Sunday, April 1, 2007

Natural Gas and Propane—What’s the Difference?

Communities outside the Twin Cities metro area do not always have the infrastructure that home owners in the city take for granted. In rural communities where homeowners live on and own acres of land, they may not have water or sewer systems to the home. The electrical, cable and gas utilities may not provide service to any or all homes in the area. Alternatively, homeowners will have private services where the public utilities do not exist. Homes on acreage will have private wells for water and septic systems for sewage. If the home does not have cable access, they can use a private satellite service. And if there is no natural gas line, they opt for propane.

As a Realtor in the north metro, I sell many homes on acreage in Anoka, Chisago and Washington Counties. Some of the larger properties do not have natural gas utilities available. When they see the big propane tank in the yard, the question arises:
What is the difference between Natural Gas and Propane?
The two gases are basically equal in performance in appliances. The differences lie in portability, compression, energy efficiency and cost.


Propane Tank—The most obvious visible difference is that natural gas comes into the home from an underground pipe with a meter controlled by a utility service while propane will sit in a tank in your yard.. Natural gas is billed monthly by the utility company as it is used. The propane tank’s refill is directed by the homeowner. The tanks come in different sizes and can be owned or rented from a propane provider.

Propane Provides More BTUs than Natural Gas—Heat is measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs. When an amount of propane provides 2500 BTUs, the same volume of natural gas would provide 1000 BTU’s.

Natural Gas Burns Cleaner—Propane releases more pollutants into the air when burning due to different chemical properties.

Propane is Heavier—Both gases will dissipate into the air and can pose the threat of an explosion if enough gas is released and ignited. Propane being heavier than air tends to collect at ground level and pose a greater risk of explosion. If a home has a basement with few windows, there is no way for the heavy gas to dissipate. Natural gas being lighter than air will rise and has the ability to dissipate with time and open windows. A leak of either natural gas or propane is very serious and immediate evacuation is key.



If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007
terieckholm.com