Improving My Energy Efficiency

The Benefits Of Propane

When it comes to powering your home, there are several different kinds of power. Your main choices are electricity and natural gas, each of which have unique benefits and drawbacks. However, for some purposes, you might find that propane gas is the best candidate for the job. To help you understand why propane is so useful, here is an overview of how propane works and the advantages that it has over natural gas and electricity:

How does propane gas work?

Like many other types of fuel, propane is a hydrocarbon, composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms. In the specific case of propane, you are dealing with 3 carbon molecules attached to 8 hydrogen molecules. Other popular hydrocarbons include methane, ethane, and octane, which have 1, 2, and 8 carbon atoms respectively.

Each configuration results in different properties, such as propane being a gas at room temperature, while octane is a liquid at the same temperature. Propane's structure ultimately makes it easy to transport and very rich in potential energy, which ultimately translates into high power output.

How is propane different from natural gas?

Natural gas is composed of several different types of gases, with propane being one of them. Natural gas is often easier to access and is easily transmitted via gas lines to homes and businesses. This ultimately means that natural gas can be cheaper than propane.

However, this does came at a cost, since propane has much higher energy output per unit of volume. In fact, a unit of propane has over twice the amount of energy as an equivalently sized unit of natural gas. While propane may be a bit more expensive, it will often give you much more energy per dollar.

How can you get propane?

While natural gas can easily be transported to your home and accessed via a gas line, propane is a bit different. Propane is often transported and sold in highly-pressurized tanks that contain liquid propane. Liquid propane is much more dense than the gaseous form, which means that a tank of propane can often last you a very long time. However, in order to keep that liquid form, the tank must exert a lot of pressure on the propane.

This can potentially lead to some risks if a propane tank is damaged, but most tanks are extremely safe. As long a you follow the instructions on the tank and safely handle it at all times, then you should be perfectly safe.

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