Propane is one of the most used sources of fuel in the world today. It’s also referred to as liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and it’s an affordable, stable, and reliable source of heating energy. Propane gas is highly flammable, so exercising maximum caution while handling it can help prevent accidents.
Propane is mostly used in homes for water heaters, outdoor grills, furnaces, air conditioners, swimming pools, fireplaces, and appliances. You can also use it on your farm to run propane-fueled technologies and equipment, power irrigation pumps, control pests, and dry crops.
Considerations In Powering Your Home With Propane
A homeowner must decide between buying vs. leasing a propane tank to ensure sufficient supply in boosting warmth at home. Refilling your tank before winter sets in can help you enjoy better prices when propane prices aren’t competitive. In this article, you’ll learn some strategies you can use for your propane-powered home.
1. Check Propane Level Regularly
It’s recommended that you should keep the level of propane at a 25% minimum. If you refill your tank during the fall or at the beginning of winter, you have to check the levels since winter is a time when the use of propane for domestic heating goes up. It’s advisable to always check propane levels every week and contact your supplier when the levels are too low to avoid running out of fuel at the pick of a blizzard.
Many people struggle with making a choice when it comes to buying or leasing a tank. Having your unit might be cost-effective in the long run as you save on the accumulated leasing costs. On the other hand, if you don’t have the finances to buy the tank, you may opt for the leasing option.
Also, you may need to evaluate what kind of delivery process you’d prefer between will call vs. automatic delivery option. The former places all the responsibility on you. You have to monitor your tank’s propane level and call the supplier when you need some refilling. But with the latter, your supplier fits your tank with sensors to know the level of propane. Once it’s gone too low, it’s flagged on their system which initiates a refilling process.
2. Be Aware Of Any Propane Leaks
Even though propane is a clean source of power, leaks can have effects on your home. The smell is that of rotten eggs, which isn’t the odor of propane as the gas is odorless. But rather, this is an artificial smell added to detect the leak. The moment you detect the smell, you should turn off any flame around and remove from your house anything that can burn like cigarettes and candles. Turn off the main valve from the tank and have everyone leave the house until the leak has been identified and repaired.
However, note that every leak can be identified through smell. You can have propane detectors which can enhance safety in your home especially if you have children and elderly people in your house. You might also be having individuals whose sense of smell is impaired no matter the amount of propane in the house, so having a detector would be all the more significant.
A mixture of soap and water can also be used to detect the points of leakage by applying them to the connectors and joints. Usually, a leakage will show bubbles.
3. Check Your Heating System After A Bad Weather
When floods, heavy snow, and storms hit your locality, it may cause damage to your installed system, especially the outdoor components. Inspect the system to see whether there are holes, cracks, or other problems. Remove any snow from the tank, valves, pipes, and other parts. If the calamity was too violent, you may turn off the main valve and have your heating system be inspected by a professional.
4. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Handling propane in your house needs more caution than other sources of energy. Propane isn’t like electricity and natural gas which are networked into homes by local suppliers who have the mandate of maintaining their systems. Thus, you need to have scheduled periods of maintenance of the entire heating system by a professional.
5. Request The Previous Owner For Records
If you’re planning to purchase a new home with a propane tank, ask the seller to give you important information concerning the tank such as the maintenance history and the tank’s age. When was the tank bought? Have there been any problems with the tank? When was the last time it was serviced?
After getting the answers to these questions, use a professional to advise you on the viability of buying. A very old tank may be due for replacement soon, so don’t buy such.
6. Keep Watch Of The Pilot Light
Some propane heating systems are fitted with a pilot light which is a small flame that burns continuously. The flame is always lit when the system is working well. In case it stops or it flickers, this could be a sign of an underlying problem. Avoid fixing the pilot light on your own, but have it checked by a professional. This helps you avoid any expensive risk.
7. Study The Manufacturer’s Manual
The manufacturer’s manual always has certain information you need to care for your propane tank and enhance safety at your home. Given information may include instructions on what to do in case of hazardous situations and leakages. You may also be provided with contacts you can call in case of an emergency.
8. Use Propane Appliances With Caution
As much as possible, avoid using propane gas inside the house or propane ovens and stoves for space heating. Portable electric generators should be kept outdoors to avoid any potential risk. Ensure your new propane heating system is installed by a professional.
Making your home propane-powered needs extra caution as negligence can lead to disastrous consequences. Ensure that it’s a professional who works on your heating system, does regular maintenance, and installs propane detectors. Use appliances correctly and check the level of gas supply regularly. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you use propane in your household appropriately.