Propane is a versatile, affordable fossil fuel becoming increasingly popular in the United States. According to the National Propane Gas Association, approximately 4 percent of America’s energy needs are met by propane. According to the 2016 Propane Market Outlook, consumer sales of propane are expected to grow by 9 percent through 2025, and it stands to reason given the various applications of this natural resource. Here are three excellent (and common) uses found in residences across the country:
1- Drying Clothes
A rising number of residential clothes dryers are now run on propane. Gas-fired dryers prove to be a convenient and innovative addition to the laundry room. Many consumers find they save not only money but also time by switching away from electric clothes dryers. Compared to their electric counterparts, propane dryers typically use 20 percent less energy per year and therefore are generally cheaper to operate. They also dry clothes more quickly without as much static cling.
With propane, laundry becomes less of a chore. Consumers will find they spend less time bent over an ironing board. When propane is burned, a moist heat results, helping to smooth out wrinkles and leave clothing fluffy and soft.
Propane clothes dryers offer environmental benefits, as well. Instead of running on electricity possibly from a coal power plant, propane-fired dryers are powered by a cleaner-burning fuel. Substituting an electric dryer with a propane dryer may save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the course of its life.
Propane proves to be invaluable in the kitchen. Many home chefs prefer cooking with gas instead of electricity due to better temperature control and heat delivery.
The appeal of cooking with propane is not limited to inside the home; it extends to the backyard. Propane grills are synonymous with summertime, and the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association estimates that 62 percent of the 180 million grill owners in America have a gas grill. Easy to light and convenient to use, propane grills are a quick way to get a meal on the table without heating up the kitchen.
Again, cooking with propane gas is likely to save money compared to cooking with their electrically powered counterparts. Propane cooking appliances offer features such as enhanced insulation and pilotless ignition to reduce gas consumption and boost propane’s cost-effectiveness, according to Herger Gas.
According to the National Propane Gas Association, propane is used to heat around 8.1 million of American homes. Roughly 4.6 percent these residences rely on propane as their primary source of heat. When looking specifically at the 6.3 million manufactured or mobile homes in the United States, the percentage is larger. Approximately 16 percent of these homes claim propane as their main heating source. This makes sense, because many mobile homes are located in rural areas beyond the reach of natural gas lines. The portability of propane lends itself particularly well to these settings.
Besides whole-home furnaces, propane fuels space heaters, pool heaters and fireplace inserts. Propane space heaters are ideal to take the chill out of colder spaces such as sunrooms and garages. Consumers appreciate the higher initial temperature of the heat delivered by propane units as well as their relative small size, allowing them to easily fit into tight spots.
Propane pool heaters extend pool season by two to three months and ensure hot tubs are just the right temperature. Once fall arrives and the pool closes, propane fireplace inserts lend homes a cozy ambiance and are a welcome source of supplemental heat. Propane fireplaces supply heat without smoke, ash or sparks that could potentially pose a safety hazard. When the gas is turned off, the flames are instantly extinguished. Because propane burns cleaner than wood, walls, curtains and furniture can go longer between cleanings.
When building or purchasing a new home or simply upgrading a living space, consumers might be surprised by the number of ways propane can be used around the house. After some research and consideration, they might discover propane can benefit them, too.