There are many reasons to switch to propane. The Clean Air Act of 1990 endorses it as a clean alternative fuel, it’s energy-efficient, safe, will help you save money on your utility bills, and when you have a power outage, you won’t have to worry about a power outage knocking electricity out so that you have no heating.
Review Your Current Contract
Before switching, you’ll want to review the contract with your current company to understand your options. Some charge fees or offer buyout options if you’re leasing the tank. If you do, purchasing it can avoid the hassle and expense of switching it out for a new one. If you decide to return the tank, the company should give you credit for any remaining gas.
You’ll Have to Convert and/or Replace Appliances
If you want to use propane instead of natural gas or electricity, you’ll have to convert your appliances to work with propane or replace them with new ones. While many appliances can be converted fairly easily, not all can, so be sure that you do some research, determining what you’ll need to do and the cost of each. Electric appliances will need to be replaced with propane-powered appliances, but the lower cost over time usually makes the expense worth it.
Take Time to Find a Reputable Supplier
Unlike electricity or natural gas, propane must be transported to your home, making it even more essential to have a propane supplier that you can rely on to get it there whenever you need it. For example, an unexpected blizzard is on the way – you don’t want to run out and not be able to heat your home, but the tank may be too low to make it through the storm. The supplier should be able to get there quickly to fill it up. Or, if you’re on automatic delivery, you won’t have to worry about the propane level at all.
Be sure to evaluate the service and product of each supplier, examine reviews left online, and talk to neighbors who use it to find out what their experiences have been. You’ll also want to compare prices, including extra fees, the cost of tank installation, and potential new customer discounts or incentives.
Maintenance and Safety is a Must
You’ll need to keep on top of maintenance as regular maintenance is critical when you have a source of energy in your home like propane. Propane appliances require it annually, which can be part of your regular winter preparation routine or spring cleaning. Leave service, maintenance, and any necessary repairs to the pros to ensure safety. Technicians will inspect appliance connectors that can crack or leak if not maintained properly.
Be sure the tank is stored properly, meaning kept in an upright position to prevent leaks. You can place cinder blocks around the base or place it inside a milk crate that is large enough to hold most 20 pound tanks. It should be kept between 40 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit – if it gets too cold, subject to freezing temperatures, high-pressure levels can cause a leak. Place it in an area that gets direct sunlight and if it snows, clear the snow off as quickly as you can.