Propane is a fuel source also known as LPG, LP-gas, or liquefied petroleum gas. In Hagerstown, MD and the surrounding areas, it’s a popular fuel source for residences, farms, and commercial buildings and nearly 97 percent of propane that’s used in the United States is actually produced in North America. There are plenty of other surprising and lesser-known facts about propane that many don’t know.
Propane Powers Many Appliances
Propane is a versatile and clean energy source that’s frequently used in homes for cooking, clothes drying, heating, water heating, and burning fireplaces. For outdoor spaces, propane is a popular energy source that has a range of uses including heating spas and pools, powering outdoor grills, and lighting. Additionally, when homes lose electricity, propane is often the energy source that powers generators.
Propane Is a Popular Fuel Source
Over 14 million households use propane to fuel their air conditioners, furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters, ranges, dryers, and outdoor grills. One reason for its popularity is because homeowners can still take a shower, cook, and keep warm during a power outage. Homeowners never have to worry about staying safe and warm as they wait for the electric company to get their power back on.
It Is an Odorless Gas
In its natural state, propane is nearly colorless and odorless. However, to help detect propane leaks, manufacturers add an unpleasant and strong smell that many describe as a skunk spray, a dead animal, or rotten eggs. This harmless chemical added to propane is called mercaptan. To help homeowners become familiar with this odor, the National Propane Gas Association will send out a “Scratch and Sniff” brochure with the scent on it.
Propane Is a Clean Fuel
Propane is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels and it was listed on the 1990 Clean Air Act. This means that not only is using propane as a home fuel source better for the environment, using it as a vehicle fuel source is cleaner as well. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted tests to show that vehicles fueled by propane produce around 50 percent fewer smog-inducing emissions and toxins and anywhere from 30 percent to 90 percent less carbon monoxide than traditional gasoline engines. Finally, propane is nontoxic so it won’t harm water or soil.
It Can Help You Save Money
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that homeowners can save around 30 percent every year by heating their water with propane instead of electricity. Additionally, they can save about 50 percent every year by operating their clothes dryer with propane instead of electricity. As well, it’s possible to reheat an entire tank of water in 20 minutes with propane as opposed to an hour with electricity.
Propane Appliances Last Longer and Require Less Maintenance
Another advantage of propane appliances is that they tend to have a longer life than other appliances. For example, Appliance Magazine found that a propane gas furnace lasts around 20 years while an electric heat pump will last about 14 years. Additionally, it typically costs less to repair a propane gas furnace than an electric heat pump. Finally, when compared with fuel oil units, propane boilers usually require less maintenance.
Propane Is Better for the Environment
In a typical home, residential water heating is the third largest energy use. It accounts for almost a quarter of all household energy consumption. Compared to electric water heaters, a propane water heater is half the cost and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 60 percent. Additionally, the Energy Star program doesn’t have one electric water heater that qualifies. Therefore, not only can propane save homeowners money, but it can also reduce the carbon footprint of a home.
Propane Is More Efficient
When used in a fireplace, propane heats a room more efficiently and evenly than wood. Additionally, it burns 40 times longer but without producing the same emissions as wood. Propane fireplaces are almost maintenance-free and they don’t produce soot or ash.
If you’d like to learn more about propane or order a refill, contact the professionals at Griffith Energy Services, Inc. at 888-721-5707 for more information.
Image provided by Shutterstock