Jul 10 2014
Wondering About The Differences Between Propane And Natural Gas?
What Are They?
While natural gas occurs in nature as a mixture of methane and other gases, propane (“liquid petroleum”) is actually a byproduct of both petroleum refining and natural gas processing. Natural gas must be cleaned before being used, and byproducts of this process include hydrocarbons like propane in addition to butane, ethane, and pentane.
How Do I Get It?
Natural Gas (NG) is supplied to your home by a government or private utility. From its storage facility the gas is fed out to larger supply lines, which eventually fill the gas lines into our homes. A Residential customer signs an agreement with the utility to pay on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Propane (LP) is generally provided by a private firm. You contract with them to buy or lease a propane tank, which is placed on your property and then periodically filled by that firm. A residential customer might fill their tank anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months at a time. Do you live in, or just outside a city? It is possible that your municipality, even though it has a natural gas utility, might allow a propane tank in your yard. On the other hand, the more rural your home, the more likely you will have to use LP because it is only possible to get natural gas when a utility company “serves” that area.
Which Would I Choose?
Assuming both are available to you, the difference between propane and natural gas for household use comes down to a short list of factors — energy efficiency, cost, and risk. Most gas appliances can be converted from one form of gas to the other, at relatively low cost. And there is very little difference between NG and LP appliances when it comes to how well they perform in appliances for heating, cooking, or drying.
If energy efficiency is your paramount concern, propane provides more energy per unit of volume than does natural gas. Here’s how it works:
We measure heat in British Thermal Units (BTUs). One BTU is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1°F. We usually measure propane by gallons and natural gas by cubic feet. But when we compare the relative amounts of energy each produces, we measure both by cubic foot.
Natural gas provides just over 1,000 BTUs per cubic foot; the same volume of propane in gaseous form provides about 2,500 BTUs. This means that propane contains about 2.5 times more usable energy content. So, less propane is needed to produce the same amount of energy as natural gas.
Costs of using either gas will depend on the efficiency rating of the specific appliance(s) you want to use, along with the “CCF” or “therms” and other fees charged by your utility/supplier. For example, the following is an explanation of how Puget Sound Energy residential gas customers are charged for their fuel:
“Natural gas customers are billed according to the number of therms of energy used. Therms are calculated by multiplying the hundreds of cubic feet, or Ccf measurement taken by the gas meter, by the relative heat content of the gas, or British thermal unit (Btu) factor. For a customer who used 80 Ccf during one month, billing would be based on 84 therms (80Ccf x 1.056 Btu factor = 84.48 therms).”
Come in to the store. We offer the most efficient heating appliances on the market. Pick your favorite Lopi stove or fireplace, and we’ll compare with you the cost of heating with natural gas versus propane.
Information in this article derived from the following online sources:
Puget Sound Energy
City of Ellensburg
Jul 3 2014
Absolutely! With any one of Lopi’s EPA-certified wood stoves, you can expect to use up to one-third less firewood than you would use in an older, less efficient stove. The smoke that you see coming out of a chimney really is just “lost energy”. In a Lopi EPA-certified wood stove, most of the smoke is burned, resulting in more heat for your home from the same amount of wood. It will also save you time because you will need to haul less wood.
How Do I Choose The Right Size Stove?
Getting the right size stove is so important! Several factors go into the decision such as:
- How many square feet do you want to heat?
- Is yours an older, drafty farmhouse? Or newer and well-insulated home?
- Do you have several small rooms or is yours a more open floor plan?
- Are your ceilings standard height or vaulted?
Undersizing will be a lesson in frustration. There is little to be gained by “up-selling,” as an oversized stove costs more and can be very uncomfortable.
We know the performance characteristics of our Lopi and Hearthstone wood stoves, and the climate we live in. Bring a floor plan and talk with the experts at Armstrong’s.
Jun 25 2014
World renowned poet, Sylvia Plath, may have said it best:
“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”
A hot tub in your backyard sanctuary is your always-ready hot bath.
It’s always ready to take you away.
It’s always ready to remove your worries.
It’s always ready to cure your ailments, aches, and pains.
Take some time for yourself today.
Jun 18 2014
The EPA has regulated wood heater particulate emissions since 1988.
Wood stove models that are in compliance with the rule are referred to as EPA-certified wood stoves.
EPA’s certification process requires manufacturers to verify that each of their wood stove model lines meet a specific particulate emission limit by undergoing emission testing at an EPA accredited laboratory.
Wood stove manufacturers must:
- maintain a quality assurance program for production-line wood heaters
- affix a permanent label to each wood heater that meets the applicable emission standard
- attach temporary label that lists:
- the emission rate (using an EPA-approved test method)
- the heating range of the wood heater (for correctly sizing the wood heater)
- overall efficiency
The Wood Heater Program (WHP) is a federal program, not delegated to the states, managed by the Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division at EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to promote compliance with the requirements of the wood heater regulation. The WHP consists of a wide range of activities including:
- certification of new residential wood heaters
- approval of design change requests
- interpretation of rule language
- conducting facility inspections
- provision of public access to compliance information
- direct monitoring of compliance by accredited laboratories, manufacturers, retailers and homeowners
- response to complaints regarding violations of the rule
For more information see www.epa.gov