Important safety differences between natural gas and propane

When it comes to natural gas or propane, both options are popular among homeowners. Both propane and natural gas are also energy-efficient and cost-friendly options. So when it comes down to choosing, it’s really a matter of what would best fit your lifestyle. However, it’s important to also keep in mind the safety differences once you do decide.

Titan Sheet Metal BC shares their tips on knowing the difference between natural gas and propane and what safety care to keep in mind:

Propane is heavier than natural gas

What this means is that in the event of a gas leak, propane will tend to pool in lower areas such as basements or sewer drains, which can make it more dangerous if it happens in an enclosed space. Natural gas, however, is lighter so it will rise towards ceilings if it leaks. Hiring a professional contractor to do the installation, getting routine maintenance checks, and installing a detector are steps to take to ensure a leak doesn’t happen and your home stays safe.

Natural gas is installed, while propane is stored in a tank

Another important difference is that both gases are stored differently. Natural gas is connected to a gas network, so installing it only requires adding a natural gas line and gas meter to your property. Because of this, natural gas is a popular option for homeowners who want to install a permanent BBQ in their backyard or add a natural gas firepit.

Propane on the other hand, is stored in a tank, making it portable even without a gas network. For standalone BBQ’s, a propane tank is typically attached and refilled as needed. Since it is a tank however, it can be hard to tell how much gas you have left. Both for practicality, as well as for safety, you want to check before you begin cooking or using the propane. The easiest way is to fill a cup of hot water and pour it over the side of the tank, then run your hand along the tank until you find a cool spot, which will indicate the top of where the gas is. Find more ways to check your propane levels.

Installation and delivery

Changing between propane and natural gas, requires a conversion kit and special gas fittings for proper installation. Because propane pipes start at the exit of the service valve, part of the pipework may be outside. Natural gas however starts at your gas metre outside where the utility company owns from the metre to the road and the homeowner owns from the metre to the house

When it comes to delivery methods, natural gas is provided through the gas pipelines, so it is always readily available. Propane has to be delivered manually however, before the empty tank can be refilled. This is important to consider because of potential wait times, especially in the event of any emergency where you don’t have gas right away and may need it.

HVAC Companies in Vancouver

Titan Sheet Metal BC provides high quality sheet metal fabrication, professional gas-fitting services, and HVAC services. They provide quality service and communication at every step of the way to ensure their customers stay safe and informed.

Contact Titan Sheet Metal BC today for any questions or installation help!

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