Propane Southwest Iowa
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Using Propane to Heat Your Outdoor Space

patio heater options iowaIf there’s one thing we’ve learned since early 2020, it’s that we can have fun without being indoors – and propane patio heaters have played a big part in making that fun happen.

Whether they’re in your backyard or in the outdoor serving area of your bar or restaurant, propane patio heaters can take the edge off cooler days and evenings so you and your guests will stay comfortable If temperatures dip.

Patio Heater Shopping Tips

In the market for a propane patio heater but don’t know what to look for? Here are some important variables to consider.

  1. Power – The most important feature to consider when choosing a patio heater is how much heat it will produce, and how far it will send that heat to your space. The former is measured in Btus; the latter in heating diameter (usually indicated by the manufacturer of your patio heater). Measure your space and make sure the model you choose can cover that area.
  2. Mounting type – Propane patio heaters can be wall-mounted, tabletop or freestanding. Tabletop heaters stand about four feet high; freestanding heaters range between seven and nine feet high. One way to help decide between a tabletop and a freestanding heater is to consider whether you would prefer to manage a cylinder (freestanding) or a disposable (tabletop) propane canister.
  3. Safety features – The most popular safeguard built into a patio heater is anti-tip feature, which automatically shuts off the heater if it’s tipped past a certain angle. Make sure the unit you choose includes this feature at minimum. Other safety features to look for include an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) and an overfill protection device (OPD).
  4. Efficiency – Your patio heater’s efficiency is indicated by its AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating. Think of AFUE like MPG for your car – the better the rating, the more energy efficient the appliance is).
  5. Aesthetics – Many styles of patio heater are available – from modern stainless models to classic brushed copper and enamel painted options. Other style considerations include portable vs. stationary (with our without wheels) and design or shape.

Need fuel for your propane patio heater? We’ve got it! Contact Pelgas today to keep the outdoor party going with propane deliveries and propane bottle refills in southwest Iowa.

How Much Grilling Time Is Left In My Propane Cylinder?

gas grill level iowaWe’re approaching the height of outdoor cooking season here in southwest Iowa – time to get out using your propane grill! Just make sure you have enough propane to get you through your next summer cookout.

There is one small problem with this: as any veteran propane griller knows, most 20-pound propane cylinders don’t have a gauge – which means you will need some other way to assess how much fuel is left in your tank.

Here are three simple ideas for you to do that:

  1. Weigh the tank. The simplest way to estimate how much propane is left in your tank is to simply weigh it. Most propane grill tanks come with two numbers stamped on the handle – the water capacity (“WC”) and “Tare Weight” (TW – the weight of the tank when it’s empty). Most grilling tanks weigh about 17 pounds when empty and hold about 20 pounds of gas.

    To estimate how many pounds of propane are left in your tank, simply weigh it on a scale and subtract the TW number. For example, if a tank weighing 27 pounds has a TW of 17 pounds, there’s about 10 pounds of gas left – a little more than half a tank.

  2. Use warm water. Here’s a neat and safe trick for estimating the amount of propane in your cylinder courtesy of the FIX IT Home Improvement Channel on YouTube:
    • Fill a small bucket with warm to hot tap water.
    • Pour the water down the side of the tank.
    • Run your hand along the side of the tank and feel for a cool spot.

    The top of the cool spot is the fill level of the tank (it’s cool because liquid propane inside the tank absorbs heat from the water, which makes the metal wall of the tank cool to the touch).

  3. Add a gauge. A variety of external propane tank gauges are available to add to your propane cylinder. Options include:
    • Inline pressure gauges, which install between the gas line from the grill and the cut-off valve on the tank, where they measure pressures to determine how full the tank is;
    • Analog propane scales, which are pre-set to take your tank’s TW into account; and
    • Digital propane tank scales, which provide a digital readout of gas fill percentage (some even come with smart phone apps).

    Pick the gauge you like (your local hardware store has them) and give it a go!

Average Propane Cylinder Cook Times

So now that you know how to measure how full your tank is, how do you use that information to estimate how much cook time you have left in your cylinder?

