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.

Although the natural gas industry has seen a variety of trends in the six decades since Lin-Gas Propane Service was first founded, use of propane fuel is on the rise, a direction school districts would be wise to note.

According to a recent piece from the appropriately named website School Transportation News, more districts should consider the benefits of using propane fuel in their buses and make the switch from traditional diesel, as many already have. For starters, propane fuel prices have fallen significantly since 2010 in relation to other transportation fuels. The average price difference between major market marker prices for gasoline and propane has increased by more than $0.76 per gallon, from $0.37 per gallon in 2010 to $1.12 per gallon in 2012.

In addition to being a more cost efficient fuel at the pump, propane fueled buses require less oil, less maintenance, and typically less downtime when being repaired than their diesel counterparts.

“One of the reasons why we purchased the propane buses was to obviously cut costs,” said Pat Mitchell, director of transportation for Mobile County Public School System and one of the some 60 million propane users in the United States. “When we are able to save any kind of money, the budget department puts that money back in the classrooms to help out students.”

On a practical level, propane makes a lot of sense for school buses as well. Buses that run off propane are substantially quieter than diesel ones. This makes for a more enjoyable and safer ride for students. Students don’t have to raise their voices to talk over the loud diesel engine, which in turn helps bus drivers be able to hear what’s going on around them outside.

Over 8 million households currently use propane in some capacity and due to its lower cost and greater efficiency more and more school districts should consider it too.

When most people think of propane, they probably start to think about barbecue. People might be prone to seeing white propane tanks outside of some homes, but have probably given little thought to what sort of other functions the gas may have, or how much use a homeowner can get out of it.
As most of us undoubtedly already know, propane is good for a lot more than just running the grill. This versatile energy source is used by over 9 million families for a wide array of uses, ranging from furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, cooktops, generators, and many others. Water heating with propane is quite a bit cheaper than heating with other gas products.
Wherever a homeowner may typically depend on other energy sources, propane is more than sufficient for the job. Not only that, but it burns cleaner, and it’s more cost-effective, energy efficient, and reliable than most of the alternatives.
What people may or may not realize — even those who use it around their homes — is that propane fuel is also a popular energy source in industry and agriculture thanks to its use as a cost efficient fuel.
There are over a million commercial operations, like hotels, laundromats, restaurants, and bars use propane in much the same way a homeowner would: for cooling or heating the air inside the building, refrigeration, cooking, drying clothes, lighting materials, and, of course, barbecuing. Odds are, a business you shop at or restaurant you eat at prefers water heating with propane.
As mentioned, propane is widely used by farmers and others in the agricultural industry for a number of reasons. Over 600,000 agricultural sites use propane in one way or another — some of the most popular uses are for grain dryers, irrigation pumps, standby generations, and a number of other pieces of machinery you might find on the farm. Farmers also use it for flame cultivation, grain dryers, fruit ripening, space and water heating, and refrigeration of food and other perishables.
That’s a pretty impressive resume.

People have a lot of questions about propane fuel. There are news stories every now and again about a tank of propane bursting, or something catching fire due to an ignition linked, at least partially, to nearby propane equipment. Consequently, people become understandably just a bit curious about propane safety.

Most people become curious about propane tanks in general. How can something so flammable be safely stored in a tank that some homeowners keep inside their homes, or very close to it? Well, keep in mind that those tanks are very well built. The reason they’re used is simple — propane can exist as a liquid or a vapor, but is literally hundreds of times more compact as a liquid than it is as a gas. Storing propane inside of those tanks you see is a choice made by the math of the situation. If you wanted to buy propane as a gas, you’d be getting about 270 times less energy for the same tank.

When propane is released from the tank, it comes out as a clean-burning fuel gas. Millions of homeowners, businesses, industrial and agricultural sites, and other locations rely on this gas for its versatility and efficacy. It’s widely used for heating or cooling air, cutting, heat treating, barbecuing, crop drying, cultivation, water heating, and refrigeration. Propane services virtually every need.

The gas itself isn’t a danger to you at all. In fact, if it weren’t for the engineers and manufacturers adding odorants to it, humans wouldn’t be able to detect it at all! It’s also non-toxic, so there’s very little to be afraid of when it comes to propane.

Of all the various available gas products, propane fuel is easily one of the safest and most cost-efficient fuels available today. There’s a lot of hard science and intelligent engineering responsible for those tanks and the gas inside of them. They’re very safe to use.

