1. What is propane?
Propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8) and is sometimes
referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas or LPG.
Propane is produced from both natural gas processing and
crude oil refining, in roughly equal amounts. It is
nontoxic, colorless and virtually odorless. As with
natural gas, a strong identifying odor is added so the
gas can be readily detected.
2. Is propane safe to use in my home?
Propane is a safe fuel to use in your home and business.
Propane has a narrow range of flammability and cannot be
ingested like gasoline or alcohol fuels because it is
released as a vapor from a pressurized container.
3. How should propane tanks be stored?
Propane tanks should be stored outside. Do not store any
propane tanks in the garage or any other indoor areas at
any time, even during the winter months. As for
excessive heat, propane tanks should only be filled to
80 percent of the tank's capacity. This is to allow for
some liquid propane expansion that might occur during
4. Are there steps that I can take to lower my
While the factors that contribute to higher fuel prices
cannot be controlled by propane retailers or consumers,
there are some simple steps customers can take to lower
their energy bill year-round.
- Protect against drafts by caulking and
weather-stripping around windows, doors, and other
openings such as ducts, fans, and vents.
- Change your furnace filter monthly. Clean
filters will help your heating system work more
- Switch to a propane water heater, which provides
significant energy efficiency over an electric water
heater. Over time, propane water heaters can cost
one-third less to operate and recover hot water
twice as quickly as electric water heaters.
- When using a water heater, turn it down from the
standard 140 degrees to 130 degrees. You could save
more than 10 percent on your water-heating bill.
- Increase your water heater's efficiency by
draining it every six months to remove lime deposits
- Install flow-restricting showerheads. You can
reduce hot water usage by up to 50 percent without
affecting shower pressure.
- Run washing machines --and clothes dryers-- with
a full load.
- Close vents and doors in unused rooms. Make sure
your attic and basement are properly insulated.
- Repair leaky faucets to prevent waste. A leak
that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes wastes 3,200
gallons of water a year.
5. Are there any tips when using a propane stove?
When purchasing a propane oven or range:
- Look for one with an automatic, electric
ignition system. An electric ignition saves
propane-because a pilot light is not burning
- Be sure that all burners are burning with a
blue, cone-shaped flame. A yellow flame indicates
clogged air inlets or burners that need adjustment.
Contact your propane retailer's service department
immediately if you do not see a blue flame.
- Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean;
they will reflect the heat better, and you will save
6. Why would I want to switch from electric to
Operating costs for electric appliances can be as much
as twice the cost of operating their propane
counterparts (according to the U.S. Department of
Energy). Gas furnaces have a longer average life span
(20 years) than electric heat pumps (12 years) and cost
less to operate. Gas heaters warm the air quickly and
consistently and can operate during power outages.
Propane is amazingly versatile: you can use both indoors
and outdoors in heaters, furnace, cook-stoves, water
heaters, clothes dryers, and grills - among other
7. Is propane hazardous to the environment?
No. The 1990 Clean Air Act and the National Energy
Policy of 1992 list propane as an approved, alternative
clean fuel. Propane is among the cleanest burning of all
available alternative fuels.