Propane Vs. Electric Appliances

Why Propane Appliances Are a Better Choice

propane appliances iowa Efforts by government officials around the country to mitigate the impact of climate change has focused solely on supporting wide scale conversions to electricity to replace traditional fuels like propane. But that’s an extremely expensive path to take, and one that’s not very popular for people in Iowa and elsewhere who love the comfort and savings they enjoy by using clean-burning propane.

How clean is propane? For starters, when you use propane appliances instead of electric ones, you’re relying on a fuel that produces 43% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than using an equivalent amount of electricity generated from the grid.

Just as important in the propane vs. electricity debate is the topic of energy efficiency, which has a big effect on the environment as well. Because the less energy you use, the less impact you have on the environment.

Why Propane Is More Efficient than Electricity

Propane generates more Btu than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. To appreciate propane’s big advantage over electricity in energy efficiency, you have to consider BTU content.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a British thermal unit (Btu) is a measure of the heat content of fuels or energy sources. It’s measured by the quantity of heat that’s required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit–at the temperature in which water has its greatest density (approximately 39 degrees Fahrenheit).

BTUs can be used to compare energy sources on an equal basis. To compare propane to electricity, we need to know that:

  • one gallon of propane = 91,452 Btus
  • one kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity = 3,412 Btu

To make these two energy sources “equal,” divide 91,452 Btus by 3,412 Btu. Your answer will be:

  • One gallon of propane = 27 kWh of electricity. In other words, one gallon of propane contains the same amount of usable energy as 27 kilowatt hours of electricity. makes this comparison to illustrate the efficiency of propane compared to electricity. A 100-watt light bulb left on for a full day–24 hours–will consume 2.4 kWh. If propane could be used to power the same light bulb. it would only use 9/100th of a gallon of propane.

Propane: Made in the USA

Almost all the propane used in the U.S. is produced domestically, meaning every gallon you buy contributes to the independence of America’s energy needs.

Maintaining a propane tank on your property gives you the ability to store a sufficient supply that’s always ready for immediate use, eliminating any dependence on an underground gas pipeline. That’s just one more reason to feel good about using propane every time you get a propane delivery.

Read more about using propane appliances for water heaters, space heating and more.

Renewable Propane and Net-Zero Carbon Emissions

The success story of propane and the environment doesn’t end here. Renewable propane represents the next step towards a zero-carbon emissions future.

Renewable propane is molecularly identical to propane. But it is made with renewable resources such as animal oils, plant oils, biomass, and other triglycerides.

As the renewable propane sector grows in the years ahead, more Iowans will be able to use it to lower their carbon footprint even further than they do now with traditional propane.

Read more about renewable propane.

Is There a Gas Stove Ban in Iowa?

safety of gas stoves iowaThe potential banning of gas stoves in parts of Iowa has been a growing concern for legislators in the past few years. That’s why the Iowa state legislature addressed the issue of a gas stove ban by recently passing a law that prohibited “counties and cities from regulating the sale of natural gas and propane.”

The Iowa legislation “to ban gas bans” in all municipalities and counties is similar to other new so-called “preemption laws” enacted in 19 other states, mostly in the South and Midwest.

The legislation has been considered a safeguard against what is happening elsewhere in the country. Dozens of other local governments—the majority in California but none in Iowa—have enacted ordinances that would outlaw gas connections in new buildings in an effort to reduce emissions and combat climate change.

Focus Shifts to Health

This year, the issue of gas stove bans reached a new flash point when the focus shifted from the environment outside to harmful pollution inside the home. This was due to recent studies that showed the potential for indoor air pollution hazards associated with the use of natural gas stoves. Unfortunately, rumors spread rapidly that the U.S. government planned to confiscate all existing gas stoves from people’s homes. This is false.

At the moment, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is only seeking to obtain public input on hazards associated with gas stoves. The CPSC is the government agency that strives to reduce the risk of injuries and deaths associated with faulty consumer products.

So, what’s the truth about gas stoves? Do all of the good people in Iowa who enjoy cooking on their propane gas stoves have any reason to be concerned about proposed gas bans heading our way in the future?

Evaluating Recent Studies

Last December, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published a study that concluded that “12.7% of current childhood asthma nationwide is attributed to gas stove use…”

Unfortunately, the researchers seem to confine their description to just “gas stoves,” apparently not realizing that there are some key differences between a stove powered by natural gas and one that’s fueled by propane. (More on that soon).

