If you run your home on propane, you might be wondering about the usage rates of the various appliances hooked up to your system.

Depending on the size of your home, you may be using a 250-gallon, 500-gallon, or 1000-gallon propane tank. How long that tank will last between fill-ups will depend on what types of appliances you have hooked up to your system, and how you use them. Obviously, a household with nine people using the shower, laundry room, and kitchen will use propane at a faster rate than a household of two.

To understand how much propane is used for each of the appliances listed below, you need to understand the amount of energy produced by each gallon of propane consumed. British Thermal Units, or BTUs, are a unit of measurement that describes the amount of energy needed to heat or cool one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Propane gives 91,500 BTUs per gallon per hour. To put that into perspective, one four-inch wooden kitchen match completely consumed is equivalent to one BTU.

So, what about the various appliances that run on propane? Take a look at these figures:

  • Pool Heater – 425,000 BTU/hour or 4 gallons/hour
  • HVAC Furnace – 200,000 BTU/hour or 1 gallon/hour
  • Fireplace with ceramic logs – 26,000 BTU/hour or 1 gallon every three hours
  • Gas cooktop/range – 65,000 BTU/hour or 5 to 10 gallons per month
  • Tankless water heater – 40,000 BTU/hour or 1.5 gallons per day
  • Gas clothes dryer – 35,000 BTU/hr or less than one gallon per day

It’s important to remember that the statistics cited above will vary to some degree, depending on how much or how often you use your appliances and how many people are in your household. Your propane supplier can tell you what your usage is and help you to determine how much propane you should purchase and how often. You may even want to sign up for your supplier’s budgeting program to make sure that you will always have hot showers and hot meals.

If you are looking for propane services, we serve the locations of Elkton, Evansville, Dale and more. Contact us today!


Now that we’ve gotten through another winter, many of us can’t wait to get outside and start enjoying the warm weather. Spring and summer are the perfect seasons for a variety of outdoor activities, and a favorite activity for many is grilling out.  If you’re using propane for your kitchen range, you already know about how easy it is to cook with propane. Whether you have a dedicated propane line to your grill or you use changeable propane cylinders, the taste and smell of food cooked on a grill is one of the best things to love about warmer weather.

Getting ready for grilling season

Before you invite friends and family over for a cookout, you’ll want to make sure your grill is ready for the season.

  • Clean your grill – making sure your grate is clean, your burners are free from residue, and your supply lines are clear will go a long way toward a successful grilling session.
  • Check connections – using a solution of mild soap and water, you can check your hoses for leaks or poor connection.
  • Make sure you have enough propane – if you use propane cylinders, make sure you have enough on hand to cook your meal; you don’t want to run out and have to finish cooking your food in the microwave. If you have a dedicated propane line to your grill, you’ll always have a steady supply.
  • Position your grill in an open location – Grills get very hot and produce smoke, so using them outside is very important. Be sure to position your grill away from childrens’ play areas or flammable materials.
  • Light your grill with the lid open – Lighting your grill with the lid closed can be very dangerous. Open the lid before you light it, and close the lid once you’re certain the burner is fully lit. This will help the grill heat up and be ready for cooking.

What to Cook

Just about anything can be cooked on an outdoor grill. The most popular foods, of course, are meats of every type – everything from hot dogs and burgers to ribs, chicken, and fish. You can also cook vegetables on the grill. There are numerous cookbooks, recipes, and online resources dedicated to cooking on a grill, and dozens of accessories to help with the task, from grill baskets to griddles to pizza stones and so much more. But no matter what you decide to cook on your grill, be sure to do so safely.

Grilling Safely

  • As tempting as it may be to roll your grill into the garage on a rainy day, always use your grill outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Do not store cylinders in an enclosed space.
  • After grilling, make sure the burner is shut off and the grill is completely cooled before covering.
  • When not in use, grill burner controls should be shut off and the cylinder valve closed.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill when in use.
  • Locate the grill away from flammable or heat-sensitive materials when in use.
  • Never allow children to tamper or play with the grill or cylinder.
  • If the grill catches fire or there is an uncontrollable release of gas, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to move the grill or put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. Move people and pets away from the grill.

