At Callahan’s Gas & Appliance in Centreville, we have answered quite a few questions about propane gas over the years. Since we have been in business since 1937, our gas company has been present for many innovations in the way propane gas is used, handled, delivered, and sold. Over that time, we have always been on the forefront of the industry, constantly learning more about propane so we could ensure that our customers receive the best deals and services possible.

Thanks to our vast experience in the propane industry, we feel confident that we can answer most of the questions you have about propane. Keep reading to learn the basics of propane gas, how much propane usually costs, discover the energy efficiency and environmental impact of propane, and learn how to get propane services from Callahan’s Gas & Appliance. We are happy to help you learn everything you need to know about propane, and our team is proud to provide services that Centreville has trusted for more than eight decades.

Basics

What is Propane?

For many people, their first introduction to propane is from an outdoor grill or a barbecue. Most of us have either seen the propane tanks used for grilling in stores or remember watching adults use these grills when we were children. Even if you have never seen a propane tank, you have probably been around a piece of equipment that uses propane. So, although you may not realize it, all of us have been around propane gas. That said, do you know what propane actually is?

Put simply, propane is a chemical compound used as a fuel. This makes it similar to natural gas, butane, and gasoline, although these fuels all feature different drawbacks and benefits. Propane lacks color and odors, so odors are often added to propane to make it easier to detect.

Like many of these other fuels, propane was discovered in the late 1800s and began to be used widely in the U.S. in the 1920s. That means that Callahan’s Gas & Appliance in Centreville has almost been around as long as propane has been used!

Propane is a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), but it is not the only LPG. Another LPG you have probably heard of is butane, which is often mixed with propane in order to create fuels suited for various uses. LPGs are produced as a by-product when natural gas is refined, but they can also be produced during the process of crude oil refining.

Common Uses of Propane

The uses of propane are varied. Most commonly, propane is utilized as fuel in cooking, appliances, and even in vehicles. For storage, propane is often pressurized, which turns it into a liquid. Pressurized, liquid propane is easier to transport than many fuels.

Thanks to its low boiling point, propane instantly turns to a gas when pressure is released from the storage container. If you have ever used a propane gas grill, then you have experienced this first hand! When the valve is turned on a propane tank, the tank begins to lose pressure. The loss in pressure causes the liquid propane inside the tank to boil, turning it back into a gas. The gas is what goes into the grill and is ignited to create heat.

Propane is also a popular choice for home and business heating. Propane can be used as a fuel for residential and commercial furnaces. When a propane heating system is properly installed, it can be more efficient and more affordable than natural gas.

Since propane is relatively easy to transfer, it is often used as a home and water heating source for homes that lack access to natural gas. Propane is easier to move to rural areas than natural gas, which typically requires a gas line. It is also common to see propane used to power other appliances, such as fireplaces, stoves, refrigerators, and clothes dryers.

Benefits of Propane

While propane is not the best fuel option for every situation, it can be extremely beneficial to use in many cases. Whether it is used for home heating, business heating, water heating, or to power appliances, propane has some benefits that other fuels simply lack. Contact Callahan’s Gas & Appliance and we can help you determine when propane is right for your circumstances and help you set up a propane system.

As previously mentioned, propane is much easier to transport than many fuels. It can be stored in both above- and below-ground tanks and then regularly delivered to those tanks. This ensures that you will always have enough propane to meet your needs.

Moreover, propane is often more efficient and eco-friendly than other fuel sources. We have a whole section below on how green and efficient propane is, but rest assured that it is a clean and efficient fuel source. Propane water heaters even recover better than electric water heaters, which regenerate hot water half as fast as propane water heaters.

Propane will only ignite within a narrow window of air and gas mixture. This makes it a safe heating source for houses and businesses alike. If a propane system is interrupted for some reason, then a leak test is performed to ensure that leaks are found and remedied quickly.

A final benefit of propane comes from its reliability. Unlike other heating sources, a propane furnace will continue to work after electricity is compromised. Thanks to propane, you will not have to worry about your home losing heat due to a blackout in the middle of winter.

Cost

Perhaps the most common question people ask Callahan’s Gas & Appliance about propane is how much it will cost. The cost of propane depends on multiple factors beyond just the price of the gas itself. Propane costs will depend on the size of the propane tank you use, the amount of propane used, as well as the delivery option selected. All of these variables will be discussed below, but remember to contact Callahan’s Gas & Appliance for answers to any specific questions you may have.

Usage

To determine how much propane will cost you, we must first figure out how much propane you will use. By doing this, a customized plan for propane services can be developed and suited to your needs. Once the right amount of propane for your needs is determined, you will get a pretty clear idea of your potential propane costs.

So how do you determine how much propane you will need? This process begins by analyzing what things in your home or business use propane. Perhaps you have a propane refrigerator, use a propane water heater or furnace, or maybe you would like a propane fireplace added to your home. Whatever the case might be, think of all the things in your house that use propane or that you would like to use propane. This will give you a good starting point for figuring out how much propane you might use.

After you consider the number of things in your home that utilize propane gas, you will then want to think about the size of your home and the number of people that are living there.. Bigger homes with propane furnaces will use more propane to heat the home. Similarly, you will use more gas if many people live in your home since your propane water heater would be used more often. Personal preferences are also a big factor in propane usage. If you prefer to keep your water hotter than most people, you will use more propane.