Cooking—On Any Stove–Produces Particulate Matter

Research that’s raised alarm bells over the potential risks involved in cooking isn’t new, however. All cooking—whether it happens on a gas, electric or wood stove—produces some particulate matter (PM). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines PM as microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems.

“Anything with a red-hot element is going to generate particles,” said Iain Walker, an engineer at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab who studies home indoor air quality and ventilation. “That includes most stovetops, ovens and even small appliances like toasters. Frying and roasting cook methods both produce a lot more particulate matter than boiling or steaming.”

As an example, think about all of the smoke that’s produced when you’re searing a steak in a frying pan on your cooktop. It’s not healthy to be breathing that in because of all the particulate matter it contains.

This is why indoor air quality experts always advise using your kitchen range hood to vent particulate matter to the outside whenever you are cooking. If you don’t have a range hood, open a nearby window to achieve at least some ventilation.

The Stanford Study

An earlier study, done by researchers at Stanford and published in January 2022, revealed that all of the 53 natural gas stoves observed leaked methane gas, even when turned off. The research team also wrote: “In addition to methane emissions, co-emitted health-damaging air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) are released into home air and can trigger respiratory diseases.”

Nitrogen dioxide has been shown to contribute to breathing problems like asthma. A 2016 study at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that the simple act of boiling water on a natural gas stove produces nearly twice the amount of nitrogen dioxide than the outdoor standard established by the EPA. Considering that about one-third homes in our country use natural gas for cooking, that’s something that needs to be addressed.

Propane Gas Stoves Vs. Natural Gas Stoves

Here is a critical point we have not seen addressed in either of these studies. Concerns have long been raised about methane leaks coming from natural gas beyond indoor emissions from stoves fueled by natural gas. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and it’s the main component of natural gas.

Now, compare that to propane. In its original form, propane is not a greenhouse gas and it’s considered a “green” fuel because of its low carbon content. Unlike natural gas, propane does not contain any methane gas!

Besides the type of gas used to power your stove, the major difference between a propane stove and a natural gas stove are the gas jet nozzles. Because propane is highly pressurized, the nozzles have much smaller holes. Natural gas isn’t pressurized as much as propane, so the nozzles have larger holes. That’s the reason propane and natural gas stoves can’t be interchanged as is. If you wanted to switch from a natural gas stove to one that’s fueled by propane, you would need to get a propane conversion kit for stoves. This is needed to replace the gas jets. This job is best left to a professional, however.

The Propane Industry Responds

The Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) pointed out that there are competing studies about the adverse impact to indoor air quality that various types of stoves produce.

PERC cited The Lancet Respiratory Medicine abstract, which states: “…we detected no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.”

PERC also found flaws in the Stanford study’s findings (noted above). “These are based on an extremely small sample size and unrealistic cooking conditions and don’t provide a clear picture of …particulate matter generated from electric cooking,” according PERC. (Electric stoves produce particulate matter…and emit dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde that can be toxic.)

Tucker Perkins, PERC’s president and CEO, points to a 2020 study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that found that electric ranges cause household fires at a rate 2.6 times greater than gas ranges; civilian injuries at a rate 4.8 times higher; and civilian deaths at a rate 3.4 times higher.

“Am I suggesting we ban electric stoves? Of course not,” said Perkins. “Many factors affect things like indoor air quality and fire safety, and policymakers must weigh all of them.”

Perkins emphasized that work must continue to eliminate the presence of harmful emissions in and near homes.

“Rather than gas bans, states should focus on natural gas supply chains and mitigate potential hazards….This, along with proper installation, ventilation, and yearly checkups by qualified technicians constitutes a common-sense approach to addressing health and safety concerns around gas appliances.”

Not All Water Heaters Need to Store Hot Water

water heaters iowa Some water heaters simply heat water on-demand, accessing water directly from a water pipe. This type of unit is called a tankless water heater. Often fueled by propane, a tankless water heater is a great way to lower your energy bills while making the process of heating water much more efficient.

Additionally, tankless water heaters require such a small space that you will actually be able to reclaim all that square footage your old water heater was taking up. Most tankless units hang on a wall and are about the size of a small suitcase. You can expect them to last about twice as long as a standard storage-tank water heater.

