Lakes Gas Blog

Image of ice fishingFebruary means folks are enjoying the last weeks of ice fishing before warmer weather sets in. But if you’re out on the ice for hours, you’ll need a heat source, even if you’re in an ice shanty. Here are some things to consider when you buy a portable propane heater for ice fishing.


There are two kinds of space heaters that can be used indoors: vented and unvented. Vented heaters are connected to the outside air through an exhaust vent. Unvented models are not. Ice fisherman use both, but because of the risk of potentially lethal carbon monoxide buildup, special precautions must be taken with unvented heaters. You’ll have to situate it near an open window and keep usage down to less than four hours at a time. You’ll also need a model with an oxygen depletion sensor to let you know when your air quality is getting dangerous. Because of these restrictions, and the risk failing to follow them produces, many industry experts argue against using unvented space heaters at all.


Ice fishing newbies may be concerned that a heater will cause the ice under the shanty to melt, quickly turning their ice fishing trip into an extraordinarily cold swim. But not to worry. It would take almost two days for a heater to melt even one inch of solid ice. Check out the formula this Minnesota ice fisherman used to prove it.


A bigger shanty needs a bigger heater. Check the specifications of the heater before you buy it. It should tell you the square footage of the spaces it can heat. That way, you won’t get caught out in the cold.

Need more propane? Contact Lakes Gas.

Save moneyBy now, you’ve probably heard it a thousand times: You could be saving your business lots of money by switching to propane. But exactly how much you could save depends on many factors unique to your operation.

If only there was a way to tell exactly how big your savings could be before you make the switch…

Oh, but there is! In an answer to your propane prayers, the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), developed a suite of user-friendly tools to help you calculate savings when you use propane in irrigation engines, commercial mowers, and to power your fleet.

Best of all? The calculators go where you go. You can download them to your phone, use them on your desktop, or — if you’re a traditionalist — you can even print out a good-old-fashioned paper worksheet.

Try it for yourself on the PERC website.

Ready to make the switch? Contact Lakes Gas. We’ll help you determine the propane needs for your business.

Save Energy

Heating costs can quickly get out of control during the cold winter months. You may already be saving money with 

our Budget Pricing Plan, but by conserving propane, you may be able to save even more.

Here are some handy tips from Money Talks News.

Program the Thermostat – Constantly adjusting the heat increases your fuel usage. With a programmable thermostat, you can set your heat up to ten degrees lower during the day, when the house is empty. It’s a painless way to save propane without feeling chilly.

Reduce heat loss – Heat loss can be a huge culprit for high energy costs. There are plenty of ways you can keep the heat in. Caulk cracks and leaks, shrink wrap your windows, and close your fireplace damper when it’s not in use. You can also install a door sweep and close drapes tight to prevent drafts.

Insulate – There are plenty of spots in your home you may not even realize you should insulate. Your attic is probably insulated. But what about the door leading to it? Insulation inside and around it can stop heated air from rising to the attic. You can also insulate your water heater, electrical outlets, and basement.

For more money-saving tips, read the full article.

Need more propane? Contact us.


Know Your LevelAs temperatures fall, it becomes more important to keep your propane tank full so you can heat your home and run your appliances.
But how can you keep tabs on your propane supply?

You may have a propane gauge on your tank, but if you don’t, you still have options. Here are some pointers from CNET Magazine’s online edition.

Use Water

If you’re using a portable propane tank, you can use this handy trick to estimate how full it is.

  • Fill a cup with hot tap water.
  • Pour it down the sides of the tank
  • Run your hand along the side of the tank. You’ll feel a cool spot. That’s the fill level of the tank.

Weigh it

Here’s another trick for portable tanks. If you know how much your tank weighs when it’s empty, you can weigh it to find out how much propane you have. Most grill-size cylinders weigh about 17 lbs when empty and hold about 20 lbs of propane.

So if you weigh your tank and get a weight of 27 lbs, simply subtract the tank weight of 17 lbs, and you’ll know you have about 10 lbs left, or that is tank is about half full.

Track It

A gauge takes away all the guesswork by keeping track of how much propane you have at all times. And you can use a gauge for all size tanks, even the permanent one in your yard.

You can choose from inline, analog and digital gauges that range in price from $10 to $60.
See the full CNET article here.

Need propane? Contact us.

Frozen Pipe

In the Minnesota and Wisconsin area, we know winters can get pretty cold. So if you’re new to propane, you may be wondering if those frigid temperatures could freeze your propane system and appliances.

The answer is probably not. Propane freezes when the air around it drops to below -44 degrees Fahrenheit. While Minnesota has seen winter days as cold as -60 F, they’re not the norm.

But, let’s not tempt fate by saying we won’t get a day that cold. If it does happen, here’s some advice on how to prepare for it by The University of Alaska Fairbank’s Cooperative Extension

Shield and insulate your propane tank and lines.Just make sure the tank is in a well-ventilated area. Because of possible leaks, you shouldn’t move your tank inside even if the temperature is going to drop. The UAF article suggests an insulated frame shelter or loose snow piled around the tank. Whichever option you choose, it should allow ventilation and be a light color.

Try heat stripping. But use a product that is specifically designed for propane tanks.

Have more questions about using propane in cold weather? Contact us.

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