Good News About Renewable Propane

Daren and David Parker

Dear Friends,

Last year, North Carolina set an important and ambitious plan to vastly reduce greenhouse gasses by 2025. Cleaner-burning, renewable fuels are a big factor in achieving that goal.

Propane is certainly doing its part. This American-made fuel already releases less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity to produce the same amount of energy. That’s primarily because more than 40% of the electricity used in our country is produced by coal-fired power plants. Pollution from coal-fired plants can lead to smog and acid rain.

On the other hand, combustion of propane doesn’t produce enough emissions to cause any of those problems. And this fuel is only getting better, thanks to the growing production of renewable propane.

Renewable propane is a by-product of the renewable diesel process. Right now, engineers are perfecting methods of producing propane from renewable sources such as biomass, animal oils, vegetable oils and other triglycerides.

Millions of gallons of propane can be produced this way every year — and those numbers will continue to grow in the years ahead. This new type of propane delivers all of the benefits of traditional propane, and it will generate even lower emissions while still remaining affordable and reliable.

We’re excited about the promise of renewable propane in the years ahead and we hope you will be too.

Warmly,

Daren Parker
David Parker

Win a Smart Security Kit

Smart security kit

Enter our new prize drawing to win a Yale Assure Touchscreen Deadbolt + Amazon Cloud Cam. Enjoy keyless access for you and family members and easily monitor and control your front door from anywhere by connecting with the Cloud Cam.

Read this newsletter and answer the questions on our contest page to enter. All entries received by 1/17/20 with the correct answers will be entered into a drawing. Three winners will be selected!

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase chance of winning. Go here for details.

Don’t Miss out on Propane Rebates

Propane rebates

Are you waiting for the “right time” to replace your water heater, furnace or heat pump? If so, it’s time to take action. Now’s the time to take advantage of North Carolina’s Safe Appliance Installation Rebate Program.

When you buy and install eligible high-efficiency propane appliances, you can qualify for rebates of $150 on propane water-heating equipment, and $250 for either a propane furnace, hybrid heating system or propane gas pack.

You can also get extra savings with current rebates from Rinnai, with as much as $100 back on qualifying water heaters and direct vent wall furnaces.

Your savings don’t stop there, either. High-efficiency propane appliances can lower energy costs and improve your comfort in the years ahead.

Visit PropaneNorthCarolina.com to learn more about these rebates. Don’t wait too long. These rebates are only available while funds last. Please reach out to us today and we’ll help you get started.

Burning Questions About Heating Your Home

Wizard

The journey to seek out better comfort can bring you much wisdom. We hope you will find more peace after reading these answers from our home comfort wizard.

Is it ever possible to fix a heating problem on my own?

While many types of malfunctions can cause your system to operate poorly (or not operate at all), the problems outlined below are not only quite common, but relatively easy and inexpensive to fix.

Power switches turned off

If your heat stops working, these are among the first things you should check. First, it often happens that the power switches for the heating system have been turned off by mistake. Simply turn the electrical switches back to the “on” position and your problem may be solved.

Unchecked air filters or water level

If you have a furnace, change or clean the filters about once a month; a dirty filter compromises efficiency and can even result in a shutdown. If you have a steam boiler, check the water gauge periodically. Low water levels are a leading cause of boiler shutdowns. Steam boilers should also be “flushed” when the water in the sight glass looks rusty.

Tripped circuit breaker

Going to the circuit breaker box and flipping the proper switch may be all you need to get running again. However, a circuit breaker rarely ever trips for no reason. If this happens once and never happens again, consider it a fluke. But if this happens more often, arrange for service, as this could be a sign of a serious problem.

Faulty thermostat

Many instances of heating systems not working can be traced to the thermostat, which sends a signal to your boiler or furnace to generate heat. If the wiring is deteriorating, these signals may get erratic. A buildup of dust inside your thermostat is another common culprit. You may also need to change the batteries in your thermostat.

Would I be wise to turn my thermostat way up to get warm fast?

Your heating system doesn’t work like a car — there is no gas pedal to step on to make it go faster. Your furnace or boiler will produce heat at the same rate regardless of whether your thermostat is set to 68 degrees or 85 degrees. (Setting the thermostat higher just makes your system work longer.)

Hot Tip #1: For better temperature control, trade in your old manual thermostat for a digital, programmable one. This allows you to automate your home temperature settings and can help you reduce your energy use and save as much as 10%.

Hot Tip #2: Never program your thermostat below 60 degrees, even if you’ll be away from home for a period of time. When your thermostat setting is too low, you risk frozen pipes. Water pipes near outside walls or in unheated spaces are especially prone to freeze-ups. The risk increases if cracks in your foundation allow cold air to seep into your home.

Would it be prudent to turn off the heat in some rooms?

Sure, you wants to save money on heating your home, but you don’t want to cause problems while you’re at it. One common mistake we see is when people drastically reduce or completely shut off the heat in different zones of their home.

While you might think you’ll save a little on heating costs, shutting off radiators or closing vents creates the possibility that pipes will freeze — especially in rooms that tend to be colder anyway. That’s a really costly problem.

If you have a furnace, closing some vents disrupts normal air flow, causing an imbalance that will just make your furnace work harder and strain your ductwork.

It’s best to keep heat flowing to all the rooms in your home.

A better idea is to keep the temperature at a comfortable level throughout your home and program your system to energy-saving settings when the house is empty or everyone is asleep.

If you have a zoned system, you can vary the temperature in different rooms, eliminating the temptation of shutting the heat off completely in some parts of your home.

Can you enlighten me about improving my heating efficiency?

A study of over 1,000 homes across the country showed that consumers are getting short-changed on energy efficiency because of a combination of poor equipment installation and lax maintenance.*

After adjustments were made to correct problems, however, efficiency improved, on average, by a phenomenal 36%! This was accomplished through the following methods:

As you can see, a few fixes could save you a lot of money on heat and keep you more comfortable.

*Source: National Comfort Institute

Propane Safety Corner

If you ever experience severe flooding on your property, it’s important to know the right steps to protect your family and home, especially when it involves your propane storage tank and appliances.

Read more propane safety tips here.

Ask the Expert

Doug Thigpen

Q: When should I order fuel to avoid running out?

A: The best way to avoid a run-out is to sign up for our free automatic delivery service. We use a proven method based on weather forecasts and your past usage to calculate when you’ll need a fill-up. Otherwise, it’s important to give us enough time to schedule your delivery — especially if bad weather is expected. Monitor your tank gauge and call us when your propane tank gauge reads 30%.

Q: Why do I have to have a leak test if I run out of propane?

A: It’s about safety and insurance regulations. If the pressure changes in the gas lines — as happens when you run out of fuel — it’s possible that the joint compound that seals connections could contract and create a leak.

By the Numbers: Propane vs. Electricity

Just about any appliance that runs on electricity can operate more efficiently on propane — which means switching to propane appliances will not only save you money, but it will help the environment too. The info below shows many of the advantages of using propane over electricity.