As a rule of thumb, a 20-pound propane cylinder used on a medium-sized grill on high heat will provide between 18 and 20 hours of cooking time. A larger grill can easily burn through fuel at twice that rate.

Of course, these are just estimates: If you’re feeling ambitious, why not keep track of your grilling time this summer to have a better idea of timing for future propane cylinder refills? It’s all part of the art of cooking on your propane grill!

Don’t get burned by your propane cylinder – follow these tips to know how much gas is left in your tank before your next summer cookout! If you need to refill your propane cylinder, just stop in – while you’re here, we can also let you know if your tank needs to be recertified.

Oh, and be sure to transport your propane cylinder safely!

Propane For Farmers: Save Money In The Long Run

agricultural propane iowaMore than 800,000 farmers across the USA use clean, green propane every day to power their farm, and for good reason: it’s one of the most powerful and versatile ways to power the machines and systems that keep a farm productive.

Cost Savings With Propane

But it’s also one of the most cost-effective fuels for your farm, especially in the long run. Consider all the ways that making the switch to propane can save money for your agribusiness:

  • Lower fuel costs – Propane gas is significantly less expensive per gallon than gasoline or diesel fuel.
  • Lower equipment costs – Propane-powered equipment typically has a lower up-front purchase cost than diesel equipment.
  • Fewer repairs – Because it burns cleaner, equipment powered by propane tends to break down less frequently, which means you’ll spend less money on repairs and spend more time working productively on your farm.
  • It reduces fuel loss – Propane is used in a closed-end fueling system, which virtually eliminates loss from theft and spillage.
  • Marketing benefits – Propane’s lower carbon emissions can create additional economic incentives through organizations such as the Propane Education and Research Council; it can also open up unique marketing opportunities by helping you promote your “green” management practices to your customers.

Remarkable Versatility, Too

Of course, economic benefits aren’t the only ones you’ll get from switching to propane – you’ll also get safe, reliable power that works in freezing temperatures doesn’t pool or spill, and can power just about anything in an agricultural setting.

These are just some of the propane possibilities for your farm:

  • Irrigation systems – Propane irrigation engines burn clean and operate extremely efficiently, which makes them the perfect choice to keep crops hydrated.
  • Weed control – Propane flame weed control is a great alternative to harsh chemicals: it’s just as effective, it’s more eco-friendly, and it allows farmers to return to the fields immediately.
  • Grain dryers – Propane grain dryers are extremely efficient and effective, taking advantage of propane’s high burning temperatures to remove moisture from harvested grain.
  • Barn/greenhouse/space/water heating – Propane is an ideal heat source for your buildings ranging from pens and greenhouses, to milking parlors, storage silos, barns, and more.
  • Backup power – Power outages are twice as common today as they were just 10 years ago, and they can certainly be costly in today’s fast-paced agricultural markets. Propane makes the perfect power source for backup generators because it does not degrade over time.
  • Vehicle power – From riding lawnmowers and forklifts to tractors and delivery trucks, propane can fuel just about any vehicle. Propane engines are cheaper to operate per mile and require less servicing than gas engines.

For these reasons and more, propane can be the perfect fuel for your southwest Iowa farm. Could propane be right for you? Contact Pelgas today and let’s talk about it!

Propane – Your Clean Green Earth Day Fuel!

propane clean fuel iowaApril 22 marks the 51st annual Earth Day – a global event conceived by former Senator Gaylord Nelson to celebrate our planet, and to challenge us to tread more lightly upon it.

Want to know one of the best ways to get in the Earth Day spirit? Switch your electric appliances to clean, green propane gas – a power-packed energy source recognized as a “low-polluting fuel” by the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act.

