The difference between Natural Gas and Propane

The difference between Natural Gas and Propane

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A number of our customers have been inquiring about the difference between Natural Gas and Propane when it comes to providing heat for the home. There has been a marketing push for the conversion to natural gas as it becomes available in the local area. As a marketer of propane, we certainly want to help our customers understand what is involved in possibly making the switch from propane to natural gas. Customers often ask these common questions:

What is the difference between natural gas and propane?

Both fuels are clean burning gases! They burn at different pressures but otherwise are extremely similar. Both are naturally odorless and colorless (but usually have a chemical odorant added for safety). Natural gas is sourced from the ground while propane is a by-product of either crude oil or natural gas. Natural gas is brought to you via pipelines connected to your home but propane is brought to homes on trucks and then stored in pressurized tanks.

Do my current appliances work with both choices?

While there are exceptions to everything, generally speaking the answer is no. Another difference between natural gas and propane is that the fuels burn at different pressures. This means, usually at a minimum you need conversion kits to move to the specific fuel. A lot of appliances are not convertible, so they would need to be replaced.

Is the gas line installed in my house compatible with both fuels?

In some cases, yes. If the house is older, the line would need to be upgraded for the new fuel. But you would certainly need to make sure that compatible line is sized correctly for the appliances in your home.

Which one is less expensive?

Even though they are billed differently (Natural Gas Therms versus Propane Gallons), the pricing for natural gas per unit is less than propane.

Because propane delivers more BTUs for your dollar, it is often the choice fuel to run your home appliances more efficiently. It is also typically better for cooking, especially if you utilize an outdoor barbeque, as it is more cost-effective for high-heat grilling.
Additionally, propane is seen as an “off-the-grid” heating solution. Meaning propane is portable and can easily work if other systems in your house malfunction, or if you need to move to another location.

Should I switch from propane to natural gas?

The last question is the toughest, because the answer is dependent on the customer. We have compiled a set of questions below that may help inform a customer so that they may make a good decision:

1) How is the service level of the company that supplies my propane? Do they take care of my needs? Do they answer the phone, or am I stuck in a call center? 
2) What is the cost to hook up to natural gas? What are the application fees?
3) What is the amount of repair to my yard for the piping?
4) What is the cost to convert or replace my appliances? How much is it to inspect and/or upgrade the lines inside my house?
5) How many years will it take to break even on the expenses paid to make the change?

Franger Gas is here to meet your energy needs

If you are struggling to choose between propane or natural gas, our team is here to help. Let us answer any questions you might have. Call us today.

Remote Propane Tank Monitoring: A Solution for Our Propane Customers

Remote Propane Tank Monitoring: A Solution for Our Propane Customers

Customers are often asking the propane industry “How can you make my life easier?” We would like to spotlight one solution that answers that question – as we have seen in two separate situations. The solution we will be talking about is remote monitoring of propane tanks.

Remote propane tank monitoring helps take the unknown out of gas delivery. It is a technology that allows a company to track of the amount of propane left in a propane tank without having to travel to the tank’s location. This provides peace of mind for both customer and supplier – and helps the propane supplier deliver propane more efficiently. The efficiencies gained with this remote propane tank monitoring technology help us provide better service and grow to serve even more customers. More efficiency means more customers getting a needed delivery each day.  

Let’s look at how this technology has helped in two real world situations:

1)  Commercial, industrial, and wholesale bulk tank remote monitoring

Franger Gas, Remote monitoring and automatic refills of propane tanks for commercial customersA customer with a large, but sporadic consumption pattern asked Franger Gas to provide service after multiple run-ins with another supplier. They would receive large material shipments at once and would then run out of forklift gas from their refueling station with trucks still waiting to be unloaded. Their previous supplier was not always able to respond in time, which resulted in unsatisfactory levels of service. Franger Gas offered the solution of the use a refueling station tank with a remote monitor on it. Instead of the old model of either estimating when they needed a delivery or only receiving a delivery on a specific day of the week, they were assured that as soon as they required a refill, one would be scheduled. Their supply was monitored in real time, and any dramatic swings in consumption were accounted for seamlessly.

2)  Residential propane tank remote monitoring

Our auto-fill residential customers are already taking advantage of our tank monitoring technology – but we have customers who have, or will, invest in a second home. Often a lake property, a second home comes with additional, frequently unconsidered challenges. How do you maintain a home that is not your primary residence? Hire a management company for thousands of dollars per year?  Rely on a neighbor to check your tank when you are not there? As a propane supplier that ensures homes have heat, we have utilized the remote monitoring technology to make life easier and help the customer sleep with a peaceful mind for a fraction of the cost of a manager. Now, customers can be on our automatic fill program with a monitor, which means they do not have to keep an eye on their tank level or worry when they are away from their property. In addition, our latest monitor provider offers a smart phone app that allows the customer to monitor the level from their own device.  

Franger Gas Company values the service nature of the propane business.  We continue to reinvest in new ways to meet our customers’ needs while always retaining the home-town feel we have established over the last 75 years. We’re looking ahead to many more years together! Contact Franger Gas today to learn more about remote propane tank monitoring.

Reinvesting in the future with a focus on propane supply

Reinvesting in the future with a focus on propane supply

How does a propane company continue to grow in strength and reliability? By sourcing supplies of fuel, and understanding the importance of consistent propane supply. 

That’s what we do every day at Franger Gas Company. We saw a potential propane supply problem following the winter of 2013-2014. As a result, we partnered with a supplier to build the Mentone Propane Rail Terminal.

Today, the Mentone terminal gives us access to a reliable propane supply. Customers in northern Indiana, southern Michigan, western Ohio and neighboring regions receive propane through the Mentone terminal. Additionally, the terminal helps stabilize propane prices by reducing transportation costs to service agricultural and other rural customers. 