Previously we told you about a 50 cent per gallon tax credit. That credit expired December 31, 2014.

However, the PATH Act of 2015 (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes) signed by President Obama makes retroactive to January 1, 2015 the 50 cent per gallon alternative fuel tax credit and alternative fuel mixture tax credit. It also extends the credit for 2016 but at a reduced rate. This credit is commonly applicable for taxpayers who use propane or liquefied petroleum gas to fuel vehicles not required to be registered for highway use, e.g. forklifts.

If you aren’t familiar with this 504 credit, below is a recap of how the credit works.

As you probably know, propane used in forklifts is exempt from the Federal Excise Tax.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made it clear that under the terms of P.L. 109-59, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005 (referred to as the Highway Bill) that forklifts fit the definition of an off-highway business motor vehicle and hence, propane used in a forklift is eligible for the 50 cent per gallon tax credit.

Be certain you understand this clearly:

PROPANE used in a forklift is eligible for the 50 cent per gallon tax credit

This is a huge benefit, assuming you took appropriate steps to properly register with the IRS. So read on and if the process sounds a bit cumbersome, it is worth it.

As a first step, forklift operators must file a Form 637 with the IRS in order to become registered as an “Alternative Fueler”. IRS will then issue a registration number identifying the forklift operator as an Alternative Fueler. After receiving a registration number, the forklift operator can file a claim for the credit at the end of the year by filing Form 4136.

Lin-gas, Inc. is not a tax advisor. We offer this information to you for further review and suggest that you obtain the advice of your tax counsel.

Relevant IRS forms may be viewed and downloaded by going to

As always, we appreciate your business and hope you will contact us if there is anything we might do to help you complete the process. Please review our website for additional information. We hope this information will offer a tax advantage to your Company and urge you to seek professional tax advice for this most important benefit.

If you have any questions, please call Judy at our Evansville office at 800-850-4380.

If you’re like most homeowners nowadays, you probably have a residential propane service, but you don’t know too much about it. In fact, you’ve probably been heating your home with propane for years without considering where it really comes from or how it impacts the overall energy industry.

So why exactly are propane services so important for homeowners today?

Propane fuel is one of the most common methods of home heating in the U.S. today; around 60 million Americans depend on this service, believe it or not. Over 8 million homes in the U.S. use propane, and almost 5% of these households consider propane to be their primary heating source.

Propane fuel is even more important for people living in mobile or manufactured homes. Out of the estimated 6.3 million mobile homes in the U.S. today, at least 16% of these homes depend on propane more than any other type of heating fuel.

Not only is propane important for residential buildings, it’s also essential for commercial buildings, too. Hotels and restaurants, for example, use propane fuel for a variety of different purposes. Everything from cooking to refrigeration, from washing clothes to providing heat and light — propane can be used for it all. It’s estimated that 1 million individual commercial establishments depend on propane.

Propane services are also very important for certain niche industries, such as farming. Approximately 660,000 farmers in the U.S. depend on propane for irrigation pumps, generators, and a variety of other farm equipment needed to produce crops, care for animals, and ensure that food is kept safe and clean. Most Americans don’t consider these needs simply because they aren’t familiar with all of the necessary equipment on a farm, but without this equipment, the entire food production industry would be affected.

Last but not least, it should be noted that propane services are crucial to the security of the energy industry. Around 90% of the propane consumed in the U.S. is actually produced domestically; the majority of the remaining 10% typically comes from Canada or Mexico. Compared to other forms of fuel, domestically-harvested propane is a very stable source of energy and it stimulates the U.S. economy by creating a need for local jobs.

So now it’s time to ask yourself, just how important is the propane fuel industry today? We bet your answer will be the same as ours!

We all know the Aesop fable about the ant and the grasshopper – the ant prepares himself for winter while the grasshopper whiles away his summer days without concern for the future. When winter hits, the grasshopper is unprepared, while the ant is warm and well-fed in his home.

Even though last winter is a distant memory, the shortening of the days and the cooling fall temps serve to remind us that winter is headed our way once again. And, just like the ant, we need to get prepared.

