Differences Between Propane and Natural Gas

As homeowners, we have a lot of decisions to make regarding the functionality and practicality of our homes. Some decisions come easier than others, but all are important. Today, we’ve put together a list of the differences between Propane and Natural Gas and why we at Santanna Energy Services believe that Natural Gas is the preferred choice when choosing an energy source for your home, if you are in a location where you have a choice. Propane and Natural Gas are often spoken of interchangeably because of their similarities. Both are fossil fuels and are considered clean energy because of the low amount of toxins they emit into the atmosphere.


Here are the best uses for Propane:


  1. Grilling

Gas grilling is likely the most popular option for outdoor barbecuing. Propane grills are fast, convenient to use and they require less clean up afterwards. Propane produces less smoke and does not transfer flavors to food like a charcoal grill can. It also produces a much more consistent heat that can be easily monitored and quickly adjusted. From a safety standpoint, flames from a propane grill can be turned off as quickly as it was turned on.


  1. Outdoor Lighting / Pool Heating

Spending time outside becomes a year-round activity when you have propane heaters available to keep you warm in winter months. There are many different sizes and models of propane patio heaters available, including tabletop options and models with built-in lights for evening enjoyment. Propane heaters can also warm swimming pool water faster and more effectively than electrical options. With models available in small or large sizes, it’s easy to find one that suits your pool’s needs. Whether you’re warming a backyard pool or a commercial option, propane is a smart heating choice.


  1. Backup Power

When power goes out and there’s no electricity, a propane generator allows you to still operate some of your most important appliances. Not to mention the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have a back up plan for power. Fuel your backup generator with propane to have a safe and reliable heating option the next time a power outage hits. There are even standby models that will automatically provide power to your home during an outage when you’re away.


However, Natural Gas is preferable over Propane for the following three reasons:


  1. Cost Efficiency

While Propane and Natural Gas are measured in different units, making it somewhat difficult to compare the costs at face value. However, as Propane is measured and delivered by the gallon, and the cost of one gallon is typically higher than the measurement and delivery of Natural Gas by cubic feet, Natural Gas is the more cost efficient option.


  1. Accessibility

Although Propane is transported and stored in a tank near the home, making it appear accessible and convenient, Natural Gas is more consistently accessible. As the Natural Gas delivery method is through an underground pipeline, it is consistently accessible and able to be used in the home. Using a Propane tank, however, is not ideal in situations with dangerous weather, an emergency situation, or when it needs to be refilled. The constant access to Natural Gas makes is highly preferable from an accessibility standpoint.


  1. Safety

Both Propane and Natural Gas are considered safe for the environment, as they emit similar gasses into the atmosphere. However, Natural Gas is a safer option as it is considerably lighter than Propane and dissipates much more quickly when released into the atmosphere, making it safer for our atmosphere in the long run.


One thing to consider is that Natural Gas is not always an option for others that are not connected to the utility pipeline. For farm owners, the gas source depends on location and circumstance. For example, many farms do not have Natural Gas piping and have Propane tanks because of the location. If the farm gets converted into a subdivision, the developer usually pipes in the gas. If a subdivision is built around a farm, the farm is still on Propane, but the newly built subdivision around the location gets Natural Gas.


At the end of the day, most homeowners are going to choose the option that is the most practical for their lifestyles. While both Propane and Natural Gas are great choices for an energy source, the three reasons listed above clearly put Natural Gas as the best option for powering your home or business.

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