Tom Clark's Blog

Propane or Natural Gas: Which is Best for Your Family?

You've got gas? Don't blush. Some people prefer propane.
Each of the energy alternatives has its benefits with their own downsides. If you're not Hank Hill, you might have some questions about both.
These are the cons of both. They'll help you decide between propane or natural gas for your family's energy needs.
[b]Know the Difference Between Both[/b]
Propane is a derivative of fossil fuels. They're not as controversial as politics would have you believe. They're carbonized fossils from past living organisms.
Natural gas is also a fossil fuel, created from plants and animals that died millions of years ago.
They're both naturally odorless but have an added odor for easy detection.
Natural gas fuel is a combination of gases, like methane and butane. Propane is a hydrocarbon that has been processed and isolated from other gases.
[b]Cost Analysis Between Propane or Natural Gas[/b]
Propane is typically measured in units of gallons to represent its liquid state. However, it can be converted to natural gas' gaseous unit of cubic feet. A cubic foot is a volume measurement.
Propane has [url=]2.5 times the energy[/url] output than a single unit of natural gas.
The cost of each depends entirely on municipalities in the area. Propane and gas costs are variable across the country. Check with local energy providers to determine [url=]your cost per unit[/url] (BTU).
Here's an example:
[ul][li]Natural gas is $15.00 for every 1,000 cubed feet[/li] [li]That's a little over 1 million BTU[/li] [li]1 million BTU is about 11 and a half gallons of propane[/li] [li]Propane would have to be around $1.40 per gallon to be equivocal[/li] [/ul]Costs per cubic foot and gallon can be easily obtained from your municipalities or privatized energy companies. Each is readily available for competitive comparisons.
[b]Environmental Impacts[/b]
Natural gas is a greenhouse gas. When burned, it impacts the ozone layer. The denser smog of gases in the atmosphere creates a warming effect.
Propane, on the other hand, has no effect on the atmosphere upon release. It's considered the greener alternative. In its natural state and combusted form propane is environmentally friendly.
That being said, both fuels have an extraordinarily low impact on the environment. Neither are valid arguments in the global warming debate because their effects are imperceptible. Don't use "green" as a metric for your choice -- it'll likely cost you more "green."
Natural gas, as one of its characteristics, is lighter than propane. Because of the density difference, when gas is released, it dissipates faster. Propane will linger in the air for an extended period of time comparatively.
This more prolonged exposure is often a variable of danger. Propane's propensity to stay in the air longer can result in accidental combustion.
But, both are relatively safe in the grand scheme of things.
Gas is only dangerous when improperly handled or stored. To keep your family safe, have a professional complete a [url=]residential propane tank sizing.[/url]
[b]Light A Match[/b]
Propane and natural gas are very similar, except for their different densities.
Their different masses per volume have two general effects. Propane is considered more dangerous (though not very) and it has less energy potential. But don't let this sway you; choosing which to use is almost entirely dependent on cost.
Neither has a significant impact on the environment, despite propane's claim for greenness.
When choosing propane or natural gas, just do a cost analysis of each gallon or cubic foot.
If you're feeling fueled up, [url=]give back to your community[/url]. A little can go a long way.

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