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Using Propane: Tips For New Users

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When you start to use propane fuel for heat, it may be a slightly different experience than using electricity. You'll need the following information in order to get used to using this type of fuel inside your house.

Know Danger Signs

Arguably, the most essential thing you'll have to know when you use propane is how to recognize a problem. Propane does not naturally have an odor, but has been treated with specific chemicals that give it a pungent odor. If you're in your house and start to smell something strange--sometimes described as a "rotting eggs" scent--that could mean one of your tanks is leaking.

Even without smelling the propane itself, you may still be alerted to a problem because of physical things you or someone in the house experiences. If you start to feel nauseous, dizzy or develop a headache with seemingly no cause, propane could be the culprit. If you start to suspect that there's a leak of propane gas, you need to leave the house and contact the fire department and your fuel company.

Take Care with Placement

It's important to keep your propane tanks in a dry place away from direct sunlight, which can result in the valves slipping out of place, causing a leak. Be careful with sitting the tanks on your grassy lawn because dew can cause rust on the exterior of the tanks; instead, set them on a concrete pad or an asphalt surface. Leave some distance between your tanks and any living space if possible as well.

Avoid Having Empty Tanks

While you need not keep the propane tanks completely full at all times, you need to realize that leaving the tanks empty can cause problems in the future. That's because the interior of the empty tanks can begin to accumulate rust. This can not only mean lasting damage to the tanks themselves, but even after being filled again, rust can interfere with your ability to smell propane gas if there's a leak.

This is especially important if you will be traveling and have used up all of the propane in your tanks; you might want to schedule a delivery just to ensure that the tanks don't sit empty while you're gone.

The information above can help you to behave more responsibly with the propane fuel you're now using to heat your house. Talk with your fuel delivery service to learn more.