If you’re looking to replace your home’s water heater, the best time to do it is before your water heater fails, which will force you into “panic-buying” a replacement system quickly.
When you have the time to shop around, you’ll discover the great value and convenience of propane tankless water heaters. These types of units offer many advantages over electric water heaters as well as conventional storage tank water heaters.
Hands down, using propane for water heating is a better choice than electricity. That’s because propane gets water hot faster than electricity for about 30% less cost!
How Much Propane Does a Tankless Water Heater Use?
One question that consumers commonly ask is: how much propane does a propane tankless water heater use? The short answer to that question is that a typical propane tankless water heater producing 40,000 BTU/hour will consume about 1.5 gallons of propane per day. Here’s the explanation behind this calculation.
Because a British thermal unit (BTU) tells us how much heat energy is in a gallon of propane– one gallon of propane equals 91,452 Btus–we can make estimates about how much the average homeowner will use.
However, the amount of propane your own appliances will use—including your propane tankless water heater– depends on factors ranging from the size and efficiency of each appliance to how well it was matched to your space, as well as the quality of the installation and the frequency of maintenance.
How Much Does a Propane Tankless Water Heater Cost?
Prices range from about $170 for small gas-fired units to more than $2,000 for high-output heaters that can supply two showers at the same time; on average, the cost is about $1,000 per unit.
But keep in mind that propane gas-burning tankless water heaters should operate for 20 years or more. That’s two or three times longer than most storage tank water heaters as well as electric tankless water heaters.
If you experience an average energy savings of $150 per year, these savings should pay for your investment in a tankless water heater in about six or seven years. After that, you can pocket all of the savings on heating the water in your home.
How Much Propane Do My Other Gas Appliances Use?
Now that you know tankless water heaters on average use 1.5 gallons of propane per day, you may be wondering how your other propane appliances compare. The following estimates below should give you some idea of how much each propane appliance typically uses to do its job.
Please note that these appliance measurements are expressed as BTU per hour. This is a way to represent a measurement of deliverable power applicable to each propane gas appliance. (Think of it like the horsepower rating of a car). As an example, a typical furnace is about 100,000 BTU per hour. You can go here to read more about BTU per hour.
Furnace – 100,000 to 200,000 BTU/hour: about 1 to 2 gallons/hour
Gas cooktop/range – 65,000 BTU/hour: 5 to 10 gallons / month)
Gas clothes dryer – 35,000 BTU/hour: less than 1 gallon/ day)
You can read more about propane tankless water heaters by going here. After that, reach out to your local propane service company for good advice.
How To Get the Most Out of Your Propane Grill
How To Get the Most Out of Your Propane Grill
Using Different Temperature Modes or Heat Zones
Today’s propane grills are renowned for providing precise temperature and heat control, which is a major reason so many New Yorkers have one in their backyard.
Simply by turning the dial, you can instantly adjust the grill to give off more or less heat. If you’re grilling a variety of dishes, whether it’s a quick weeknight supper or a backyard barbecue party, that control gives you the power to cook everything to perfection.
You have the choice of using different temperature modes or heat zones when you’re using a propane grill. Turn the dial to high heat on one side and low heat on the other, and that allows you to sear on the hot side and transfer it to the cooler side to finish cooking.
Using Direct Heat and Indirect Heat
Being able to use direct heat or indirect heat, or both at the same time is another reason why propane grills are so versatile and popular.
Direct heat cooks food hot and fast. It’s great for searing meats or grilling thin cuts of meat and quick-cooking foods like vegetables. Indirect heat is how you grill barbecued chicken and pork shoulder. You can even use indirect heat to bake bread. To grill with indirect heat, simply turn off the burners directly under where you want the food to cook, keep the other burners on, and close the grill lid.
But keep in mind that indirect heat takes longer, so be patient. But that patience will pay off when you hear the praise you get from family and friends for the food you have prepared for them!
Searing on a Propane Grill
If you’ve ever marveled over the beautiful crust that steakhouses get on their meats, you can do it at home on your propane grill. It’s all about searing, whether it’s beef, lamb, or pork. Here’s how to do it.