How A Tankless Water Heater Works

A tankless system eliminates the standby energy losses that occur in storage-tank systems because they only heat water on demand. A propane instant water heater is compact in size, provides superior energy efficiency, and delivers a virtually endless supply of hot water.

That’s because a tankless water heater can average a flow rate of about 222 gallons per hour, more than three times the delivery rate of a standard 50-gallon electric storage-tank water heater (62 gallons in the first hour). This dramatic difference in performance can mean the difference between taking a hot shower or a cold shower!

With a tankless water heater: when you turn on your hot water faucets or an appliance like a dishwasher, water is circulated through the tankless unit’s heat exchanger and delivered on-demand. Your energy efficiency will improve up to 40% and you’ll have access to unlimited amounts of hot water. That’s because you won’t have to worry anymore about your hot water tank draining and having to refill and reheat.

And while it’s true that a tankless propane water heater has a higher upfront cost than a traditional storage-tank water heater, you can save a lot of money on your water heating bills. Those savings certainly add up as the years go by.

Propane Tankless Water Heaters: 9 Benefits

  1. Tankless water heaters deliver a virtually endless supply of water.
  2. Their compact size saves roughly 12 square feet of floor space.
  3. These systems are on-demand, so they heat water only when it’s needed. That feature eliminates standby losses that occur in systems with hot water storage tanks like the typical electric storage tank water heater.
  4. On average, they save about $150 per year in energy costs compared with typical electric storage water heaters.
  5. They generate 50-60% lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared with electric water storage tank systems.
  6. Propane tankless systems also qualify for rebates, which can make them even more cost-effective.
  7. Unlike with storage tank water heaters, you won’t have to worry about gallons of water spilling into your home if a major leak occurs.
  8. Because the air supply and exhaust vents of a tankless water heater are sealed, carbon monoxide gas can’t leak into your home because of a back-drafting issue.
  9. Tankless units make your home more energy-efficient while adding to its value as well.

So why not heat as much water as you need without paying to keep it stored? Remember, with a tankless model, you benefit from a constant supply. Simply turn on the hot water faucet!

You can read more about the pros and cons of a tankless unit if you’re considering a water heater replacement.

And be sure to read about the value of choosing propane when you’re ready for your next water heater installation.

Consider the BTU of Your Hearth Product

gas fireplace iowa Have you ever thought about converting your old, seldom-used wood fireplace into an efficient, clean-burning and safe propane fireplace?

One question that always comes up is: how much propane does a propane fireplace use? As a general rule, a propane fireplace uses about one gallon of propane for each 100,000 BTU. So. if you install a propane fireplace that is rated 50,000 BTU, you’ll be using about one gallon of propane for every two hours that it’s in use.

Now, compare the expense and all of the work you have to put into operating a wood burning fireplace. You’ll probably be delighted by how much easier and inexpensive it is to have a cozy and reliable propane fireplace in your Iowa home.

Converting a Wood Fireplace to Propane

Today’s propane hearths are available as freestanding stoves, built-in fireplaces, and sealed fireplace inserts that can be installed directly in your existing mantle. And they give you all the warmth and comfort of a wood fireplace without the drawbacks, and with some great benefits that you just can’t get from a wood-burning hearth.

Whether or not you have an existing fireplace, you can enjoy the benefits of a propane hearth in your home with these advantages.

  • Convenience: A propane hearth gives you warmth and a beautiful glow whenever you want it. And most of today’s propane hearths come with thermostats and remote controls. You’ll be able to control the heat and the flame intensity from the comfort of your sofa.
  • Versatility: A propane fireplace or freestanding stove is not only charming, it’s also a heat source that will keep your living space warm even when the power is out. No black-outs with propane!
  • Efficiency: A propane fireplace runs at around 80% efficiency. That makes it four to five times more efficient than a wood fireplace.
  • Health impact: You may think that wood smoke smells good, but it’s really not that good for your body. Fine particles, also known as fine particulate matter, are the greatest health threat from a wood fire. These microscopic particles can create respiratory problems and other issues. You don’t get these health risks with propane.
  • Environmentally-friendly:  A wood-burning fireplace emits up to 4,000% more emissions than a propane-fueled fireplace!

