Lakes Gas Blog
September 30, 2015
Time for a new water heater? You may want to pull the plug on traditional electric water heaters and go with a propane-fueled unit. Here are some reasons why, from the Propane Education and Research Council.
Smaller Energy Bills
Everyone needs hot water. But why would you want to pay more to get it? In a PERC price comparison, a Midwestern resident of a 2,400 square-foot home saved about $329 a year on their energy bills when switching to a propane water heater. You can also save money on the unit itself, as some qualify for incentives and rebates.
"Greener" doesn't have to mean "more expensive." In the same price comparison from the above example, the propane water heater saved more than 6,000 lbs of CO2 emissions when used in the 2,4000 square-foot home in the same geographical area. Propane systems can reduce emissions by up to 60 percent.
There are two types of propane water heaters: storage tank and tankless. Both save space compared to traditional electric units, with tankless saving up to 16 square feet- perfect for small homes. Tankless also gives you unlimited hot water, so no more cold showers if you're unlucky enough to be last in line for the shower.
Thinking about a propane water heater? Take a look at PERC's handy free brochure for more information.
September 30, 2015
Whether you're a first-time user, or you've been buying propane for years, there are a few things you may not know about it. Consider this your propane primer.
Propane can cook your food, heat your home, power your hairdryer, help your farm operation, and more. There's not much you do in your everyday life you can't do with propane.
It Has Two Forms
Propane can be in a liquid or vapor form. It's a liquid below its boiling point of -45 F. But above that, it's a vapor. Systems designed to use propane liquid cannot use propane vapor and vice versa, so it's important to know your system's specifications.
It's Cost Efficient
According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, propane has a lower fuel economy when used as a vehicle fuel, but its lower price can quickly outweigh that, making it a better value. Costs of electricity and natural gas vary, so you can calculate whether propane is cheaper for you by using handy formulas provided by Propane101.com.
It's a By-Product
Unlike other fuels, propane can't simply be produced. It occurs as a byproduct of natural gas processing and oil refining. That's why prices fluctuate and shortages sometimes occur. More propane can't simply be made to meet increasing demand.
It's Environmentally Friendly
Propane is clean burning and is not toxic to soil and water. It's not classified as greenhouse gas. Many users find propane to be a great alternative to coal and other less environmentally friendly fuels.
If you have other questions about propane, contact your Lakes Gas office.
September 18, 2015
If you're a football fan, you've been waiting for this season all year. And the best part of football? Tailgating, of course! But if you've never had grill duty before, there are a few things you need to know. Follow these tips for a safe tailgating outing.
1. Plan ahead. Make sure you have a full propane tank, a fire extinguisher, an empty garbage bag in case there's no place to dispose of your trash, and anything else you'll need. If you've never been to the tailgate spot before, you won't know where to dump your trash, or where the nearest store is if you forget supplies.
2. Transport safely. Be sure the propane tank remains upright and secure for the entire trip. Don't put it in the trunk, where the jostling could turn it on its side and cause leaks. The best place for a propane tank is on the floor of the backseat, where the seats will keep it upright. Crack a window to ventilate.
3. Check it out. Before you start the grill, check the grill and tank for leaks. And open the grill before you start it. If there was a leak, gas could have collected there.
4. Cool it down. Be sure the grill has reached a safe temperature and the gas is turned off before you pack up to head home.
Have fun tailgating this season! Keep checking back here for more propane know-how!
September 30, 2015
If you're looking to save money, you may want to consider switching from electricity to propane.
Propane has historically been cheaper than electricity in most areas, though both forms of fuel vary in cost over time and by location.
Here's a handy way to tell whether propane is cheaper than electricity in your area courtesy of SFGate.com, a sister site of The San Francisco Chronicle.
Step One: Know the Exchange Rate.
Propane and electricity are measured in different units, so it's a bit like comparing apples to oranges. It is, however, helpful to know the amounts of energy each can produce. A gallon of propane can produce the same amount of energy as 27 killowat hours of electricity.
Step Two: Calculate Energy Cost
Next, we have to determine the cost of the energy source per the unit of measurement. As of March 2015, the average cost for residential propane was $2.30 per gallon and the average price of electricity in the U.S. for the same time period was 12.10 cents per kilowatt hour.
Multiply the price per kilowatt hour value by 27, and you get $3.24. Propane would be cheaper than electricity if it's selling for less than $3.24 per gallon. Try it with the price per kilowatt value on your next electric bill to see how much you might save.
Step 3: Consider Efficiency
Energy cost is not the whole story, however. You should also take into account how efficient your appliances are, meaning how much energy is actually converted into usable power to run the appliance. Many electric appliances are more efficient than propane ones, but not enough to offset the higher price of electricity. On the other hand, some propane appliances, like water heaters and clothes dryers, work much faster than their electric counterparts, so they use much less fuel, translating to less cost over time.
Is propane a better value for your home? Contact Lakes Gas to find out how to start using it.
September 16, 2015
Lakes Gas in Wild Rose, Wisconsin will be among the many local businesses sporting decorations for the Wild Rose Classic Car Show Sept 19. Join us from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Roseville Mini Golf and Gift Shop, at 1151 Main St Highway 22 in Wild Rose. Spectators are free, so bring the whole family! Enjoy music from D.J Brown Crusin' Sounds, peruse the Fall Festival Flee Market and Craft Show at Roseville Shops, and more. The Car Cruise starts at 6 p.m. at Wild Rose Elementary School. Find out more at VillageofWildRose.com.