Whether you’re a basic burger flipper or a full-on gourmet griller, using a gas grill to cook your food outside is one of the most enjoyable uses of propane. By employing safe grilling techniques, you’re sure to have delicious meals from the grill all season long.

With the recent yo-yoing of prices at the gas pump, you might be wondering – do gas prices have any effect on the price I pay for propane? Can I expect to pay less for propane since I’m paying less at the pump?

The price of crude oil gets a lot of attention in the news, especially as it relates to gas prices. When the cost-per-barrel drops, we can expect the price at the pump to drop a few cents eventually.We all celebrate a little when the price at the pump drops a few cents. But does the price of crude oil affect the cost of propane?

The short answer to this is no, but you might be interested to learn what does actually influence propane prices:

  • Crude oil and natural gas prices

Propane is a byproduct of crude oil and natural gas processing, but the larger portion of propane produced comes from the crude oil refineries. Propane competes with other crude oil-based fuels, and the price of crude oil has a larger influence on the price of propane than that of natural gas.


  • Supply and demand

You remember learning the supply-and-demand rule in school, and this rule hasn’t changed over the years. For any commodity, the demand, balanced against available supply, affects the cost of that commodity. This is especially apparent for propane when winter is long, cold, and harsh. Other factors that affect supplies are production and inventory levels, and the timing of the demand on available propane will affect pricing.


  • Weather

Many recall the winter of 2013-14 as exceptionally cold and lengthy. Propane prices spiked as the cold weather dragged on toward what would typically be called spring, mostly because supplies of propane were running low. Weather can also affect costs if it slows production, creating a lower supply to draw from.


  • Proximity of supply

The closer you live to a main distribution point for propane, the less on average your cost will be. Delivery of propane from refineries can take a lengthy route to its destination at the consumer end, and transport and storage costs also affect the overall cost of propane.


  • Market need

Obviously, winter is when propane use tends to spike for residential customers, and it is this market need that also influences propane costs. Going back to the supply-and-demand formula, the demand balanced against the supply means that customers will pay consistently higher prices for propane when they need it most. Conversely, industry use of propane tends to rise and peak in the warmer months, when propane-fueled vehicles and machinery are more in demand.

Why do propane prices spike?

Propane is produced by refineries and gas processing plants at a fairly steady rate year-round, which means that there is no ready source of increased production when supplies run low. Spikes in price are typically due to a dwindling supply, which drives up costs for both wholesalers and retailers. Imported supplies of propane do not do anything to alleviate price spikes because of the expense involved in delivery. When demand runs high and supplies run low, spikes in price affect everyone from the wholesaler to the retailer to the consumer.

Protecting Your Budget From Propane Price Spikes

The surest way to keep your propane budget in line is to arrange for automatic delivery at the start of your propane contract each year. Lin-Gas offers an EZ Pay program that locks in your price for a full year, and sets regular deliveries based on your usage history. This three-level program allows customers who have been with Lin-Gas for one year or longer to rely on regular deliveries at a fixed price in an 11-month period. In the twelfth month of the program’s contract, any differences in price will be settled, resulting in either an additional cost or a credit to the customers’ account. The basic level of the program, EZ Pay Silver, establishes a fixed rate per gallon, allows you to still receive paper invoices, and requires payment by the fifteenth of each month. The next level of the program, EZ Pay Gold, establishes a cap price per gallon to be paid, delivers invoices electronically, and requires an auto debit from your bank account each month. The premier level of the program, EZ Pay Platinum, establishes a fixed price per gallon and also delivers invoices electronically and requires an auto debit from your bank account each month. At each level, adjustments are made in the twelfth month and the program renews for another 12-month period.

By setting up your propane costs and delivery well in advance of the cold weather months, you’ll be warm and toasty – and price protected – even if winter overstays its welcome.

Want to know more about the Lin-Gas EZ Pay program? Contact us!

Aren’t propane and natural gas the same thing?

No. Natural gas, as its name implies, is a naturally-occurring gas that is used as a fuel source. Propane is a component of this gas, along with butane, ethane, and methane, the latter of which composes the largest percentage of natural gas. Propane, by comparison, is a byproduct of both natural gas and petroleum processing.

Why does propane smell?

Propane does not have an odor, so manufacturers add a substance called Ethyl Mercaptan to give it its distinct odor. This is the same additive used in natural gas, and it has been compared to a rotten egg odor. The presence of this odor serves to alert you in case of a leak.

