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Advantages of Propane

Whether it’s your home, farm, equipment, or business, running them on propane makes good sense — both economically and environmentally. According to the Department of Energy, it can cost up to twice as much to operate your range, water heater, dryer or furnace using electricity instead of propane. And, in addition to being the more economical choice, propane is also the friendlier environmental choice. Before there was an awareness of “global warming” or “going green” propane was already a leader in clean energy. Propane is one of the cleanest burning of all energy sources and was approved as a clean, alternative fuel in 1990 by the Clean Air Act. Today, more than 60 million Americans rely on this exceptional energy source for comfort, reliability, and everyday savings.

And, should you experience a power outage you won’t have to worry about keeping warm, cooking, or taking a hot shower if you have propane. You’ll be cozy and comfortable until the electricity comes back on.

Propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8) and is sometimes referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas, or LPG. Propane is mainly produced from natural gas processing, but also from crude oil refining. Over 90% of propane used in the United States is produced domestically, with the majority of the reminder being imported from Canada. It is nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless. As with natural gas, an identifying odor is added so the gas can be readily detected.

Is propane dangerous to the environment?

No. Propane is an approved, clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Propane 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.

Is propane an economical choice?

Yes. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 30% annually by heating your water with propane compared to electricity and save around 50% compared to operating electric clothes dryers. Additionally, on average, you can reheat a whole tankful of water in just 20 minutes with propane, compared to an hour with electricity! When you compare home heating on a BTU basis, propane on average usually saves you money there, too.

Propane provides more comfort with a consistent air supply around 115 °F. This compares to electric heat pumps which deliver air at a temperature slightly warmer than your body temperature.

During a power outage you are safe and in control of your energy source. With propane you won’t have to worry about waiting on the electrical company to stay warm during a winter electricity outage.

According to Appliance Magazine propane gas furnaces last an average of 20 years while electric heat pumps last an average of 14 years. In most instances it also costs less to repair a propane gas furnace than an electric heat pump.

Propane is portable and convenient, propane is an energy source that can be located virtually anywhere, natural gas can’t say that!

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Take a look at the many advantages you enjoy by choosing propane:

Water Heating

Residential water heating is typically the third largest energy use in the home accounting for nearly a quarter of overall household energy consumption. A propane water heater can cost less than half what it costs to operate an electric water heater and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent. There’s not a single electric water heater that qualifies for the federal Energy Star program. They simply can't compete with propane. Not only does propane save you a bundle of money, it also reduces your home’s carbon footprint.

Tankless Water Heating

For supreme energy efficiency, a propane tankless water heater is hard to beat. Energy Star-qualified propane tankless water heaters have efficiency levels of 83%-94%. They cost roughly 60 percent less to operate than a standard electric storage tank, while providing a longer-lasting stream of hot water.

Home Heating

Propane home-heating systems can slash energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions — up to 68 percent. Propane furnaces are available with an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 95 or higher, and the units produce air up to 25 degrees warmer than that of electric heat pumps. Oftentimes people using a heat pump complain that their house is cold and drafty and end up using supplemental heat sources. Using propane means a more cozy, comfortable home for less money.
Propane furnaces also operate longer, on average up to 20 years — compared to only 14 years for electric heat pumps. According to Appliance Magazine, propane furnaces run cleaner and cost less to repair than electric heat pumps. They are also more efficient and economical than a fuel oil furnace.

Propane Boilers

The numbers are startling. If your existing gas boiler is only 60 percent efficient, installing a new propane boiler rated at 90 percent efficiency will cut your energy use by one-third, assuming the same heat output. At the same time, propane produces fewer emissions than other petroleum-based products. For example, propane furnaces emit 37 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fuel oil furnaces and 60 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than electricity. Propane boilers also require less frequent maintenance than fuel oil units.

Radiant Heat

Propane is a great energy source for hydronic (liquid-based) radiant heating, which is far more efficient than electric. A propane water heater or boiler heats water that is pumped through a floor tubing system. By delivering more even heat, and more heat closer to the floor, these systems can be far more energy efficient than a conventional furnace-and-duct system.

Clothes Drying

Research shows that propane dryers can save up to 50 percent in energy costs compared with electric models.

Fireplaces and log inserts

A propane fireplace heats a room more evenly and efficiently than a wood fireplace and can burn 40 times as long without producing the same emissions. Most models are virtually maintenance-free, don't produce ash or soot, and don't require electricity. High-efficiency direct-vent propane fireplaces have, on average, five to six times the heating capacity of electric fireplaces.

Nothing compares to propane — an exceptional energy. Please contact Southern States if you would like more information on the benefits of a specific propane application.

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