Take the meat out of the fridge 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.
Pat the surface of the meat dry with paper towels before seasoning; wet meat steams instead of sears. If you’ve marinated the meat, use paper towels to blot off excess marinade.
Turn your propane grill on and set it on high.
Wait about 10 to 15 minutes until the grill is hot before putting the meat on. Go here to read more about this.
Once the meat is on the grill, leave it alone for at least one minute before turning it, at least two minutes if you have a thicker cut. After turning the meat, reduce the heat.
Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure your meat is grilled to the safe and desired doneness.
Propane Grill Maintenance and Safety
Your propane grill will work better for a longer time if you take care of it with regular maintenance. If you use your grill often, you have to be diligent about keeping it as clean as possible and inspect it regularly for any potential problems that could put a damper on your next barbecue.
A Clean-Burning Fuel That Delivers a Smaller Carbon Impact
Propane gas is becoming increasingly popular among homebuyers for its energy efficiency and the many amenities it provides. That’s why, by 2025, the demand for propane in the United States is expected to reach more than 10 billion gallons every year.
The advent of renewable propane gas can not only help meet this rising demand, but it also gives us a dependable, secure domestically made energy source. It reduces our reliance on imports from other countries as well as aging, poorly maintained, fragile utility infrastructures.
Propane is already environmentally beneficial since it burns cleanly with negligible greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable propane takes the propane industry’s effort to become more sustainable one step further.
What Exactly Is Renewable Propane?
Just as conventional propane is a coproduct of crude oil and natural gas extraction, most renewable propane can be considered a coproduct of biofuel creation. Many of the same feedstocks that go into creating biofuel — animal oils, vegetable oils, biomass — are used to create renewable propane.
This method of producing propane is as safe, cost-effective, and dependable as that for propane generated from natural gas. And when compared to electricity, renewable propane has a considerably smaller carbon footprint.
How Renewable Propane Can Create a Greener Tomorrow
Homes and businesses all over the U.S. will be able to easily use renewable propane. Since it is molecularly identical to propane, there will be no need to replace or alter existing propane appliances and equipment. As usage of renewable propane increases, it will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions nationwide, helping fight the devastating effects of climate change.
Renewable propane can also be blended with propane and utilized in existing propane-powered equipment and vehicles, as well as cars that run on propane autogas. This will reduce air pollution and diesel particulate matter substantially. Cleaner burning renewable propane can also help engines and equipment to run more effectively, resulting in longer life with less upkeep and fewer repairs. Businesses may benefit from tax credits at both the federal and state levels.
How Renewable Propane Gas Can Benefit New York
Renewable propane gas will allow propane providers in the Empire State a greater opportunity to be involved in residential, commercial, and government projects that require energy sources to be zero-carbon or as close as possible when it comes to emissions, meaning more opportunities and income for locally-owned businesses.
Ultimately, renewable propane can be a part of making the quality of life better in New York with reduced emissions, a cleaner environment, and forward-thinking applications that will make our state a destination for ultra-modern development.
You can read more about propane’s clean energy future here.
Why Your Propane Gauge Never Reads 100%
Why Your Propane Gauge Never Reads 100%
Understanding the 80/20 Rule for Propane Tanks
If you’re someone who keeps a close watch on their propane tank gauge, you may have noticed that when your propane supplier delivered your fuel, they didn’t fill your propane tank all the way up to the 100% level.
Don’t worry. There is nothing wrong. This is known in the industry as “the 80/20 rule,” and it’s done for a very important reason: safety.
Propane: From Liquid to Gas
The propane in your tank is stored as a liquid. The liquid changes to gas before it leaves the tank. That’s why it’s called liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
Like any liquid, propane will expand when its temperature rises. The difference with propane is that it expands a lot, and quickly. Its volume increases nearly 17 times the volume of water over the same temperature increase.
This is why your propane delivery driver needs to leave extra space in your tank to allow for propane to safely expand. Aboveground propane tanks are typically filled to about 80% capacity; underground tanks can be filled slightly higher because they are insulated against the heat.