What kinds of furnaces use propane?

There are three types of furnaces that use propane:

  • Central/forced air furnaces, which heat the air in a home via a system of ducts and vents through which warmed air is forced by the use of a fan
  • Combination furnaces, which use water heaters as the primary heat source, circulating air that is warmed by the water heater and then absorbed by an air handling system
  • Wall furnaces, which are usually used in small structures such as mobile homes or outbuildings because they do not require ducts in order to warm the space

Can you convert a natural gas furnace to run on propane?

Yes. Converting from natural gas to propane as a fuel source is a matter of a conversion kit that compensates for the differing pressure needed to properly operate the unit. However, not every natural gas furnace can be converted to propane; please contact your propane supplier to find out if yours can be converted.

How efficient should my furnace be?

The minimum standard for furnace efficiency as set by the federal government is 80%. A high-efficiency propane furnace is rated between 90% and 98%.

What other appliances can use propane?

There are a number of other appliances that use propane, including water heaters, stoves, and clothes dryers. Most any appliance sold as a natural gas appliance can be converted; however, you will want to consult your propane supplier to make sure the appliance in question meets propane industry standards.

Do propane tanks explode?

Short answer: no. Propane tanks are manufactured and tested within very specific industry standards. Tanks do not rupture on their own, nor do they explode when exposed to extremely hot weather. While movie-makers would like for you to believe that a propane tank will explode easily if struck by a car or shot with a bullet, the fact is, there are numerous safety mechanisms in place to help prevent explosions. It might look realistic on the big screen, but causing a propane tank to explode would take considerable time and effort.

Propane is a safe, clean-burning, environmentally friendly and easily portable fuel source. Of the more than 14 million homes in the U.S. that use propane, more than 6.8 million use propane for heating. Propane suppliers across the country utilize a vast network to deliver propane from manufacturing facilities to their customers. If you’d like to explore propane as a fuel source for your home, contact us.

“Do I need to wait until my tank is empty before I can switch to Lin-Gas propane?”

It’s a question we field frequently from potential customers, particularly as the weather turns cooler and the days grow shorter. No one wants to be caught unprepared to face chilly mornings, and changing propane suppliers can be done easily.

Where to begin

If you’ve made the decision to switch suppliers, your first step begins with a phone call to Lin-Gas. Our customer service reps can help with setting up your account, including establishing credit and setting you up with a propane monitoring system, if you choose that option. A rep can meet with you at your home to assess the steps that will need to be taken, and can set up the necessary process to switch you over.

If you have a leased tank

If your current propane tank is leased through another supplier, you will need to make arrangements with that supplier to have that tank removed from your property. Lin-Gas cannot fill another supplier’s tank with propane. If the leased tank is an underground tank, you’ll need to contact your old supplier to dig it up and remove it. Lin-Gas will install any new tank equipment per the National Fire Protection Association’s standards.

If you own your tank

Lin-Gas does not fill customer-owned tanks and does not offer tanks for customer purchase. Instead, Lin-Gas offers tanks through a leasing program, assuring you that the tank installed on your property meets current, state-specific safety and inspection standards.

If your tank still contains propane

If you want to switch to Lin-Gas propane but still have propane remaining in your existing tank, you will need to contact your old supplier to make arrangements for having your old tank removed and the remainder of the gas credited to your account. In the interim, Lin-Gas will install your new tank and get you started with our service. You do not need to wait until your old tank is empty before switching to Lin-Gas propane.

Contacting Lin-Gas

Lin-Gas is available to our customers for 24-hour emergency service as well as non-emergency situations. If you’ve been considering switching to Lin-Gas, give us a call or contact us online and we can set the process in motion!

Consider the sausage on your breakfast plate. Do you know where it comes from? If you’re feeling particularly quick-witted you might answer, “from the grocery store,” but prior to putting it into your cart at the grocery store, do you know where it came from? Maybe this video will help clear it up:

Okay, all fun and games aside, that savory accompaniment to your morning eggs and toast is among the many things in our everyday lives whose source doesn’t get much consideration. And since we’re talking about a hearty breakfast, have you ever wondered where the propane used to cook your sausage comes from?

