Figuring out whether to switch to propane or not can be difficult at first. Is it safe? More efficient? Thinking about some of the following factors will help you make up your mind.
One of the most important things you need to think about when deciding on using propane is safety. Though propane is highly flammable and thus dangerous if used incorrectly, it is just as safe as other fuels like natural gas or oil. It is not toxic to breathe or when it touches the skin.
But it’s important that you think about particular safety precautions as you consider propane as a main fuel source. Make sure your children understand the dangers of the tank and the importance of not playing on or around the tank. Then make sure that your kids know how to smell if there is a leak and then know what to do if they do sense that there is a leak.
Renting vs Owning Your Tank
Another important thing to think about when it comes to using propane as your home’s heat source is whether you want to rent or own the tank. When you’re deciding whether to rent or own your tank, you should start by considering the size of tank you’re going with and the amount of maintenance fees you could imagine needing to be paid each year. If you have a large tank, the tank could require more regular service and could rack up more expenses.
When you rent a tank, the company you rent from will be responsible for those maintenance repairs. And though it can sometimes be a bit more expensive, it’s a huge weight off your shoulders to not have to think about keeping up your tank. But on the other hand, if you choose to go with a smaller tank or if you feel comfortable performing routine maintenance yourself, buying might be a good option.
Choosing a Tank Size
There are a variety of sizes of propane tanks to choose from. There are also a variety of factors to consider when deciding on the size of tank to go with—you should think about the number of appliances that will be actively running, the size of your family, and perhaps most importantly, the size of your home. Typically, the standard way of deciding which tank to go with is by judging your home’s square footage. Naturally, the bigger your home, the bigger your propane tank needs to be.
If your home is large, a 500-gallon propane tank is ideal; otherwise, a 120-gallon tank should work. But you should also be aware that if your home is over 4500 feet, you might want to consider getting a 1000-gallon tank if you have the space to safely store it. But if you don’t have the space for a tank as large as a 1000-gallon tank, you shouldn’t be too worried—a 500-gallon tank will still get the job done.
Another important factor to consider when deciding on propane is the cost. When comparing electricity and propane, propane tends to be more efficient and it tends to be just as easily adapted to a variety of home appliances. In fact, anything that can be powered or heated by electricity can be powered or heated by propane as well. Propane as an energy source tends to be more efficient and less wasteful in the process of powering your appliances so you get more bang for your buck.
On the other hand, when you’re thinking about the cost of investing in propane, you should also consider the installation costs and the potential long-term costs when it comes to eventually selling the home. Typically, depending on whether you rent or buy, installation costs shouldn’t be overly extravagant. But when it comes to selling your home, it is possible that some buyers may see propane as a con because of potential dangers.
When you’re investing in propane, you might need to revisit your home’s insulation. In order for your propane to do its job efficiently, you’ll want to make sure that areas like your basement and attic are adequately insulated so you don’t end up losing heat in those areas.
You’ll also want to identify any air leaks that could be around windows or doors. Surprisingly, these types of cracks can actually result in a significant amount of lost heat.
Furnace and Venting
You’ll also want to think about having a central furnace in your home. During the winter months, one of the best ways that propane can be used to heat your home is by using it to heat a central furnace which then ensures the warmth is radiated out into your home.
You should also make sure that your vents are working well. Sometimes, certain vents in a house may become dirty or clogged and can obstruct the free flow of air. When this happens, you can get uneven heating in your house with some rooms being too warm and some being cold.
One of the main changes you might have to make to your home if you decide to use propane as your main energy source is swapping out pilot lights. A pilot light is a small flame that is used on certain gas appliances to ignite the gas on the appliance. These are most common in stoves.
When you switch to propane, you’ll want to use igniters instead because it will save more gas overall—having an igniter is redundant when the appliances are all powered by propane.
One of the final things you’ll want to research when you’re thinking about propane is the source of the actual propane tank itself. Not all companies are created equal, so it’s essential that you understand the quality of the propane, and the safety standards of the tank to ensure that you’re making a good investment.
Deciding on investing in propane can be hard at first. There’s a lot of information to take in. start with the points in this article and then do more research so that you’re able to make the best decision for your home.