Propane or natural gas is used to power many furnaces and other appliances. In the winter, they can both keep your Charles Town, West Virginia, house warm and cozy. Natural gas combines gasses located underground, including butane, propane, and methane. It can be a liquid, a compressed or uncompressed gas, or a combination of the two.
After being extracted from natural gas at a processing facility, propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas or LPG, is kept liquid. Consider the distinctions between natural gas and propane facility procedures, delivery systems, efficiency, compositions, and safety before deciding which fuel source is ideal for your home.
Techniques For Installation
Although many appliances may run on propane or natural gas, each fuel source necessitates the use of specific gas utilization fittings. If your devices didn’t come with conversion kits when they were first installed, and you wish to go from propane to natural gas or vice versa, you’ll need to order them from the manufacturers.
Electric appliances such as heaters, cookers, and water heaters cannot easily convert to natural gas or propane. Any electric devices you want to run on propane or natural gas will need to be replaced. Natural gas is a limited-access utility delivered to your home via underground pipes. Propane is stored in tanks that must be replaced or refilled regularly.
Some are small and portable, while others are many feet in length. A larger tank can be installed in your yard or buried underground. The propane pipes begin at the service valve on the tank’s outlet; therefore, some may be outdoors. The indoor conduits for natural gas start at your gas meter, while your local utility company usually owns the additional outdoor pipes.
Burying a tank is similar to connecting your home to a natural gas pipeline. Any grass or other plants that have been disturbed by either method can be replaced by a professional. Contact 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” digit, before your installation begins digging to confirm that no subsurface utility lines or pipes are damaged and to get them tagged for free.
Although it is faster and easier to install a propane tank above ground, it may detract from the beauty of your landscaping. Surround the tank with a wall, a trellis with flowering vines, or barriers for a more attractive yard. You’ll be required to bring rid of your propane tank or have it emptied and left in place if you transition from propane to natural gas or stop using propane and switch to electric appliances. It’s difficult to remove a hidden tank, but you can sell it to another person after you’re done.
Methods Of Storage And Delivery
Because a technician can supply propane to any location, it’s an excellent option for people who live in rural areas or communities without natural gas pipelines. You’ll have to wait for deliveries to refill your tank, and you might not be able to receive the fuel you need in the event of a major snowstorm or other emergencies.
Natural gas is always available because it is piped into your home. Unfortunately, a leak in a pipe connected to a plentiful supply of natural gas may raise your energy expenses more than a leak in a propane tank with a limited supply.
Because propane is held under pressure in tanks, it is a liquid that becomes a gas when released through the valve on your tank. Natural gas can be kept in various forms, including uncompressed gas, compressed natural gas (CNG), and liquefied natural gas (LNG). CNG is sometimes observed in tanks rather than pipes since it is compressed before being stored or transferred.
Cost And Efficiency
Propane usually is more expensive than natural gas, but it delivers almost twice as much heat in the same amount. Natural gas is calculated in cubic feet or cubic meters, whereas propane is measured in gallons or liters. British Thermal Units, or BTUs, quantify the heat produced by both forms of fuel. The excess energy needed to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit is one BTU.
Natural gas is more cost-effective in some areas, while propane is less so in others. Both fuel classes are better efficient and less expensive than electricity in many areas. Installing a new natural gas line is more costly than adding a propane tank to your home, but if gas is available in your area, the investment could save you money on your utility bills.
It would benefit if you also thought about the appliances you already have in your home. If your furnace is more profitable than 20 years aged, whether it’s electric, gas, or propane, it should be replaced. By installing a more efficient system, you can avoid unexpected, inconvenient breakdowns and save your utility expenditures. Propane heating systems have the most extended lifespan, and repairs are frequently less expensive than heat pumps or electric furnaces.
Composition Of Chemicals
Propane is the cleanest fossil fuel available, emitting half as much carbon dioxide and other pollutants as gasoline. It also has no adverse effects on water or soil. Methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide, makes up the majority of natural gas. Natural gas, fortunately, burns cleaner than most other fossil fuels.
As a result, natural gas contaminants are usually only released into the atmosphere due to pipeline leaks or drilling mishaps. Methane will naturally decompose into carbon dioxide after several years in the atmosphere. Methane and propane are both more environmentally benign than electricity in many locations, thanks to the popularity of coal power plants in the United States.
Although both fuel types are hydrocarbons, their chemical compositions are very different. CH4 is the chemical formula for methane, while C3H8 is the chemical formula for propane. Propane, along with other hydrocarbons such as butane, ethane, and pentane, is a byproduct of petroleum refinement and natural gas processing.
Manufacturers use mercaptan, tert-Butylthiol, or t-butyl mercaptan to help people discover leaks. They also employ thiophane, which is a related substance. Sulfur or rotten eggs are the smells of these compounds. Set out any flames and then go outdoors if you notice a weird smell inside your home.
Call 911 once you’ve left the house. No electronics should be turned on or off, and no devices should be plugged in or unplugged. You could set off an explosion by igniting a spark. If you smell sulfur or rotten eggs outside, leave the area immediately and call 911. If you have a propane leak, flip the top shut-off valve clockwise to turn off the gas flow.
Most propane tanks are white to reflect as much heat and light as possible since propane must be extremely cold to remain in a liquid condition. A safety valve will open to alleviate pressure and prevent an explosion if a container becomes too hot. Propane can cause frostbite if it comes in contact with your skin.
Suppose your furnace, stove, water heater, or other propane or natural gas-powered system breaks down, partially combusted. In that case, fuel can produce carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly. If there is also much carbon monoxide in your house, carbon monoxide detectors should be used to alert you. Smoke detectors are similar to these gadgets.
Keep an eye out for headaches, dizziness, or nausea that improves as you leave a building or area. Allow fresh air by opening your doors and windows and getting your appliances inspected by a trained expert. Seek medical help to ensure that the exposure did not result in long-term consequences. Griffith Energy Services offers over 115 years of experience in heating, air conditioning, and fuel distribution.