While you’re looking out the window at your propane tank and considering another quick-witted answer, let’s take a look at the journey propane takes in order to prepare that savory sausage.

Making Propane

Propane is a by-product of two different processes – petroleum refining and natural gas processing. Of the propane used by homes and businesses in the U.S., 55% comes from natural gas processing and 45% from petroleum processing.  Propane naturally occurs as a gas at regular atmospheric pressure, but once subjected to a moderate amount of pressure becomes a liquid. It is in this liquefied form that propane is transported and stored.

Transporting Propane

Liquid propane is stable and easily transported from the processing facilities in a number of ways. Over 70,000 miles of pipeline deliver propane to various terminals and facilities around the country, where it is then transferred to various transportation sources, including barges, rail cars, and tanker trucks. These varied methods serve to deliver bulk propane to wholesale and retail suppliers, who in turn make them available for their customers.

Delivering Propane

You’re perhaps most familiar with the small white propane tank attached to your barbecue grill or the larger tanker truck that comes to fill your backyard tank. Both the small tank and the fill truck get their propane from the supplier’s large (30,000 gallon) storage tank, and are delivered to retailers for resale or to customers with whom the supplier has a contract. Suppliers also provide larger, transportable tanks for commercial purposes, such as festival food booths or construction sites.

So, how about that sausage?

You might not realize it, but the propane used to power your kitchen range makes a long journey from its source to your home. When you consider the trek propane makes from the refinery its distribution points and beyond, it makes that sausage sizzle just a little bit more deliciously in the pan.

On October 29, 30, and 31, 2014, numerous firefighting organizations around the Evansville area converged at the Evansville Regional Airport to participate in this training exercise. Participants included the Evansville Regional Airport Fire Rescue, Evansville Fire Department, Perry Township Fire Department, and the Terre Haute Fire Department, as well as many other career and volunteer firefighters. More than 80 firefighters participated in this training, which was conducted both during the day and in the evening.

Part of the training consists of a simulated burning fuel spill, and to accomplish this simulation, trainers use propane as the fuel source. ARFF Specialties of Hermantown, Minnesota, conducted the training. Lin-Gas provided the propane and attended the training to assure the simulation was conducted safely.

“Using propane for a live fire training scenario is preferred because responders are able to get an understanding of what the heat exposure will feel like,” says Chris Gibson, a Lin-Gas employee who is also a Perry Township firefighter. “The training allows you to see, feel and hear what a liquid fuel fire will be like realistically.”

Using propane in training simulations such as this gives a greater understanding of possible scenarios on airport grounds. “This particular training allowed the simulation of multiple liquid fuel spills on the runway, compromised passenger compartment, and search and rescue operations involving rescuing placed dolls,” says ARFF Specialties instructor Jerry Huberty.

After the FAA established certification guidelines for airports in 2004, yearly firefighter training became a requirement to maintaining certification. Trainers such as ARFF Specialties train onsite, allowing firefighters to use their own equipment as well as follow policies and procedures established by their department. Using propane allows for a controlled environment in which to learn in advance of a real-world scenario; Lin-Gas is honored to participate in the development and improvement of local firefighters’ skills.

Previously we told you about a 50 cent per gallon tax credit. That credit expired December 31, 2013.

However, HR5771 the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 just signed by President Obama makes retroactive to January 1, 2014 the 50 cent per gallon alternative fuel tax credit and alternative fuel mixture tax credit. 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:


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 clicking here.

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.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac boasts a success rate of 80% on its yearly forecasts, and calls for the winter of 2014-15 to be colder and snowier than usual. Depending on your personal preference for cold and snowy weather, this could be good news or bad news. But however you might feel about sledding, skiing, and snowmen, chances are you’ll want your home to be warm and toasty.

In many households, once the temperature drops, the thermostat wars begin. Maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature depends on a number of factors, including the type of heating system you use as well as how well that system delivers warmth throughout your home.

Types of heating systems

One of the most common heating systems in use today is the forced-air furnace. A forced-air furnace system consists of a fan, filter, and ductwork for the supply and return of air warmed by the furnace unit. This system uses a fuel source such as electricity, natural gas, oil, or propane to produce heated air, which is then circulated through the ducts via the fan.