One good way to get an idea of how much propane you will use is by thinking about your previous usage history. Even if you are switching from another energy source such as electricity, the amount of energy you used previously can give you a good idea of how much propane you will use. The team at Callahan’s can help you work through these considerations and figure out how much propane you will use.

Tank Sizing

Your propane tank itself will also affect the cost of propane. For example, below-ground propane tanks are typically more costly to install than above-ground propane tanks, so it will be more expensive to set up a system with a below-ground propane tank. The size of your tank will also affect costs, since it will determine how often you will need to refill your tank.

After you figure out how much propane you will typically use, you can choose the propane tank size that is right for your situation. Propane tanks are measured both by gallons and by weight. One gallon of propane weighs just over four pounds.

Tank sizes range from five (the kind commonly used for grills) to 1,000 gallon propane tanks. When choosing your tank size, be sure to remember that industry standards dictate that tanks can only be refilled to 80% of the tank’s capacity. You will want to consider this when thinking about your usage and how often you will need refills.

When you have decided on the best tank size for you, you will then need to choose whether you would rather have an above-ground tank or a below-ground tank. As previously mentioned, below-ground tanks do cost a bit more due to excavation and installation costs. That said, many people often dislike the appearance of above-ground tanks and like the fact that below-ground tanks can be covered with grass. Ultimately, you should pick the best option for your preferences and needs. As a full-service gas company, Callahan’s Gas & Appliance can certainly help you find the right propane tank for your situation.

Delivery Options

One final variable in determining the cost of propane is the delivery option you select. The number of propane deliveries you will need depends on the size of your tank and the usage. For many local gas companies, the cost of a delivery depends on the market price of propane, which changes throughout the year.

Thanks to the Level Pay Plans from Callahan’s, you will not have to worry about highly variable delivery costs. When you choose a Level Pay Plan, we will estimate the changes in the market price of propane, look at weather patterns, analyze heating bills, and evaluate your home’s propane usage to give you a constant price of propane for the year. When you work with us, you will not have to worry about unexpected price swings. We will meet your propane needs at a level price.

When propane services are customized to your situation, propane can be a cost-effective way to heat your home, heat water, run appliances, and heat your business. Callahan’s Gas & Appliance will help you determine the cost of propane for your home or business in Centreville and the surrounding areas. As a full-service company, we will do all that we can to meet your propane needs. Put your trust in the company that has served Centreville since 1937.

Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact

In recent years, many people have put more thought into energy efficiency and how their energy sources affect the environment. When compared to natural gas and coal, propane gas is a clean, efficient, and eco-friendly alternative. Propane was even listed as a clean fuel in the 1990 Clean Air Act. Read on to discover more about the energy efficiency and environmental impact of propane.

Energy Efficiency

If you are trying to decide between propane and natural gas heating for your home or business, then you should know that propane is much more efficient than natural gas. In fact, a cubic foot of propane contains more than twice as many British thermal units (BTUs) as the same amount of natural gas. Therefore, propane can provide much more energy than natural gas.

Since propane offers more energy than the same amount of natural gas, it takes far less propane to heat a home than natural gas. In other words, it is more efficient to use propane as a fuel than it is to use natural gas. While it is true that natural gas is often less expensive than propane, the difference in efficiency between the fuels can often make propane more affordable than natural gas.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of propane is minimal, which is one of the biggest benefits of using propane as a fuel source. Although it is produced from crude oil or natural gas refining, propane does not damage the environment. Unlike natural gas, it is not a greenhouse gas.

Moreover, propane burns clean, especially compared to other fuels. Propane releases lower amounts of carbon than natural gas and it has better long-term environmental effects than most fuels. Since it burns clean, propane is one of the few fossil fuels that is environmentally-friendly both before and after it is used.

Now, you may think that an electric heating source is better for the environment than propane or natural gas. Although it may not seem like it, electric furnaces can actually be worse for the environment than propane or natural gas heating systems. To determine whether or not this is the case, you have to consider where your electricity comes from.

In Maryland, most electricity comes from burning coal or using nuclear energy. In comparison to coal, propane is much better for the overall health and sustainability of the environment. From this information, it should be clear that propane can be an even more eco-friendly heating option than an electric furnace.

The efficiency of propane also helps make it more friendly to the environment. Thanks to propane’s efficiency, less fuel is needed to get the same amount of energy. At this point, hopefully the benefits of using propane are obvious.

Getting Propane from Callahan’s

One of the things that makes Callahan’s Gas & Appliance unique is our commitment to the Centreville community. We have served Centreville and the surrounding areas since we opened our doors in 1937, and we hope that you will choose us to help with your propane needs. Our team has the experience and expertise to help you ensure that you receive the benefits of using propane.

Hopefully this page has helped you understand propane gas a little better. If you still have questions about propane, we can help.

Contact us today and we can begin customizing propane services for you. Since we are a full-service propane company, we can offer everything from initial consultations to continued propane delivery, as well as handling all of the installation and maintenance steps in between. When you choose Callahan’s for propane services, you choose a company that you can trust.