The Never-Ending Winter

For propane customers in Kentucky, a big part of preparing for cold winter days is making sure they will be well-supplied with propane all season long.  The winter of 2014-15 was, true to predictions, among the coldest and snowiest on record in recent memory. Folks along the Kentucky-Tennessee border found themselves dealing with more snow than usual, and then contending with record cold that kept the snow and ice around for longer. Even into March, which traditionally sees a break in the cold as spring starts to make inroads into the area, winter seemed determined to stick around, and those who rely on propane to heat their homes found themselves faced with short supply and higher prices.

Staying Warm All Winter Long

Depending on where you live and how much you like the cold and snow, the forecast for Winter 2015-16 might please you, and it might not. If you enjoyed last winter’s snows, then good news: the Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting much of the same for the winter of 2015-16. Did you jump for joy? Or did you cringe and start pulling out the blankets? Either way, you can stay warm this winter with a little forethought and preparedness. On the top of your list: make sure you’re well-supplied with propane.

Getting Ready

Getting prepared for the coming winter months is simple:

  • Fill your propane tank(s) now, well in advance of cold weather – and take advantage of the lower prices typical of off-season fills.
  • Sign up for automatic delivery. Waiting until your tank is low to order propane may mean you’re on a long list with folks in the same predicament. With automatic delivery, your supplier will make sure you’ve got plenty of propane all winter long.
  • Sign up for a budget payment plan. Many suppliers offer programs that pro-rate your purchase over several months. The Lin-Gas EZPay program accepts new budget payment customers prior to July 1 each year.
  • Keep an eye on your tank(s). Know how much propane you have at all times. 
  • Make sure your system is tuned up and ready to go. Your HVAC system will benefit from a checkup by a professional.

Whatever the Winter of 2015-16 has in store for us, making sure you have enough propane to get you through it should be on the top of your list. Filling your tank early in the season will help you to stay warm and toasty, even if winter overstays its welcome. If you haven’t gotten prepared, time is growing short – call Lin-Gas today!

If you spend any time at all in an industrial facility, you are well-acquainted with the standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known more commonly as OSHA. Since its founding in 1971, OSHA has established workplace safety standards and reduced the number of workers injured or killed on the job by more than 65%. OSHA’s guidelines cover all aspects of the workplace, from signage to equipment to the handling of hazardous materials, and these guidelines include standards regarding the storage and usage of propane.

Classification of Propane

OSHA classifies propane as a “hazardous material” due to its flammable properties. However, because the propane industry adheres to strict safety standards, this flammability does not pose a serious threat when propane is handled properly.

Guidelines for Storing and Using Propane

  • Store all cylinders that are not in use in an open-air storage unit or cage with a protective roof overhead, at least 20 feet from other buildings
  • Use and store cylinders in the proper position
  • Industrial facilities can store up to 300 lbs. of propane in cylinders
  • Cylinders used for forklifts can be stored in either the vertical or horizontal position, but if stored horizontally the relief valve must be positioned at 12 o’clock; these cylinders do not require an overfill prevention device (OPD)
  • Do not store cylinders near doorways, stairways, or exits
  • Locate storage away from high-traffic areas
  • Do not store propane cylinders close to or with other flammable or combustible materials
  • Locate fire extinguishers within easy access of propane storage
  • Storage areas should have flat surfaces that do not collect water
  • Store cylinders with the relief valve in direct contact with the vapor space in the container
  • Wear gloves and other protective equipment when connecting and disconnecting hoses from propane cylinders
  • When a cylinder is not in use, close the valve to lessen the chance for a leak
  • Monitor the dates located on the cylinder collar to replace or exchange cylinders that are out of date

Propane suppliers follow OSHA guidelines in order to protect you, your home, and/or your business from damages caused by improper handling of their product. Adhering to these same standards in your home or place of business will help to assure that propane remains a reliable and safe fuel source for all applications.

Lin-Gas provides a number of safety guides and SDS documentation on our website. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about using propane safely and can provide you with written information in both English and Spanish. Remember, propane is a pressurized gas that can fill 1,000 its compressed volume, and that one propane cylinder can deliver enough explosive force to lift a home off its foundation. OSHA has established rules and guidelines for the safe handling of propane and other materials in order to protect homes, businesses, property and lives.

Farming is big business. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is ignoring the facts – American farms produce 46% of the world’s soybeans, 41% of the world’s corn, 20.5% of the world’s cotton, and 13% of the world’s wheat.  One in every three acres is planted for export, and in 2010, exports from American farms totaled over $115 billion.