That extra space in the tank provides a cushion against the pressure that builds up inside the tank. For example, a 500-gallon tank filled to 80% will safely hold 400 gallons of propane.
This safeguard is especially important in hot weather—when liquid propane will expand the most. It’s important to note that the amount of gas in the tank doesn’t actually change during periods of expansion and contraction–only its density does. For example, if you notice that the tank gauge reading fluctuates slightly during quick temperature swings (hot day, cool night), again, don’t worry because that’s perfectly normal.
Propane gas expansion is also a reason why you should never paint your outdoor propane tank a dark color since dark colors absorb more heat.
Propane Delivery Options
Your propane company will work closely with you to ensure you always have enough propane in your tank. They may even be able to put you on an automatic delivery schedule. This will significantly reduce the chance of running out of propane. And you won’t have to worry about checking your tank and then taking the time to call in a delivery request. That can become a hassle during periods of bitter cold temperatures.
May is National Barbecue Month! Actually, this celebration is just a fun way to encourage us to do some outdoor cooking now that the weather has warmed up. Not that we need much encouragement! Food just seems to taste better when it’s cooked outdoors.
And if you’re fortunate enough to have a propane grill in your backyard, you’re ahead of the grilling game. Propane grills can handle all of your outdoor meals with less work and more ease than a charcoal grill.
With a propane grill, you get the precise temperature control that makes grilling easier, with better results. You can go from high heat for steaks to low and indirect heat for pulled pork with just the turn of a dial. Grilling with propane offers you the options and control that make cookouts as easy as possible.
Grilling Meat Safely
When you grill with propane, you greatly reduce your exposure to carcinogens that could end up in your food when you grill with charcoal. Cooking on a charcoal grill burns hotter and generates more smoke.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind before you toss those New York strip steaks on your grill.
Trim excess fat and blot marinade off meats before grilling to prevent flare-ups.
Use a marinade with rosemary, which has been shown to reduce toxin in some studies. Lemon juice, garlic and onion are other recommended marinade ingredients.
Grill your meat to a safe temperature. Use an instant-read thermometer and you’ll reach the safe temperature without overcooking.
When you’re done grilling, don’t put grilled meats on the same platter you brought out the raw meat on. A clean platter prevents the spread of bacteria that can live in meat juices and residue.
What to Do if the Grill Flares Up
Flare-ups are caused by fats and oils dripping down over your propane burners. They’re usually temporary, but can create unappetizing burns on your food.
If possible, keep part of your grill empty when cooking. This way, you can quickly move the food to that spot if a flare-up happens. After moving the food, keep the grill lid up and let the flare-up burn off.
If the fire spreads, take all food off the grill and let the fire burn off the grease. If the fire gets out of control, remove the food and turn off the burners and gas. Leave the lid open to let the fire die on its own. For safety purposes, you should always keep a fire extinguisher nearby; use it if you think the flames have gotten out of control.
Best Practices for Food Safety
It’s also a good idea to review some food safety reminders. Here are just four.
If you can’t wash your hands, use antibacterial wipes before eating or handling food – especially raw meat, poultry, or fish.
Separate raw meats from cooked and prepared foods. Store raw meats in a separate cooler, place raw meat on its own plate, and use different utensils to handle uncooked and cooked food.
Always cook meats to recommended internal temperatures; there are wireless meat thermometers that allow you to monitor temperatures from your phone.
If you aren’t eating immediately, refrigerate food quickly after cooking.
Please visit this page to read more information and tips on overall propane safety. Happy—and safe—grilling!
Plus, historical trends have shown us that, when it comes to prices, what goes up must come down. It’s just a matter of when. For all local propane companies and the industry in general, the feeling is, the sooner the better.
Propane Price Swings Are More Moderate than Oil
You may have noticed price swing trends with propane tend to be more moderate compared to heating oil, gasoline, and other fuels derived from a barrel of crude oil. The retail price of propane is 27% higher than last year, while heating oil, when compared to a year ago, is up 76%, according to state data compiled at the end of March 2022.
