A lot of Americans depend on propane for their home energy needs. With so much uncertainty and so much fluctuation in the pricing of other energies (as well as limited availability), propane easily maintains its spot as one of our most cost-efficient fuels.

A versatile energy source, more than 9 million families use propane as their go-to means of powering their furnaces, water heaters, stoves and ovens, grills, fireplaces, generators, and a wide array of other devices. Propane is one of the cleanest burning, most cost-efficient fuels available in today’s energy-obsessed society. This is likely why over 8.1 million homes currently depend on propane power.

Propane fuel is in great abundance, too. This is perhaps one of its most celebrated strengths. Around 90% of the U.S.’s propane supply is produced within its own borders, which is also a strong selling point for propane. The remaining 10 percent comes from Canada and Mexico. The reason propane fuel is so easily manufactured domestically and is so abundant is because (approximately) identical amounts of it are produced as a result of refining crude oil and natural gas processing. So in a way, we produce propane intentionally through a unique manufacturing process, but we also get tons of it just from working with other natural energy sources. For these reasons, propane is thought of as readily available, secure, and responsible energy source. Its positive environmental impact is widely noted.

Propane tanks and propane accessories are easily purchased, stocked, and maintained, offering a slew of benefits for residential propane customers. If you have a long winter coming, it’s easy to simply double up and purchase an extra tank. You only have to purchase what you’re going to use, and won’t be wasting tons of money heating and cooling a home with some of the more expensive alternatives. Another unsung benefit of using propane technology is not having to depend on exterior connections for energy use. In other words, if something happens to the local gas and energy company, you’re protected! The propane you depend on is already in your home.

Propane and propane accessories are important to America. Always have been; always will be. In fact, it’s likely that propane usage is only going to increase from where it is now.

It’s an extremely versatile fuel that’s used by over 9 million families for furnaces, cooktops, water heaters, outdoor grills, generators, fireplaces, and other appliances. It’s cleaner, more cost-effective, efficient, and reliable than many of the energy sources we use today.

In fact, we underutilize our favorite cost efficient fuel — the other, less effective energy sources are actually a lot more popular.

It shouldn’t be that way, though. As of 2016, there are over 1 million commercial establishments (like hotels, restaurants, laundromats, etc.) using propane for many of the same purposes as residential homeowners. Propane is particularly efficient for heating and cooling the air in an enclosed space, heating water, refrigeration, cooking, drying clothes, lighting things, and drying clothes. Considering it does all of the above (and more) in a cleaner, more cost-effective way than most other fuels, it’s something of a mystery why it isn’t used more.

Even more confusing is its seeming lack of prominence in the industrial sector. Only about 350,000 industrial sites in the U.S. rely on propane for part or all of their operation. This is in spite of the fact that propane is efficient for space heating, soldering, brazing, cutting, annealing, vulcanizing, and heat treating. The main use of propane fuel in the industrial setting is for the manufacturing of plastics.

Yet, the popularity of this gas is on the rise. It’s made as a result of mining for other energy sources and gas products (like crude oil), and the U.S. has so much of it that in 2012, for the first time in history, they became a net exporter on the global scale.

As the scarcity of other gasses and natural energies increases and we are increasingly forced to lessen our dependence on foreign oils and resource-heavy mining, propane is likely to become the go-to energy source for at least the near future. Propane and propane accessories are as common as ever, and you may have propane tanks on your property soon enough.

For many households, propane is a vital part of their everyday lives. It’s such a versatile source of energy that more than 9 million U.S. families and roughly 64 million Americans use it daily. It powers water heaters, stoves, outdoor grills, fireplaces, generators, and a number of other appliances. Besides its versatility, propane is also sought after because of its clean, cost-effective, efficient, and reliable properties.

However, propane is still a combustible gas that can be dangerous if handled improperly. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe:

Install carbon monoxide detectors: Your first priority after installing a propane tank should be to install a carbon monoxide detector, preferably multiple. Carbon monoxide is a toxic and potentially lethal gas that is produced when fuels are burned incompletely. This is usually a sign that there is a leak in the propane tank, or it’s functioning improperly, in which case you should call a residential propane service.

Storage: Propane tanks should never be stored in enclosed spaces. Ideally, they should be installed outside of the house. There should also be substantial clearance around the tank to avoid damage from falling objects. Tanks should be far away from other heat sources as well to avoid combustion from a leak.

Smelling gas?: First off, make sure you and your family know what propane smells like. It is most commonly compared to unpleasant smells, such as rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray. It’s important to shut off valves in these cases to prevent any further propane from escaping. However, it is still a good idea to call professionals who have an in-depth understanding of these tanks.

Leave it to the professionals: As stated previously, your best option will always be to call a professional propane service to fix any problems or perform inspections. We know exactly what to look for and how to fix it. Not to mention the fact that we have the safety gear to keep us protected in the case of any accidents.

Considering 4.6% of homes with propane fuel use it as their main heat source, even a day without it could be devastating. Keeping these safety tips in mind could not only keep your family warm, but safe as well.