Powering your home can be an expensive and frustrating endeavor. The average household spends between $1,000 and $5,500+ per year on energy.
But there’s a much cheaper alternative to natural gas and electricity in the form of propane. If you’ve just moved to a propane-fueled home or want to save money on your heating and cooling, you likely have some questions.
Here are the answers to the most common questions about propane fuel use in homes.
Is Propane Safe?
This is by far the most common question, especially among those who have little to no experience with propane. Action movies may have you thinking that propane tanks are just a few steps away from blowing up, but they’re actually far safer than you’d think.
Propane itself is nothing more than liquefied petroleum gas, meaning it’s non-toxic. And though it is flammable, it’s less flammable than gasoline.
While that doesn’t mean you’ll want to use a propane grill indoors, it does mean that you shouldn’t experience any more hazards than you would with any other fuel source.
Are Propane Fuel Tanks Easy to Set Up?
Ordering a propane tank for your home is just as easy as buying something online from your favorite store.
If your home doesn’t yet have a propane tank, simply call your service provider and set up a delivery. Upon delivery, a representative will complete a mandated test to determine if your new tank has any leaks.
If you’re renting a property, consult your landlord and have them set up routine maintenance check.
How Cost-Effective is Propane?
While the propane price per gallon can fluctuate based on a variety of factors such as supply and demand as well as overhead costs, those looking to save a few dollars would do well to switch to propane.
In general, propane is one of the most cost-efficient options homeowners have. However, this doesn’t take into account the cost of setting up service or converting your home.
How Fast Does Propane Burn?
Of course, part of the cost consideration comes down to how long the average tank of propane fuel lasts.
At a bare minimum, expect to get at least three months or so out of your propane tank. Obviously, the larger the tank, the longer it’ll last your home, so take that into consideration before making a purchasing decision.
What Should I Do if I Smell Gas?
By nature, propane is an odorless, colorless gas. That means that it’s close to impossible to detect a leak in its natural state.
Because of this, many propane providers add Ethyl Mercaptan to their tanks to give propane an unpleasant, sulfur-like smell.
While propane leaks are uncommon, should you detect an unnatural scent, call your service provider immediately. While propane itself is safe, prolonged and undetected exposure can be quite harmful.
Final Thoughts on Household Propane Use
If you’re considering using propane fuel to heat your home or power your appliances, you’ll want to take these answers into consideration before making your decision. Still, propane is one of the safest, cleanest-burning gases out there.
For more great information on how you can save money on your everyday household needs, be sure to check out our house and home tip archives.