Electricity is no bargain either. New York is ranked among the top 10 states with the highest average retail price of electricity in the residential sector, coming in at 19.50 cents/kWh. To put that in perspective, the U.S. average electricity rate is 13.75 cents/per kWh.
Propane: A Domestic Form of Energy
One of the strengths of propane is that it is a completely domestic form of energy. The U.S. actually exports about twice as much propane to the rest of the world than we use in our own country.
Even though propane is still priced in the world market like oil is, this abundance of domestic North American supply gives us supply security and helps moderate the pricing in the U.S.
In contrast, crude oil–while we produce a lot of it here–is still an imported product as well, and we still get it from some countries that really don’t like us very much.
Supply and Demand
The combination of high demand and lower-than-average inventory is always a common driver for higher propane prices. While you may just think of propane demand for home heating and appliance use, it goes well beyond that.
As an example, global demand for propane has risen because of its increased use as a petrochemical feedstock, the vast majority of which are derived from crude oil and natural gas. These petrochemicals serve as the basis of many end products, including plastic, paper, adhesives, and detergents. Petrochemical manufacturers are the largest consumers of propane.
Global demand for U.S. propane has remained steady despite higher U.S. prices because international prices for propane and other feedstocks have also increased, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Here are a few more of the multiple factors that can affect the price you ultimately pay for your propane.
Global Conflicts and Natural Disasters
When war, political strife, conflict, or natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes or hurricanes occur in other regions of the world, this can impact crude oil and natural gas prices. Since propane is a by-product of both crude oil and natural gas, rising prices for these fuels have a ripple effect on propane.
Before the start of the war in Ukraine in late February, all energy prices had been rising in anticipation of the potential sanctions that could be levied on the Russian energy sector if the country went ahead and invaded Ukraine.
Russia carries clout because it is the third-largest petroleum and liquid fuels producer in the world, behind only the United States and Saudi Arabia. It’s a major exporter of both crude oil and natural gas.
Even the hint of a possible disruption in energy supply will heavily influence the buying and selling done by commodities traders. In the frenzied world of investment, this is known as the fear factor.
When Russia eventually invaded and the U.S. placed a ban on Russian imported oil and petroleum products–with other countries expected to follow–that meant there would be a big energy void to fill. Those who make their living in the energy markets don’t like that uncertainty. This includes the speculators who are betting on price moves as well as the hedgers, who are limiting risk for their clients who are involved with either the production or consumption of oil.
Many people don’t realize that the U.S. is a large exporter of propane, and that export business continues to grow. This is good business for the large wholesale propane suppliers, but it increases demand even further in an industry that traditionally doesn’t store huge quantities of propane at once. Many propane suppliers are obligated to provide the quantity of propane they’ve committed to export, leaving even less of propane inventory for domestic consumption.
If a reduction in supply occurs during a time of high demand, such as the colder months, a scarcer market develops. When a cold snap is especially extreme or lasts longer than usual, this scarcity gets further compounded. People may start to panic buy, similar to what we saw at the start of the pandemic with the toilet paper shortage.
And it’s not just cold temperatures that can increase propane demand. Heavy rains during the agricultural growing season create bumper crops that need to be dried rapidly, in great volume. Propane is among the fuels used for crop drying. Propane consumption in corn-producing states typically rises in September and October with the corn harvest, followed by a larger rise related to space-heating needs in January.
Other Factors That Influence Price
Long-time factors that have always influenced where propane prices go include proximity of supply, transportation bottlenecks, energy policy, and manufacturing trends. More recently, these issues have also come into play:
the actual cost of delivering fuel has risen.
new expenses have occurred because of COVID-19 related workforce issues.
supply chain problems have caused shortages, resulting in shipment delays and inflated prices for supplies, parts, tanks and other materials.
What Comes Next?
We don’t know where things will go from here, but if history is a guide, we can expect to see prices drop pretty significantly in the not-too-distant future. And nothing will make your local propane company happier than when prices return to normal.
