From Fourth of July cookouts amidst the sweltering summer heat, to the bliss of a hot shower on a bitterly cold winter morning, the benefits of propane extend year-round! Whether the calendar says August or January, March or November, propane provides the power and performance you need. It burns cleaner and more efficiently than other energy sources, helping you cut down on energy costs, improve reliability, and protect the earth.
Want to see what we mean? Here are five ways propane proves its value to Michigan consumers all year, every year—followed by some extra tips for meeting winter needs.
Grilling and Outdoor Heating
Stop us if you’ve heard this one: Michigan gets cold in the winter. But if the craving for a perfectly grilled brat, pork chop, or burger strikes in the middle of January, who are you to argue? Time to throw on your coat and get grilling!
Propane grills are the perfect tool for a little cold weather outdoor cooking. They light instantly and heat much faster than charcoal, so you can get cooking (and start eating) sooner—a great feature when it’s 75 and sunny, and even better one when it’s just above freezing. This is, of course, on top of the other benefits they provide, such as cleaner burning that produces less soot and carbon monoxide.
For the truly rugged, propane-powered fire pits or patio heaters (which can raise nearby temperatures by up to 30 degrees) can push “outdoor season” well into the winter months, even in snowy Michigan!
Tankless Water Heaters
A tankless water heater is a huge blessing for homeowners at any time of the year. Thanks to the ultra-high efficiency and heating power of propane, it’s no longer necessary to keep a bulky tank of water heated at all times. You don’t have to stand around waiting for your shower or faucet water to get hot, and you never have to worry about running out of hot water, either.
The system is beautiful in its simplicity. You simply turn on the faucet, and the system activates and provides exactly the amount of gas necessary to heat the amount of water you need to the temperature you require. Turn off the faucet, and the gas burner shuts off.
Because they only need to operate when hot water is actually needed, tankless water heaters are more efficient than traditional storage tank water heaters, which means lower monthly heating bills (especially in winter). They can pump out more than 200 gallons of hot water per hour, more than triple what a standard tank can provide. And they’re small enough to mount on a wall, freeing up critical floor space in your basement or mechanical room.
Upgrading to a propane furnace can help you stay warm for way less this winter. They are rated as high as 98% efficient, and can chop your heating bill almost in half in many cases. Whether you live in a cozy 2-bedroom or a large custom home, there’s a propane furnace to meet your needs.
Propane can produce much higher indoor temperatures than similar electric models, so they can help you ride out even the bitterest of Michigan winters. Plus, ultra-high efficiency models can save you a lot of floor space—some even fit in a closet!
It doesn’t take long for a power outage to ruin your day. Maybe you were just getting ready to settle down with some Netflix. (Or, more likely, you’re nursing that last 12% on your phone battery.) Of course, outages in the cold and dark of winter can be especially dangerous, particularly if your home isn’t insulated as well as it could be.
That’s why a backup generator is such as smart investment. And to power it, you can’t beat propane. Compared to gasoline or diesel, propane can be stored longer and more safely, and because it won’t thicken and gel in cold weather, it’ll start much more reliably in the dead of winter. Propane generators are also better for the planet, with significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
For Michiganders who love to tinker, build, or fix up old cars and furniture, the garage workshop is a home-just-a-few-feet-from-home. Rather than putting all your projects on hold and twiddling your thumbs until spring, why not heat that space so that you can get more done and have more fun!
For most people, the cost of insulating and heating the garage by connecting it to the rest of the home’s central heating system is not feasible financially. Propane space heaters provide a much cheaper and more sensible solution. They’re efficient, easy to install, safer, and produce fewer harmful emissions than comparable electric heaters. (And surprise!—they cost less to operate.)
A Couple Tips on Winter Propane Use
If you use propane, it’s important to take extra proactive precautions to ensure you have no disruptions in operation or service throughout the year.
- Keep your driveway clear. If the driveway isn’t clear and safe, your driver may not be able to deliver. That’s a frustrating inconvenience for everyone, especially if your supply delivery needs to be rescheduled.
- Make a safe path to, and around, your tank. Once the delivery driver arrives, they still need to access your tank! Make sure the path is clear of snow, ice, and other objects, and all regulators, vents, pipes, tubes, and vales are easily and safely accessible.
For more information on the uses, benefits, and value of propane for your home or business, check out our website, or find a propane retailer in Michigan—they’ll be happy to help!