Reduce Heat Loss with Propane Fireplaces

Today’s propane fireplace inserts have efficiencies that can go well into the 80% range. That’s so much more efficient than a wood fire. As much as 90% of the heat produced by a wood-burning fireplace goes straight up the chimney! Did you ever notice how cold a room becomes when a wood fire begins to burn out? It’s because all the heat in the room is being drawn out the chimney!

Recent Trends in Propane Fireplaces

  • Fireplace inserts with blowers: If you have an open-concept kitchen-living dining area, or any other large space to heat, the multispeed blowers push warm air to the far corners of a room, providing better and more even heating.
  • Masonry fireplace refinishing: With a propane fireplace insert, you can update the style of your existing fireplace without a lot of expense.
  • More realistic flames: Improved gas burner technology means more realistic flames that flicker and dance, just like a wood fire.

Once you get your new propane fireplace installed, count on your propane provider to keep you well-supplied so you can always keep your home fires burning.

Please reach out to your Iowa propane provider for more advice about propane gas fireplaces. Interested in expanding your use of propane further? Read about propane appliances.

The World’s Most Popular Alternative Fuel

propane vehicles Propane autogas describes propane when it is used as fuel for vehicles. Propane autogas is the world’s most popular alternative fuel, which is defined as any product that bypasses the two big traditional petroleum fuels: gasoline and diesel

In fact, it’s estimated that in 2022, there are more than 27 million vehicles in the world that rely on propane autogas. This includes school buses, taxis, shuttles, delivery and construction trucks and more. There are also thousands of propane autogas fueling stations in the U.S., with stations in every state. Read more facts about propane autogas.

According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, 60% of alternative-fuel vehicles nationwide are powered by propane. Overall, propane autogas is the third most popular vehicle fuel, next to gasoline and diesel. 

Its popularity has led to an array of innovations in vehicles that use propane autogas, including light- and medium-duty trucks, vans and shuttles.

Additionally, there are many propane-powered buses in the country transporting nearly one million children to school each day, and that number keeps increasing.

Buses fueled with propane autogas are crash-tested for impact in the side and rear, meeting rigorous motor vehicle safety standards.

Kids are benefiting from a healthier ride to and from school as well because propane school buses get an A+ as far as meeting emissions standards is concerned. Studies have shown that, when compared with the old diesel buses they have replaced, buses fueled by propane autogas:

  • emit 80% fewer smog-producing hydrocarbons
  • reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions by about 10,000 pounds
  • lower particulate matter by 315 pounds

Propane vs. Diesel and Gasoline Vehicles

Here are three key areas where propane-fueled vehicles have an edge over those that rely on diesel or gasoline.

Fuel: You can generally count on an average savings of 30 to 40 % per mile driven with propane autogas, considering both the cost of the fuel itself and the expected fuel economy. Historically, propane has been 30% less than gasoline, and the savings are even greater with diesel, especially in the wake of the alarming price increases we’ve seen this year.

Fluids: New, lower emissions diesel technology presents extra costs because diesel emissions fluid needs to be purchased, stored, and changed. Plus, in cold temperatures, diesel vehicles need anti-gel fluids to prevent fuel filters and fuel lines from clogging. If your fleet runs on propane autogas, however, you will benefit from reliable performance in any type of weather without the need and extra expense of additional fluids.

Filters: To meet emissions requirements, today’s diesel technology requires diesel particulate filters that must be cleaned. Excessive idling accelerates cleaning intervals. These extra maintenance expenses just add more to the total cost of ownership.

Propane Vs. Electric Vehicles: Which Is Cleaner?

There has been much talk about achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050, and transitioning to all-electric vehicles has been a big part of the conversation because electricity is considered a “clean fuel” by many.

Although a battery-powered electric car itself doesn’t produce any emissions, the power plant that generates the electricity used to charge those batteries probably does. And those power plants are among the largest sources of greenhouse gas pollution in the United States.

Other obstacles slowing the move toward electric vehicles include low supply, charging infrastructure challenges, expensive upfront costs and limited mileage range.

Converting Engines to Propane Autogas

For fleet owners who want the cost benefits of propane autogas but need the flexibility of a gasoline backup or who aren’t ready to purchase new vehicles, EPA-certified bi-fuel conversion kits can be installed on existing vehicles.