Propane: High Efficiency, Low Emissions Performance

If you’re looking for a greener way to power your home, farm or business, without sacrificing comfort or performance, look no further than propane. This versatile fuel will help shrink your carbon footprint by:

  • Cutting emissions – Propane combustion produces less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity to produce the same amount of energy. It also contains less carbon than other fossil fuels, including heating oil, gasoline, diesel, kerosene and ethanol.
  • Improving efficiency – Propane-powered appliances are usually more efficient –sometimes far more efficient – than electric models of similar size and output; a tankless propane water heater, for example, can save up to 50 percent on energy costs compared to a similar unit powered by electricity, according to the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC).
  • Reducing harmful impact – Propane is not toxic and does not spill, pool, or leave a residue, which makes it harmless to soil or water in the event of a tank leak. With propane, there are no risks for long-term damage to your home or property if a leak occurs.

The bottom line: If you’re looking for an easy way to be a little kinder to the planet, choose propane – and if you need a reliable propane supplier anywhere in our Southwest Iowa service area, choose Pelgas!

Celebrate the spirit of Earth Day with an order of clean, green, economical propane from Pelgas. Contact us today to schedule your propane delivery in Southwest Iowa!

How Propane Is Made And Other Facts

propane information iowaIf you’re a Pelgas customer (or plan to become one), you’re probably already aware of the many benefits and uses of propane.

But how well do you really know propane?

Here are 10 fun facts about propane that you might not have known – until now:

  1. Although some propane is produced from crude oil refinement, most domestically produced propane is a byproduct of domestic natural gas processing. In fact, current U.S. propane supplies are abundant due in large part to the increase in natural gas production. 
  2. The propane fuel you buy is not 100 percent propane gas; it’s about 90 percent propane plus odorant, propylene, and about 9 percent butane.
  3. Nearly 90 percent of the U.S. propane supply is produced domestically; almost three-quarters of the remaining 10 percent is produced in Canada or Mexico.
  4. Propane is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas – which is why it’s far more economical to store and transport as a liquid.
  5. Propane is stored and transported as a pressurized liquid at 177 PSI. The liquefying stage is critical for the successful production of propane; if some of the impurities and other hydrocarbons, such as ethane, propene or pentene, are not sufficiently removed, propane will not liquefy properly.
  6. The founder of the propane gas industry was a man named Walter O. Snelling, who was the first person to identify propane as a volatile component in gasoline. After the discovery, he quickly realized its tremendous potential.
  7. In its natural state, propane is nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless; an odorant (which smells like rotten eggs) is added for safety’s sake.
  8. Propane won’t ignite when combined with air until the source of ignition reaches 940 degrees Fahrenheit – which is why it’s safe to transport in tanks.
  9. Propane is one of the lightest, simplest hydrocarbons in the universe. As a result, it is one of the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels – so clean, in fact, that propane is not considered a greenhouse gas.
  10. Propane is the only alternative fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992; neither the process by which propane is produced nor the combustion of propane gas produces significant acid rain contaminants.

When it comes to propane, knowledge is power! To learn more about propane’s many benefits for your home or business, contact Pelgas today!

How Do I Read A Propane Tank Gauge?

propane delivery iowaIf you’re a Pelgas “will-call” propane customer (that is, if you manage your own propane supply from us rather than opting for automatic propane delivery), one of the most important tasks you have is keeping a close eye on your tank levels throughout the winter.

The question is, how do you do it?

Reading a propane tank gauge is actually pretty easy: just look near the top of the tank for a round dial with the numbers from 5 – 95 on it (it looks a lot like a car’s speedometer).

Just keep in mind that a propane tank is never filled to 100 percent of its maximum capacity; about 20 percent of the tank must remain empty to allow the gas to expand as temperatures change. A “full” 125-gallon tank, in other words, only contains about 100 gallons of propane. For a complete list of capacity conversions, see the chart below.

The most important thing about reading your propane gas gauge, though, is to remember not wait for the last minute to schedule your propane delivery – especially when temperatures are low or dropping. Contact us for a fill-up when your gauge reads no less than 30 percent full; that will give us enough time to get to you before you run out of gas.

If you do experience a propane run-out, don’t panic – call Pelgas right away for emergency service. We’ll get your tank topped off, then performed safety leak and pressure test as required by law so you can get back to normal in your southwest Iowa home.

