Propane is a gas used for fuel in a wide variety of applications. Propane is produced from both natural gas processing and crude oil refining, in almost equal amounts from each source. About 95 percent of propane consumed in the United States is produced in North America. It is nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless. An identifying odor known as ethyl mercaptan is added so the gas can be readily detected.
Millions of Americans use propane on a daily basis.
People use propane in and around their homes for furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, outdoor grills, fireplaces, and many other appliances.
Propane-fueled equipment and technologies control pests, dry crops, and power irrigation pumps on farms.
Industrial uses include propane-driven forklifts and fleet vehicles.
And millions of commercial establishments, including restaurants and hotels, depend on propane for heating, cooking, and other uses.
Propane is an approved, clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and is one of the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels. Tests conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show that propane-fueled vehicles produce 30 percent to 90 percent less carbon monoxide and about 50 percent fewer toxins and other smog-producing emissions than gasoline engines. Propane also is nontoxic, so it’s not harmful to soil or water
The propane industry has developed numerous methods to ensure the safe transport and use of propane:
- Propane equipment and appliances are manufactured to rigorous safety standards.
- Propane has a narrow range of flammability when compared with other petroleum products. In order to ignite, the propane-air mix must contain from 2.2 to 9.6 percent propane vapor. If the mixture contains less than 2.2 percent gas, it is too lean to burn. If it contains more than 9.6 percent, it is too rich to burn.
- Propane won’t ignite when combined with air unless the source of ignition reaches at least 940 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, gasoline will ignite when the source of ignition reaches only 430 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If liquid propane leaks, it doesn’t puddle but instead vaporizes and dissipates into the air.
- Because it is released from a pressured container as a vapor, propane can’t be ingested like gasoline or alcohol fuels.
- Because propane is virtually odorless and colorless in its natural state, a commercial odorant is added so propane can be detected if it leaks from its container.
There are several ways to cut down on propane use inefficiencies. Here are some cost effective tips to reduce your propane usage, which include:
- Replace old, outdated appliances with energy-efficient models.
- Lower the thermostat on propane-operated water heaters to 120 degrees F, or use an on-demand tankless water heater
- Install water-flow restrictions on all showerheads and faucets.
- Install an automatic setback programmable thermostat and set it to stay between 65 and 70 degrees during the winter. Warmer temperatures should be set for the elderly or infants.
- Seal any air leaks around doors, windows and other openings. Caulk and weather-stripping can be used.
If you suspect a propane leak, contact your propane supplier and make them aware of the situation ASAP. If you suspect a significant propane leak, leave the premises IMMEDIATELY (do not touch any light switches or other electric components) and contact 911 and/or your propane supplier!
The gauge on your tank is reading the percentage of liquid left in the tank. In order to determine the percent of propane left in your tank, follow these simple steps:
- lift the lid of the tank
- locate the gauge face (you should see numbers from 0-100 in increments of 10)
- determine what number black needle is pointing to.
Customers should call when their gauge reads approximately 25% left in the tank. (If you are in a more remote location, please ask our routing department if you need to contact our office any sooner.)