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Propane is a naturally occurring product composed of hydrogen and carbon molecules (known as hydrocarbons). Methane (natural gas) and pentane (gasoline) are other members of the hydrocarbon family.
Propane occurs naturally as a gas at atmospheric pressure but can be liquefied if subjected to moderate pressure. We store and transport propane in its compressed liquid form. By opening a valve to release propane from a pressurized storage container, we are able to vaporize it into a gas for use. So propane is a liquid until readied for use. While propane is nontoxic, it is also odorless. We add an identifying odor to it so the gas can be readily detected.
Propane is not produced on its own, but as a by-product of two other processes: natural gas processing and petroleum refining.
Natural gas plants extract materials such as propane and butane from the original natural gas source. Similarly, when oil refineries make major products such as motor gasoline and heating oil, they produce some propane as a by-product of those processes.
It is important to understand that because propane production is a “by-product” by nature, the available volume from natural gas processing and oil refining cannot be adjusted when prices and/or demand for propane fluctuate.
Prices could also be driven up if agricultural sector demand for propane to dry crops remains high late into the fall, when residential demand begins to rise.
Yes, when used properly. Although propane gas is naturally colorless and odorless, an odorant is added to alert users in the event of a leak. To be familiar with the odor of propane gas, ask us for a sniff test. Storage, use and handling of propane fall under the standards adopted by the National Fire Protection Association, Title 49 USC, and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code requires the use of these standards.
Propane dealers operate in a competitive marketplace and prices may vary among companies. Transportation costs contribute to geographic variations in price. Companies that provide complete 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week service are usually more expensive than companies that offer limited service hours. Also, a few companies only sell propane and offer no other services. Choose a level of comfort to suit your needs.
Yes. One of the things that allows us to be competitive is our storage capacity. We buy in larger quantities than some fuel dealers, which means a lower cost for us and a lower price for you.
We wish we could tell you, but we have no idea. There are so many factors that could send prices up or down at any time. Just look at 2008, when many analysts were saying oil could go up to $200 a barrel, but then it dropped to $50 a barrel instead. In two of the last four years, prices dropped during the heating season. There’s really no way to predict fuel prices.
Yes! As long as your heating system is working properly, you should not smell oil in your home. If you do, it means something is WRONG! A heating-oil smell could come from a leak, combustion or burner troubles, heat exchanger failure or exhaust system problems. Call us and we’ll come over to correct the problem. If you have a leak, we’ll remove the oil and help get the smell out of your home. If you ever smell oil coming from your vents, call us immediately.
As much as we would like to help, our first priority is always to take care of our own customers. Providing our customers with fast, high-quality service (especially in an emergency) is what we are all about. We can’t do this if our technicians are chasing calls at all points on the compass to take care of our competitors’ customers because our competitors can’t. If you buy your fuel from us, however, it will create an obligation on our part to provide you with quality service.