How Many Gallons Of Propane Do You Have Left?

Tank Gauge Reads 60 gal tank 125 gal tank 320 gal tank 500 gal tank 1000 gal tank
 80% (Full) 48 100 256 400 800
 70% 42 87.5 224 350  700 
 60% 36  75  192  300  600 
 50% 30  62.5  160  250  500 
 40% 24 50  160  200  400 
 30% 18  37.5  96  150  300 
 25% If your gauge reads 30 percent, contact us for a delivery right away!
 20% 12 25  64  100  200 
 10%  6 12.5  32  50  100 

For reliable propane delivery in Southwest Iowa, trust the pros at Pelgas. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule your propane delivery!

Using Propane Safely During A Winter Storm

fuel tank winter care iowaWinter storms can get pretty severe here in Southwest Iowa – which is why you need to be ready for anything when it comes to keeping your family safe in your propane powered home.

Here are six safety reminders to consider if you want to use propane safely during severe weather this winter:

  1. Mark your propane tanks – Drifting snow can easily hide a propane tank and its fill vent. That’s why it’s helpful to mark the location of your propane tanks with a flag or pole that’s tall enough to be seen above to expected snow line.
  2. Clear the surface of your tank after a storm – Use a broom – never a shovel – to clear snow and ice from your propane tank. Maintain a clear pathway to your tank to allow access for delivery and repair crews.
  3. Let plow operators know where your propane tanks are located – As we said before, snow can easily obscure a propane tank, keeping it from being seen by snowplow operators. That can be a potentially serious safety hazard for everyone on your property.
  4. Keep fuel in your tank – One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a winter storm is to make sure you have enough propane on hand to make it through the storm – and for several days after, since roads may be closed.
  5. Repair damaged equipment immediately – if your propane equipment has been damaged or is not working properly in the aftermath of severe weather, contact us right away. Malfunctioning equipment can be dangerous, leaving you exposed to carbon monoxide leak risks and more. And remember: if you shut down your gas for any reason, the law requires you to hire a licensed professional to pressure test and restart your system.
  6. Consider adding a propane-powered generator – Did you know that power outages happen nearly twice as frequently as they did just 10 years ago? In remote areas, a power outage can quickly turn from inconvenient to dangerous as inaccessible roads delay repair crews. If you live in a rural area, strongly consider installing a whole house propane generator for peace of mind in any weather. Unlike diesel fuel, propane won’t gel in severe cold, so it’s a great fuel to have on your side in emergency winter situations. Propane also doesn’t decay – which means that as long as you take care of your storage tank, you can leave propane stored for years without impeding performance.

One easy way to make sure you have enough fuel on hand during severe weather is to set up automatic propane deliveries in Southwest Iowa with Pelgas. Contact us today to learn more, or to become a Pelgas propane customer!

Keep Your Propane Supply Full, Secure, And Accessible This Winter

propane tank accessibility iowaOur crews work hard to provide the most reliable propane delivery in southwestern Iowa – but when severe winter weather strikes, we can use your help.

Propane Delivery Tips

Please help serve as many people as we can during severe weather by making these preparations at home in advance of your next propane delivery:

  1. Keep a clear path to your propane tank – Snow, ice, and debris can block the path to your propane tank’s fill valve, making it difficult for our crews to pump your gas. Try to keep at least an 18-inch wide path to your propane tank clear so our team can reach it easy and safely. Strongly consider flagging your propane tank in the event of heavy snow so our crew can find the fill valve.
  2. De-ice your driveway – If your home requires our crew to park in the driveway to fill your tank, please keep it free of snow and ice so they can navigate safely. Please also keep in mind that our fuel trucks are wider than your car, so plan accordingly.
  3. Keep gates unlocked, or have someone nearby to grant access – If your fill pipe is behind a gate, please make sure it is unlocked on delivery day – or make sure someone is nearby to let our crew in.
  4. Keep pets under control – We want to deliver your propane, but we want to do it safely for both our drivers and your pets. Please be sure your pets are secure on delivery day.
  5. Be available on delivery day – Make sure someone is reachable on propane delivery day, preferably by cell phone or in person; If something unexpected happens that needs your immediate attention, our delivery team will need to contact you.

