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Is Propane a Liquid or a Gas?

Fun Fact: It’s Both! Learn More About this Versatile Fuel

propane orange county, Pittsylvania, va Lots of customers ask us why, when we deliver propane, their bill lists a price per gallon. Isn’t propane a gas? A lot of people might be surprised to know that when we fill your tank, the propane we deliver is in a liquid form!

Propane is a byproduct of natural gas. As natural gas is processed, the liquid components are recovered, producing propane gas (as well as methane, butane and ethane).

To make propane easier to store and transport, it is compressed, which converts the gas to a liquid state. As it is released into the gas lines in your home, it expands into a gas. That’s why propane is also often referred to as Liquid Petroleum Gas, or LPG.

Surprised? Curious? Here are answers to all your questions about propane, and some of the reasons why so many customers in North Carolina and Southern Virginia are using more propane in their homes.

Propane FAQ

Is propane green? Propane is one of the cleanest fuels around. It produces minimal emissions. Propane also doesn’t harm soil or groundwater – an important factor when it comes to determining whether a fuel is “green.” Additionally, propane is a domestically sourced alternative fuel that can provide steady, reliable heat for a range of appliances at an affordable price.

How efficient is propane? Propane generates more Btus than an equivalent amount of electricity, and it delivers more than twice the Btus of natural gas, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat or energy. Propane appliances are also very efficient, meaning they waste very little fuel in the combustion process. (On the other hand, about two-thirds of the energy used by a power plant to generate and transmit electricity is wasted.)

Propane water heaters generate much more hot water at a cheaper cost per gallon. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes that heat water with propane rather than electricity can see average annual savings of $174.

What can you use propane for? The same technology that makes propane ideal for water heaters makes it a smarter choice than electricity to power all kinds of appliances that use hot water or heat, including clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, outdoor lighting, patio heaters, pool and spa-tub heaters and outdoor grills. It’s also the first choice of professional chefs for cooking, because a gas range offers more precise control than you can get with an electric range.

Is propane reliable? Because propane is stored in a tank at your home, disruptions to the grid or natural gas lines won’t affect you. And when you work with a dependable dealer, like Pico Propane, you can enjoy automatic delivery and tank monitoring service and know that you’ll always have propane in your tank.

Propane will also power a backup generator that will automatically go on when the power goes down. That’s reliable.

How safe is propane? Propane is very safe. Propane has very low combustibility, which means when it’s combined with air, the source of ignition must be at least 940°— twice as hot as what is required to ignite gasoline. While it’s a highly flammable gas under certain conditions, leaks are rare. Propane also has a distinct rotten-egg smell to help you quickly notice leaking gas. And, propane is nontoxic, posing no threat to soil and water, so installing propane tanks (above or below ground) is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

How hard is it to convert to propane? Converting a home to propane is a straightforward, easy process that will leave you with lower energy bills and support a cleaner environment. The average conversion takes about two days, with little disruption to your life or comfort.

How can I get propane? With more than a century of experience, we have the knowledge and resources to answer all your questions about the benefits of propane for your home. And, we can get you started, with the right size propane tank for your needs, reliable propane delivery and more. Contact us for more information today.