Until then, trust your propane supplier to look out for you, and let’s hope that—regardless of what happens with energy prices—we will soon be living in a more peaceful world.
New York Schools Go All-in With Propane Autogas
New York Schools Go All-in With Propane Autogas
A Breath of Fresh Air for New York Students
Buses are vital to New York’s school system, but older diesel-fueled buses aren’t always great for the environment or the state budget. It’s no surprise, then, that more school districts throughout the Empire State are purchasing propane autogas buses.
This switch is a breath of fresh air for New York students.
According to a study by West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, propane autogas is a proven way to dramatically decrease emissions of toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Exposure to NOx exhaust can trigger health problems like asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory issues. The primary source of NOx is motor vehicles—including school buses, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The more propane-powered vehicles and their clean-burning propane motors replace old, pollution-belching diesel-powered buses, the fewer NOx emissions our children will inhale.
According to the study, the findings are significant because NOx represents one of the biggest challenges to air quality in the United States. This toxic gas is a major concern for many areas in our country.
According to the U.S. Energy Department’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, approximately 55% of manmade NOx emissions come from motor vehicles like school buses.
More Safety Benefits for Students
Propane motors are 50% quieter than diesel engines not only provide a more pleasant ride but a safer one.
Buses fueled with propane autogas are also crash-tested for impact in the side and rear, meeting rigorous motor vehicle safety standards.
Savings for School Districts
New York school districts have gained enormous fuel savings by using propane autogas instead of more expensive diesel fuel. In terms of fuel and maintenance costs, schools can expect to save an average of $3,000 to $5,000 per bus.
The Propane Education and Research Council estimates that if all older, dirtier diesel school buses across the United States switched over to clean-burning propane-fueled buses, the savings would be enough to cover the hiring of 23,000 teachers.
If you are interested in cutting costs by using propane-powered vehicles for your school buses or other commercial fleets, read more about propane autogas in New York.
New Funding Available
The Clean School Bus Program–which was included in the recently passed federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law— provides funding to replace existing school buses with low- or zero-emission school buses. Read more.
Propane is a Practical Green Alternative Fuel
An Eco-Friendly Energy Option for New Yorkers
Propane gas is one of the greener fuel options. It’s also affordable and available to everyone everywhere, without requiring forced conversions to electric heat pumps, or overburdening the electric grid.
Consider the facts:
Propane gas, like natural gas, is clean-burning and highly efficient. Modern propane gas furnaces are 90% efficient, meaning very little heating energy is lost up the chimney and into the atmosphere. This also means your home burns less fuel to stay warm.
The minimal number of emissions released by a propane-heated house are cleaner than most alternatives. Propane contains virtually no particulate matter–a known carcinogen–and releases significantly less carbon dioxide (CO2) than other energy sources.
Homes with propane-fueled furnaces emit up to 50 percent less nitrogen oxide and 82 percent less sulfur oxide than technologies fueled by electricity. These emissions contribute to acid rain and cause respiratory ailments.
What Does the Future Hold?
Scientists are successfully increasing the renewable content of propane. At the point of combustion, renewable propane is carbon neutral, meaning zero new carbon is added to the atmosphere!
Of course, this important work will not continue if New York lawmakers stifle innovation and force full electrification. Propane is a vital part of a balanced energy plan.
It’s Now or Never!
Many New Yorkers are rightly concerned about proposed regulatory plans that would “electrify everything” in the state. While we support the goal of reducing carbon output (propane has always been considered one of the cleaner fuels), this plan would be a disaster for New York families and businesses without significantly impacting climate change.
The benefits of full electrification have been exaggerated, costs underestimated, and risks glossed over. Natural gas, propane gas and wood heating appliances, along with gasoline-powered cars, snowmobiles, and boats—would all ultimately be banned and/or carbon taxed. Expect to pay radically higher costs for all energy. Expect many more blackouts. Expect even more people and businesses to flee the state.