In order for today’s American farmer to meet the world’s ever-increasing demand for American agricultural products, the ag industry works more efficiently. Advances in biotechnology, improved crop production practices, and technologically-advanced equipment all combine to allow farms to produce more.

Propane: Serving the American Farmer

Because propane is clean-burning, non-toxic, and non-caustic, many farm operations rely on it as a fuel source, helping to protect the environment, and with it, the natural resources that are the foundation for all farming operations. Some of the agricultural applications that use propane include:

  • Fuel for equipment
  • Heat for barns and brooder houses
  • Power for pumps and generators
  • Flame weeding and pest control
  • Tobacco curing
  • Emergency heat for unexpected cold snaps in orchards and groves
  • Heat for greenhouses
  • Crop drying

Powering Agribusiness

Because propane is a clean-burning, low emission fuel, many farms use it for a wide variety of applications. As an American-produced fuel, supplies can be readily available and cost-efficient, and your propane supplier can customize a fueling plan specifically for your operation’s requirements. Easy, on-site fuel delivery assures your business has the fuel it needs, and propane-powered equipment such as skid steers and forklifts can be refueled quickly and easily. In fact, farm operations interested in offsetting the costs associated with new, propane-powered equipment and in reducing fuel expenses can take advantage of incentive programs such as:

  • The Propane Farm Incentive Program (formerly known as the Propane FEED program) includes such eligible equipment as irrigation engines, grain dryers, mowers, generators, light-duty trucks, building heating units, and flame weeders.
  • The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) offers guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agribusinesses for the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems or for energy efficiency improvements.

There are over two million farms in the United States, and farming families comprise just 2% of the nation’s population. As stewards of our nation’s land and natural resources, farmers are always seeking better, more efficient ways to provide for their families and produce food and agricultural products for the world. Propane helps these agribusinesses accomplish this goal.

Need propane for your agribusiness? Contact Lin-Gas!

“Summer lovin’, had me a blast…
Summer lovin’, happened so fast…”

There are so many things to love about summer, and grilling is one of the big ones. But if you don’t take the proper precautions with your propane grill, the blast you have might not be the fun kind.

With 68% of U.S. households owning an outdoor barbecue grill, and more than a third owning more than one grill, it’s safe to say that grilling is one of the nation’s most popular pastimes. Nearly 60% of these grills are gas grills, and summertime is prime time for grilling out – provided you do it safely.

Tell me more, tell me more…

If your grill has been sitting idle over the winter months, you’ll want to take the time to inspect and prep your grill in advance of burgers, hotdogs, and steaks sizzling over the grates.

  • Check your hoses and connections for cracks, brittleness, holes, or leaks
  • Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockages
  • Clean drip trays and grates of old grease – but be cautious about using a wire brush to clean the grates
  • Make sure hoses are not in contact with hot surfaces
  • Visually inspect the propane tank for dents, gouges, corrosion, leakage, bulges or excessive rust
  • Do not use any accelerants with your propane grill
  • Close the cylinder valve when not in use
  • Store extra propane tanks in an open area that is shaded or otherwise covered – do not store tanks indoors or in an enclosed space

…Like does he have a car?

When it comes to propane, summer safety also includes the proper way to transport propane tanks to and from your home. Empty or filled, propane tanks should be secured upright in the bed of a truck or – if you don’t have a truck – in the trunk of your car. When transporting a tank, drive directly to your destination and immediately remove the tank from your vehicle, so it doesn’t sit in inside your vehicle; the hot sun beating down on your vehicle can cause the liquid propane to expand inside the grill cylinder. Always close the cylinder valve, and use a cylinder plug regardless whether the tank is filled or empty. Propane contains an added odorant that smells like rotten eggs, so if you’re transporting a cylinder and smell the odorant, stop and remove the cylinder from your vehicle immediately.

Summer sun, something’s begun…

When you light your grill, open the lid and ignite the burner immediately in order to avoid a buildup of gas and a possible flashback. As with any heat source or open flame, take care to keep flammable materials away from your grill, and keep people and pets away from the hot grill while it’s in use. Position your grill away from the house, deck railings, overhangs, or low-hanging branches. And never, ever, use a grill in an enclosed space – even in the open doorway of a garage – to avoid carbon monoxide build up.  ALWAYS read the manufacturer’s owner’s manual, especially the safety precautions and operating instructions.

We’ve got a long and glorious summer ahead of us. With a little advance preparation and the proper safety precautions, your gas grill will be ready for service all summer long.