We continue to invest in the future, and focus on propane supply with our storage tank farm under construction in northern Indiana. The first phase of the site will expand storage capacity by 700,000 gallons. That security of extra propane supply simply means plenty of fuel to heat homes and businesses, even when demand increases in cold weather.

At Franger Gas, we live by our company motto – large enough to serve, small enough to care. It reminds us that your community is OUR community too. That’s why we continue to look for better ways to source, supply and service your energy needs, whether it’s in your home, on a work site or at a wholesale storage facility.

We are honored by the trust you place in us. We look forward to the delivering excellent service you have come to expect from us for another 75 years.

Grateful beyond words

Grateful beyond words

As we come to the end of one of the strangest years ever, this is the perfect time to reflect on a word that doesn’t get used often enough: gratitude.

 Our customers have given all of us at Franger Gas Company so many reasons to say “Thanks!” You continue to trust us to provide your homes, businesses and farms with propane throughout the year.

 You have been patient dealing with all of the inconveniences that life in the COVID-19 world has forced upon our lives and businesses. We appreciate your understanding as we adapted and reassigned different drivers to deliver propane to your homes and businesses. And you have continued to get your grill tanks filled in overwhelming amounts. Thank you!

We’re also grateful for the dedication and loyalty of our amazing employees. You have been hard at work through all the COVID restrictions and lockdowns. Since Franger Gas was designated an “essential business,” you helped us not miss a day of providing customers with the services they need. You also have put in long hours and helped us deal with extra regulations imposed on us by state governments. And you have continued to provide our customers with service beyond their expectations. Thank you! 

Without our customers and our awesome staff, there is no Franger Gas Company. Thank you for being a part of our family for over 74 years!

 

Franger Gas Management Team

Propane – the smart energy choice to temporarily heat your construction site this winter

Propane – the smart energy choice to temporarily heat your construction site this winter

Does your construction project timeline include work during cold weather? Temporary propane-powered heat keeps your project on schedule, even during the coldest months of the year.

8 reasons to choose propane for temporary heat

Why propane? It’s a clean-burning, green fuel that’s portable and readily available.

Here are more reasons to choose propane to temporarily heat your construction site.

Keep projects on schedule even when temperatures dip below the freeze point. A little heat on your job site can make a big difference for your work crew and schedule.

Maintain the right conditions for materials, including drywall, paint, caulk and other finishes.

Get propane tanks placed exactly where you need them on the job site. Each project is different. That’s why we provide temporary heat services based on your project-specific construction plans.

Choose the tank that fits your work site. Whether it’s a simple garage renovation, an apartment building complex or a large-footprint warehouse, we have the resources to take care of the heat. 

Generate the right amount of heat for your work site. We provide heaters, sized from low BTU salamanders up to million BTU units. When you use our propane service, we hook you up with all the hose and fittings you need to turn on the heat in all the right places.

Stay on budget with the most efficient, cost-effective choice for temporary heat. Propane gas costs less than diesel fuel or gasoline. Plus, propane is more powerful than electric heaters. That means your crew stays warm, and you stay on budget and on schedule.

Keep your work site safe and fume-free. Propane burns cleaner than any other fuel source.

Never worry about running out of fuel. Our remote monitoring service means we track your fuel level and schedule deliveries to make sure you always have an ample propane supply. We also check your tanks regularly for dents or damage and replace the tank, if needed.

When your job site demands temporary heat, contact Franger Gas

Our service options and pricing make it easy to keep the heat flowing at your job site this winter. Contact our customer service team about a delivery schedule that fits your construction plans.

How to get your propane tank ready for winter

How to get your propane tank ready for winter

We know you want to keep your family warm and safe no matter how cold it gets outside.

Here are simple tips to keep your propane tank in top condition and ready to fuel the heat this winter.

Demand more. Are you spending more time at home than usual this year? That means you may need more fuel to keep your at-home workspace, family space and play space warm when cold weather arrives. You could see your energy use go up by 30% or more, according to some experts.

Keep the pressure on. Make sure your propane gauge stays above 20%. It’s the best way to maintain the vapor pressure your system needs to work efficiently.

Fill ‘er up. Schedule LP delivery when your tank gauge reads 30%. That gives you enough fuel to keep your home running until your propane provider can fill your tank.

Sign up for our Automatic Fill Service. It takes the worry out of wondering if you will run out of gas. We’ll monitor your fill level and make sure you have plenty of propane to fuel your needs.

Stop the shrinkage. Liquid propane contracts in cold temperatures, which causes the volume to shrink. Less volume means loss of pressure. End result – fuel can’t reach your gas burner or heating system. Keep your propane tank clear of snow to let sunlight warm the surface

Look here. Mark the location of your tank with a pole, stake or other sign that is visible above snow banks and drifts. It’s a simple way to help you and your propane delivery driver find the tank in heavy snow.

Turn down your thermostat. A decrease of only a degree or two will lessen the time your propane heating system is on. That allows the pressure in the tank to build.

Save money. You can lower your heating bill 1 to 3% for every degree you set back your thermostat. That adds up over a long winter!

Save even more. When you sign up for regular delivery with our Automatic Fill Service, you get a 10 cents-per-gallon discount over standard call-In rates. More discounts are available if you pay your bill promptly.

NEVER use an open flame or electrical device near a propane tank. Accidents involving “heating” a tank to boost pressure are not uncommon.

NEVER cover your tank. It prevents the sun from reaching your propane tank and naturally warming it. That causes your system to work less efficiently – and costs you more over time.

Find out more about program options to keep you and your family safe and warm this winter. Call us today at (574) 264-2118.