Thanks for helping us keep you safe, warm, and satisfied with reliable, on-time propane delivery in our service area– our drivers appreciate your consideration!

For reliable propane delivery from Des Moines to Omaha, nobody beats Pelgas! Contact us today to request a propane delivery, or to join the Pelgas family of customers.

Propane Can Help Your Business Save Money

propane for business iowaPropane gas is one of the smartest and most versatile ways to power equipment in your southwest Iowa home – but those great benefits aren’t limited to the place where you live.

Because propane burns hot and clean, well-designed commercial appliances can achieve efficiency ratings that reach well into the 90s (some commercial propane water heaters and furnaces can reach 98 percent efficiency).

What Appliances Use Propane?

With that kind of performance, opting for propane is a great way to improve your business’ bottom line. Consider these propane appliance benefits:

  • Furnaces – A propane gas furnace heats air to about 130 – 140 degrees, working intensely for short bursts to minimize operating costs. By contrast, electric heat pumps produce air that feels cool to the touch; on cold Iowa days and nights, a heat pump relies on its onboard electric heat backup to keep pace with the weather. Once that backup system kicks in, the most compelling selling point of a heat pump – its efficiency – disappears.
  • Space heaters – High-efficiency propane space heaters send targeted, high-efficiency zone heating to your workspace, so you won’t have to rely as much on your primary commercial furnace or boiler.
  • Water heating – A propane water heater can deliver hot water at 40 percent the cost of an electric water heater – or even less if you use a tankless system.

Propane: Great For Commercial Operations, Too

Propane is not just for your office space, either. In factories and warehouses, propane forklifts can operate indoors and out, while agribusiness owners can use propane to power just about any equipment on their farm.

Restaurants and commercial kitchens can use propane to cook quality food in large quantities – and if you’re a fleet manager, you probably already know the many advantages of propane autogas over gasoline and other alternative fuels.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to efficiently powering your office appliances and commercial equipment, propane delivers – especially when compared to electricity. Contact Pelgas today to learn what propane can do for your business!

Need propane for your commercial operations? We can help! Contact Pelgas today about commercial propane delivery options in southwest IA!

Propane Gas Log Sets: 5 Reasons To Install One

propane fireplace iowa

Most of us love the warm glow of a fireplace – but not the effort to build, watch, and clean up from a wood fire. As a result, we often skip our relaxing fireside evening and do something much less interesting.

But what if you could enjoy the glow of a wood fire without those hassles?

If you find that you don’t use your existing masonry fireplace as often as you’d like to because it just takes too much effort – or If you have wood burning fireplace that doesn’t work as well as you’d like it to – then a set of propane gas logs could be just what you’re looking for.

Propane Gas Log Benefits

Replace your wood logs with a propane gas log set and you’ll enjoy these great benefits:

  1. Convenience – No more chopping, splinters, and ash. Just flip a switch and your fire is ready to go.
  2. A real flame and realistic look – Propane gas log sets have come a long way aesthetics-wise. Choose from a variety of looks that mimic oak, birch, and more.
  3. Safety – With gas logs, you’ll have no more flying sparks, rolling logs, or dangerous creosote buildup in your chimney. Just maintain your log set properly and it will provide safe heat year after year.
  4. Cost savings – Gas logs operate at about four to five times the efficiency of wood –good news here in southwestern Iowa. You’ll also eliminate chimney cleaning, saving even more money.
  5. Better eco-performance – Compared to wood burning, clean-burning propane emits far fewer particulates and less CO2 – good for your health, good for the air, and good for the planet.

Keep your home cozy and warm this winter with reliable propane deliveries in southwest Iowa from Pelgas! We’ve got all the propane you need to keep all your propane appliances up and running all heating season long. Contact us today to become a Pelgas customer!

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