You can count on propane refueling technology to deliver as dependably as the vehicles themselves. Refueling with propane autogas is quick, quiet, and safe. It’s the same experience as refueling with diesel or gasoline, making the transition to propane autogas easy for fleets.

Propane autogas fleet operators can also save money by taking advantage of the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit, which was recently passed by the U.S. Congress as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Read more about how you can qualify to claim a credit for every gasoline gallon equivalent of propane autogas purchased.

Besides propane autogas, there are many other commercial/agricultural uses for propane.

A Comparison of Efficiency, Reliability and Safety

propane services iowa While natural gas is the leading home heating source in many parts of the country, most people don’t realize that many of the benefits of natural gas translate to propane as well.

Whether it’s a super-efficient furnace, unlimited hot water, temperature-precise cooking stoves, or reliable backup home generators to enhance convenience and safety, you can count on all of these benefits in your propane-powered home in the same way people do in homes supplied with natural gas.

Still, some more key advantages of propane make it stand out above natural gas.

Reliable Supply with Propane

Surveys have shown that people like heating their homes and water with propane because they know they will have a reliable supply of propane on hand whenever they need it. Having a propane tank on their property gives them the ability to store a plentiful supply that’s always ready for immediate use.
And with programs including automatic propane delivery, prebuy, and others, most suppliers offer a range of methods for ensuring that there is plenty of clean-burning propane on hand.

One of the drawbacks of natural gas is that it can only get to your home through an underground pipeline. If something goes wrong with that pipeline, you can’t get any gas. Propane is easier to move around because it gets compressed, or squeezed until it turns into a liquid. It is then put inside large storage tanks and your propane supplier then delivers it right to your home’s propane tank.

When you turn on an appliance, propane goes into action. The liquid changes to gas before it leaves the tank. At that point, it’s similar to natural gas again, and it can create the heat you need for cooking and heating.

Flexible Propane Gas Line Installation

Propane gas lines can usually be fed into a home through a number of possible entry points with a nearby tank. While there are some requirements about a propane tank’s distance from the home that are in place, they are not unreasonable. This may not be the case for natural gas lines.

Propane Releases Fewer Greenhouse Gases

Because of its low carbon content, propane in its original form is not a greenhouse gas. It’s considered “green” as a result of its low carbon content. In contrast, environmental issues have arisen from natural gas leaking methane gas into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas.

Propane Is a Safer Fuel than Natural Gas

Compared with natural gas, propane has a far shorter range between its minimum and maximum burn temperatures and is safer as a fuel. Its narrower range of flammability helps keep it from igniting when it hits the air unless the ignition source is 920°F or higher.

Propane Keeps Getting Better

While renewable propane is not widely available yet, homes and businesses all over the U.S. will eventually be able to easily use it. Since renewable propane is molecularly identical to conventional propane, there will be no need to replace or alter existing propane appliances and equipment.

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.

Read more about renewable propane gas.

Why Risk a Run-Out or a Price Spike?

propane delivery iowaAs summer transitions into the fall, we always advise propane customers to start the heating season off with a full tank. Early fall is the perfect time to schedule your propane delivery.

Here are four reasons why this is a smart idea.

  1. Demand drives up propane prices and that demand is usually highest when temperatures drop. However, propane prices can also rise in the summer months, when people hit the road with their campers and RVs. Early fall squeezes between these two periods of peak demand – meaning it’s often the best time to save money on your propane tank fill-ups.
  2. Although sudden cold snaps can happen in the early fall here in the Hawkeye State, these aren’t as common or as severe as the drops that can happen in late autumn and early winter – which means that odds are, there won’t be a sudden big rush on local propane supplies (and the rising prices that typically come with it).
  3. Your family will be prepared for any weather. A sudden change in weather can pinch propane supplies quickly, leading to possible delivery delays and occasionally no-heat emergencies as people scramble to fill their tanks. Schedule your propane tank refill in the early fall and you’ll enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your family will be safe and comfortable in any weather.
  4. You can enjoy all your home comforts. Whether you like to cook on your propane grill on a beautiful autumn weekend, cozy up to your propane fireplace or lounge on your porch warmed by your propane patio heater, you’ll need to fill up on propane to enjoy the comforts of home in the months to come.

