What is Propane Gas?

Answering Common Questions About Propane

propane company north carolina From our home base in Apex, NC, and throughout the Tar Heel State, our customers rely on propane for their home comfort. But often, we get questions about what this fuel is made of, where it comes from, and why it costs the price that it does.

We’re more than happy to answer these questions!

Today, around 50 million American homes use propane in some capacity, with about 12 million using it for either heating or hot water. It makes sense to wonder what this efficient, versatile fuel is!

What Is Propane Made Of?

Propane is a coproduct of natural gas and oil extraction. Sometimes called liquefied petroleum gas or LPG, it’s a gas that can be compressed as a liquid for storage and transportation.

Propane is nontoxic, colorless, and has no smell. Producers add an odorant to make it more readily identifiable. Homeowners use propane for heating, hot water, cooking, clothes drying and various amenities. Commercially, propane powers forklifts, temp heating, farm equipment, buses, and fleet vehicles.

Where Does Propane Come From?

Propane comes from the same wells that extract natural gas and oil. No additional drilling is necessary! Other natural liquid fuels from these wells include ethane, butane, isobutane, and pentane. But propane is the most plentiful.

Almost all the propane you use in your home comes from the United States. In fact, the U.S. exports more propane than we use.

How is Propane Different from Natural Gas?

The primary component of natural gas is methane, which has a lower density than propane. Methane is lighter than air. Propane is heavier. That’s why natural gas usually rises, and propane often settles. Propane is liquid when it travels in our trucks for home propane delivery. It isn’t reliant on utility lines, as natural gas is. When you power your home systems and appliances with propane, you control your fuel storage with an on-site propane tank.

Propane and natural gas also significantly differ in their heating capacity and environmental impact.

Why is Propane a Great Home Fuel Choice?

Propane has so many benefits for your home. It’s energy-efficient and versatile. Today’s propane-fired heating systems can have over 90 percent efficiency, meaning you lose almost no heat energy when you use it.

And propane produces a lot of heat! One cubic foot of propane generates 2,520 Btu’s, more than double the heating power of natural gas. You’ll use less fuel to heat your home and water, cook or dry laundry.

And there’s no contest when comparing propane equipment to electric equipment:

  • Propane furnaces and boilers heat homes more powerfully than electric heat pumps.
  • Propane water heaters cost up to 30 percent less to run than electric models.
  • Propane clothes dryers will dry your laundry 25 percent faster than electric dryers.

Is Propane Eco-Friendly?

Propane is incredibly clean burning. The U.S. Department of Energy’s 1992 National Energy Policy listed it as an alternative fuel. Propane produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions than any home fuel besides natural gas. And unlike natural gas, it is methane-free. Propane contains virtually no particulate matter, a known carcinogen.

Are you ready to see how propane can transform your home’s comfort? Get in touch with LG Jordan to learn more.