing, propane gives off a significant amount of heat at approximately 91,500 BTUs per gallon, or about 22,875 per liter. That makes it highly efficient for heating your home and it costs less as compared to heating oil. It lasts longer and burns cleaner, which means it won’t negatively affect the air quality in your home.

While the initial cost of setting up a new furnace can be pricey, there are almost always some tax credits available on the local, state, and federal levels. If you’re concerned about safety, it’s considered to be a safe energy source with an odorant added so if a leak were to occur it will easily be detected. It’s non-toxic, can’t be ingested and is stored in tanks that are highly regulated with safety valves and other mechanisms designed to prevent rupture.

That said, what else is important to know when you decide to switch to propane?

Delivery Methods

Typically you’ll have two different options for getting a propane delivery. You can choose “will call” delivery which requires keeping track of how much propane you use and scheduling your own delivery.

Or, opt for automatic propane delivery so that you’ll barely have to think about it with a computer doing the work for you. Suppliers use computers that can determine how much propane you have left and when it’s time to deliver. You’ll never run out – and, if a snowstorm is on the way requiring more than usual, the computer keeps an eye on that too. 

Choosing the Best Supplier

Of course, like just about anything, you’ll want to choose the highest quality supplier for the best service possible. Before switching, do some research online, looking for reviews. While there will almost always be a few negative reviews, what’s more important is how the complaints are handled. The majority of the reviews should be positive, but you’ll want to go a step further.

Call the company and ask questions to get an idea as to how responsive, friendly and helpful staff are. Ask whether or not it is certified, which means the company is qualified to install and maintain the propane tank, as well as its safety record. Be sure that regulatory agencies attest to its regulatory compliance and safety record as well.

You’ll want to compare prices among the suppliers available too, but not only ask about the cost, find out if there are discounts available. You might qualify for reduced rates if you’re a senior citizen, military veteran, or place a large volume order. 

Tank Storage

Once you’ve decided to switch to propane, you’ll want to know more about storing the tank. Be aware that anything that has an open flame, or any electronic device, should always be kept at least 10 feet away. That will lower the risk of an ignition should a leak occur.

The tank should also be kept in an upright position to help prevent leaks as well. You might place cinder blocks around the base and put it inside of something like a milk crate which is large enough and sturdy enough to hold a 20-pound tank. 

Never store a propane tank inside a shed or garage – starting a lawn mower or vehicle could create a spark that may cause the tank to explode. Keep it outdoors, under a waterproof cover which can also help prevent corrosion.

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