Securing Your Propane Supply

Getting propane delivered to your tank whenever you need it may seem fairly easy. But for propane suppliers, planning is more complex, and the process often begins a year before deliveries even reach customers. Plus, supply chain issues have added an extra layer of complexity to the mix lately.

Knowing the volume of fuel that each customer will need represents a key component in creating a supply plan, which includes storing away enough fuel. Customers can help out by contacting their propane dealer long before winter arrives to discuss their anticipated propane needs.

Your propane dealer is committed to supplying you with reliable propane deliveries throughout the year. If you have questions or want to discuss your propane supply, please get in touch with your local propane dealer.

Remember the 80/20 Rule

For safety purposes, your propane tank will never actually be completely full. Here’s why.

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, such as when the sun is shining directly on your tank. 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 delivery driver needs to leave extra space in your tank to allow propane to safely expand. The extra space in the tank provides a cushion against the pressure that builds up in a tank.
Aboveground propane tanks are typically filled to about 80% capacity. As an example, a 500-gallon tank filled to 80% will safely hold 400 gallons of propane.

This is often called the 80/20 rule. Keep in mind that the amount of gas in the tank doesn’t actually change during periods of expansion and contraction–only its density does.

Propane gas expansion is also the reason why you should never paint your outdoor propane tank a dark color since dark colors will absorb more heat from the sun.

Read more about propane safety.

Propane Releases Less CO2 than Other Energy Sources

carbon emissionsDid you know that you’re doing your part to help the environment by using propane appliances instead of electric ones?

It’s true! It takes three units of source energy to get one unit of electricity into your home. That means more coal often has to be burned to produce electricity, generating even more carbon emissions, to get electricity to homes.

In contrast, the minimal number of emissions released by a propane-heated house is 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 also emit up to 50% less nitrogen oxide and 82% less sulfur oxide than technologies fueled by electricity. These types of emissions contribute to acid rain and cause respiratory ailments.

Read more about propane and the environment.

But despite all of this, there has been an aggressive push from those in government to champion the increased use of electricity in favor of other fuels, including propane.

Winter and Our Failing Electric Power Grid

The electric infrastructure in our country has failed us time and again, causing massive disruption, frustration, and discomfort.

However well-meaning the “all-electric” movement may be, it is putting faith in breakthroughs that do not yet exist to an electric grid that is already unreliable.

Consider what will happen when the electric grid is taxed by huge new demand—caused by conversions of cars, commercial buildings, homes, and more. And imagine what a massive power outage would be like in the middle of a brutally cold winter in Iowa? (Tragically, we already saw a preview of that in Texas last year).

So, until our electricity supply is less environmentally destructive and not prone to numerous blackouts, it is simply not the best choice for staying warm in winter.

Millions of Americans, including many Iowans, rely on propane for warmth as well as hot water and cooking. Thanks to propane generators, they can still enjoy all of these benefits even when their electric power goes out.

Don’t Miss Out on Iowa Propane Rebates

If you want to increase efficiency, save on energy costs and add value to your home, why not invest in a new appliance (or two?) Iowa rebates make it easy and affordable.

Don’t wait! Installation rebates for new propane gas equipment are available only while funds last. You can save even more when you install a qualifying Rinnai propane product and add a manufacturer’s rebate to your savings.

To learn more about rebates, go here and then contact your propane service company for additional details.

Convenience & Efficiency of Propane Framed by an Existing Mantle

gas fireplace inserts iowaPropane fireplace inserts give you the best of both worlds: the convenience and efficiency of propane framed by an attractive existing masonry fireplace. You also get:

  • More realistic flames: Today’s improved gas burner technology means a warm glow, and flickering and dancing flames, just like a wood fire.
  • Adjustable heat: Whether the winter winds are blowing and you need a roaring fire, or you just need to take the edge off a cool early spring or autumn day, the multi-stage temperature controls can give you just the right amount of heat.
  • Smarter fireplace inserts: You can use the thermostat to program your propane fireplace to turn on and off at specific times, and program temperature settings for any time of the day or night.
  • High-efficiency backup heat: Do you feel the need to supplement your home’s heating system? Today’s propane fireplace inserts can keep you much cozier than a wood fire. You may be surprised to learn that as much as 90% of the heat produced by a wood-burning fireplace goes straight up the chimney! Did you ever notice how cold a room becomes when a wood fire begins to burn out? It’s because all the heat in the room is being drawn out the chimney!
  • More variety in sizes: Some masonry fireplaces have openings that are too narrow or shallow to fit a standard-sized propane fireplace insert. Smaller inserts are becoming more common, meaning more people can get the benefits of a propane fireplace.
  • Fireplace inserts with blowers: If you have a big space to heat, like an open-concept living room-dining room-kitchen space, you can get a propane fireplace insert with multi-speed blowers that push warm air to the far corners of a room, creating more even and comfortable heating.
  • Masonry fireplace refinishing: You can update your existing masonry fireplace to fit your personal style, from sleek contemporary to modern farmhouse.