It’s Easy to Make Your Voice Heard
The Climate Action Council wants to hear what you think. If you’re happy using propane in your home and prefer it over electricity, please go here to make your voice heard.
Propane Vs. Electricity: What Keeps You Warmer?
Propane Vs. Electricity: What Keeps You Warmer?
Prolonged Power Outages Remain a Concern
Every winter brings extreme weather to some part of the country, and along with that comes widespread power failures that leave many Americans without heat, sometimes for prolonged periods of time.
Fortunately, millions of Americans have been able to rely on propane for warmth, hot water and cooking– even if their power goes out. Watch this short video about propane.
The Rush to Electricity
That’s why it’s so alarming that many officials in government—at the federal, state and municipal level– continue to push for the increased use of electricity in favor of other fuels. In the case of homes, that may mean replacing propane, natural gas and oil-fired heating systems with electric heat pumps.
But heat pump conversions are expensive and do not work very efficiently when the weather gets cold. Plus, electricity is not a clean fuel. It is generated at power plants. Electricity production generates the second largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately 63% of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas.*
Our Aging Power Grid
It is feared that an all-out “electrify everything” policy would increase the average residential household cost, result in minimal reductions in emissions and put a severe strain on our aging electric grid.
The fact is, the electric infrastructure in this country fails us time and time again, causing massive disruption, frustration, and discomfort. Remember the massive energy disaster that occurred in Texas in February 2021?
Here’s another alarming fact: most of today’s grid was built in the years following World War II. But now, it’s reaching capacity and old equipment is failing.
Considering that the U.S. Department of Energy has called the electric grid in our country the largest machine on the planet, upgrading our electric infrastructure will be a massive—and ultra-expensive–undertaking.
Propane: Energy for Everyone
Because propane has such a low carbon content, it produces minimal greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants, making it a clean-burning energy source that can reliably fuel homes, heat water, and even power vehicles.
Propane generates more Btu’s than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. Also, clean-burning propane appliances are efficient, because they waste very little fuel in the combustion process, unlike electric-powered appliances.
That’s why, hands down, propane is better for the environment and for your home. Read more about propane vs. electricity. You can also learn more about propane and the environment here.
Should I Convert My Water Heater to Gas?
Should I Convert My Water Heater to Gas?
Here Are Four Good Reasons
Beyond your furnace heating your home and your air conditioning keeping everyone cool, the most indispensable appliance in your New York home is your water heater.
If you a have an old electric water heater, here are four excellent reasons you will benefit greatly by converting to a propane gas water heater. If you have an old propane water heater, it is highly recommended that you upgrade to a new, more efficient propane unit.
1. Propane Water Heaters Provide More Value
When you consider that a propane water heater has a lower cost of maintenance and lasts years longer than its electric counterparts, propane always wins. And if you want an easy way to raise the value of your home, switch to a propane water heater! Tankless models, especially, are highly desirable to home buyers as it will improve your LEED and home energy rating (HERS) scores.
2. Propane Water Heaters: More Efficient
A propane water heater delivers hot water on-demand. In fact, it works twice as fast and heats much more evenly and efficiently as your old electric unit so there is no more waiting around for the water to get to the proper temperature.
3. Propane Hot Water Tanks Are the Green Choice
Propane is endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an environmentally-friendly fuel. Choosing propane means you will be lowering greenhouse gas emissions and doing your part to save our planet. An electric water heater simply can’t claim that.
4. Propane Delivers on Home Comfort and Convenience
With a propane hot water tank, you most likely will never run out of hot water again, and you will enjoy a recovery rate that is easily twice that of an electric unit. You’ll also be able to reclaim all that space your electric hot water heater has been taking up as a propane system has a much smaller footprint.
Propane hot water heaters have more accurate temperature controls and offer many more options in terms of size and where you can put them in your home.
Considering all of these great reasons to choose a propane water heater, the smart choice should be clear. Whether you choose a tank water heater or a tankless water heater for your New York home, you will find superior value and convenience that offers greater home comfort.
Unsure about what kind of propane hot water heater is right for you? Take this interactive quiz.