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Propane Vs. Natural Gas

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.

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