Discover the Benefits of Any Propane Hearth

Today’s propane hearths bring you all the warmth, glow, and comfort of a wood fireplace without most of the drawbacks. That’s true whether it’s the aforementioned sealed fireplace insert or a built-in fireplace or a freestanding stove. Here’s what we mean.

  • Health impact: Wood smoke may smell good, but you really don’t want to inhale it. Wood smoke contains what is known as fine particulate matter. These microscopic particles can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. With propane, you avoid those risks.
  • Environmental impact: Burning wood creates about 28 pounds of smog-producing particulate emissions (soot and ash) per MMBTUs of heat output.* Propane, on the other hand, produces less than one percent of that. Using propane greatly reduces your home’s carbon footprint.
  • Efficiency: Propane fireplaces burn at about 80% efficiency, that’s about four to five times more efficient than a wood fireplace.
  • Versatility:  A propane fireplace can be a terrific heat source during a power outage. Even when there are no power issues, the heat produced by a propane fireplace may let you turn down your thermostat a few degrees.
  • Convenience: Most of today’s propane fireplaces feature thermostats, allowing you to control the flame and the heat from the comfort of your couch.

Want to learn more about propane hearths? Go here and then contact your local Iowa propane company.

*MMBtu stands for Metric Million British Thermal Unit; it’s used as a measurement of heat content or energy value.

Keep Propane Safety on Your Menu This Summer

gas grill safety iowaCooking, whether it’s inside or outside, always presents the potential of accidents and injuries because you’re dealing with high heat and hot flames. Just letting your mind wander away from the task at hand for a few seconds or panicking when something goes wrong could lead to bad consequences.

So, with the propane grilling season now in full swing in Iowa, here are some timely tips about what you should do if you ever have a grease fire or flare-up on your outdoor propane grill.

First and foremost, always be ready for an emergency. Near your grill, always keep these essentials: a fire extinguisher, insulated gloves, and either baking soda or sand so you can quickly smother any fire that erupts while you’re grilling.

What to Do about Flare-ups

Grill flare-ups are tall flames with a lot of smoke. These are actually quite common when grilling meats because of dripping fat, oil and marinades. To prevent your flare-up from turning into a full-fledged fire, do this:

  • Immediately move the food to a warming rack, using long-handled tongs.
  • Slowly replace the food and locate it at the center of the grill to let fat burn off; continue this process for each item.
  • Once all food has been returned to the grill, finish cooking with a watchful eye.

If You Have a Grill Fire

The problem with flare-ups is that these can spread quickly and easily turn into a full-blown fire. Here’s what to do if it looks like your flare-up has turned into something more serious.

  • Turn the grill off.
  • Remove the food and smother the flames by throwing baking soda or sand on top of the fire. NEVER use water to extinguish a grease fire. Throwing water on the fire can make the fire spread. There’s a reason for that old saying: “oil and water don’t mix.”
  • Close the lid and any grill vents to further starve the fire of oxygen.
  • If the propane tank has become part of the fire, or if the fire expands out of control, evacuate the area immediately and call the fire department.

Avoiding a Grease Fire

The best way to handle grease fires and flare-ups is to avoid them in the first place. Here are ways to do it.

  • Clean your grill regularly, following instructions from your manufacturer. Regular cleaning will greatly reduce the risk of fire. Your food will taste better too!
  • Grease sometimes pools in the firebox area around the burners. If it is safe to do so, turn off the gas and leave the lid open so the grease can burn off.
  • Always cook with the lid down, and leave it down during cooking time.
  • Oil the food, not the grates.

Read more about propane safety.