Another common heating system is the heat pump. The mechanics of warm air delivery with a heat pump are much the same as that of a forced-air furnace; a fan circulates warmed air throughout the space to be warmed. While both a furnace and a heat pump deliver warmed air via a fan, the resulting comfort levels between the two can vary greatly.

It’s all about thermal comfort

The basics of feeling warmer in the winter have everything to do with your perception of warmth. Known as thermal comfort, your perception of warmth relies on a combination of factors. Air temperature, relative humidity, air flow, human metabolic rate, and clothing insulation are all components of thermal comfort. Changes in these factors, such as fluctuations in humidity or changes in the human metabolic rate brought about by physical activity, affect the perception of thermal comfort. While the average core temperature for a human is right around 98 degrees, the comfort zone of skin temperature is around 91 degrees, and this can be affected by air temperature and relative humidity, along with air speed.

In the winter, setting your thermostat to warm your home between 68 and 72 degrees is comfortable for most people. The air produced by the heating system begins at a much warmer temperature at the source, and then cools as it is distributed through the structure. When the thermostat senses that the ambient room temperature has reached the threshold set, it sends a signal to the heating system to stop circulating air. Once the ambient room temperature drops below that threshold, the process begins again.

The secret to feeling warm

In order to feel warm, the temperature of the air coming from the registers should be warmer than skin temperature. If that air is cooler than skin temperature, you feel chilled, regardless of the temperature set on the thermostat. As the air exits the registers in a room, it cools as it moves about the space. You may have your thermostat set at 70 degrees, but the air coming from your registers is significantly warmer than that, which is why the family dog loves to lie in front of the register.

So how do you feel warmer this winter? The obvious answer is to make sure the air coming out of your registers is warmer than skin temperature. While furnaces using electricity, oil, and natural gas may indeed warm the air to your thermostat’s setting, the air coming from the registers can be lower than the temperature of your skin, which you perceive as being cooler. Furnaces using propane, however, deliver warmer air at the register, making you feel warmer the moment your furnace kicks on.

Don’t let a cold, snowy winter keep you from being comfortable indoors. Heating with propane warm your home efficiently, leading to fewer skirmishes in the thermostat wars.

If you haven’t filled your propane tank in advance of cold weather, time is running out.

Because the weather in early fall can be pleasant, it can lull you into a false sense of security about the coming winter. Make no mistake, cold weather is coming, and if last year’s winter is any indication, it could be very cold for a very long time. Many areas of the nation suffered a longer-than-normal winter season last year and as a result, many propane users found themselves running dangerously low on propane to keep their homes warm. Those forced to purchase propane later in the season dealt with shortages and substantially higher rates. Don’t let this happen to you – fill your tank early!

The winter forecast

Most of us have heard the Farmer’s Almanac forecast for a snowier and colder than normal winter this year. The Farmer’s Almanac claims an accuracy rate of 80-85%, and this year’s prediction is a source of concern for those who finished the winter season in the deep freeze last year. It’s important to remember that anything can happen, weather-wise, and it pays to be prepared.

Preparing for the cold

Getting your home winter-ready means making sure the cold doesn’t come inside. Weather-stripping on your doors and windows, additional insulation in your attic, and wrapping exposed pipes in your crawl space will go a long way towards making the inside of your home more comfortable. Applying various energy upgrades to your home will also help to save you money in the long run.

Fill your tank early

One of the best ways to keep warm and comfortable during the long winter days ahead is to fill your propane tank early. By filling your tank early, you can be assured of a steady supply of propane to power your furnace, water heater, and household appliances, and eliminate the last-minute rush to obtain propane once the weather turns cold.

Lock in a price

Lin-gas offers a budgeting program that allows our customers to lock in a rate for their propane for a full year. Many suppliers do this. The deadline for signing up for our budgeting program is June 30 each year, and while our deadline for 2014 has passed, locking in a rate well in advance of winter can help keep your budget under control when cold weather arrives. If you didn’t sign up for a budgeting program this year, be sure to do so as soon as the enrollment period begins for next year.

Like the parable of the ant and the grasshopper, those who are prepared for winter will weather the year’s darkest and coldest season in comfort. Filling your propane tank early will help you to avoid the late-season price increases that are sure to come if winter overstays its welcome. Contact us to schedule a fill-up and rest easy knowing you’ll be warm all winter long.