At home with propane

These days, it is getting easier to move away from the expensive use of electricity to the more affordable propane gas.

Many propane-powered products are available on the market, to fit into any room in the home.

In the kitchen, avid chefs who prefer to use gas stoves now have a wide range of cookers and ovens from which to choose. And when the power goes out in a storm or a blackout, you can still make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich or an elaborate three-course feast on the gas cooker.

A propane-powered stove offers instant heat and precise temperature control, essential for even a novice cook. The even heat distribution also ensures there are fewer hot spots, so food comes out evenly cooked and just right every time. Propane-powered stoves also 50 per cent more efficient than electric stoves, resulting in considerable savings in your power bills each year.

Refrigerators that run on propane are also on the market. They require no external power, so when the lights go out, your beer remains cold. According to Go Gas, based in the Cayman Islands, propane-powered fridges are more efficient than electric fridges and cost less than a dollar a day to run.

Another benefit is that since there are no moving parts on a propane-powered refrigerator, there are no parts that can wear out.

In the laundry room, a propane-powered dryer quickly reaches the temperature needed to evenly dry clothes. A propane-powered unit generates more moist heat than an electric dryer, meaning these dryers are less harsh on delicate clothing.

Tankless water heaters are powered by propane and cost 60 per cent less than traditional electric water heaters. Even in small bathrooms, gas-powered water heaters won’t take up much room as they are usually smaller than their electric counterparts.

A traditional electric water heater produces 175 times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than a tankless propane water heater.

When it comes to the outdoors, propane comes in handy with a wide variety of grills and barbecues now powered by gas. Cooking al fresco helps reduce your air conditioning bills and means your home won’t heat up as you grill those steaks or cook a pot of stew.

For a romantic or rustic style while relaxing in your garden, propane-powered tiki torches and fire bowls are perfect for creating a tranquil atmosphere and cutting down on your electricity use. These add ambiance and value to any backyard, porch or poolside garden.

Propane can be used to power yard tools, such as the Lehr line, which offers lawn mowers, weed trimmers, blowers and mulchers. Lehr yard tools run off small 16-ounce propane canisters so are lightweight and easy to handle. The canisters can be refilled from a 20-lb cylinder using a small coupling device available from Home Gas.

Home Gas also has a supply of Mosquito Magnets, propane-fuelled traps that attract and kill mosquitoes in yards and gardens.

Propane is useful for keeping your pool heated. These heaters have an efficiency rating of 70-90 per cent, making them an excellent choice to extend the use of your pool all year round. Propane heaters heat up the pool water faster than electric heaters and maintain temperature more effectively.

Many homes in Cayman, like other islands threatened annually by hurricanes, have noisy, fuel-guzzling, emergency generators on hand. Nowadays, you can find generators powered by propane, which run more quietly and efficiently. These are small and compact, and can be kept stored neatly until needed.

A novel new way of finding how much you can save by switching to propane is provided by Go Gas. Customers input how much power they use with their electric appliances into the Go Gas Energy Savings Calculator, which calculates how much cheaper it would be if the customer had propane-powered items instead.

“It lets you choose your appliance and your approximate amount of usage per month and then calculates how much you can potentially save each year by switching one, two or three appliances to propane,” says Alisha Racz of Go Gas.

“The calculator also estimates the amount of CO2 emissions saved by using propane instead of electricity as an energy source. On average, switching to propane can save you over 50 per cent on energy bills.”

When deciding to embrace the world of propane, home owners should take a number of factors into consideration and should seek professional advice.

“They first need to consider which electrical appliances they are using can be replaced with gas appliances,” says Katie O’Neill of Home Gas.

“Based on the size of your home and family, Home Gas will help the customer decide which appliances will work for them in their particular application. The customer can pick the amenities each appliance offers based on his or her financial budget. Making the switch to Clean Green energy saving propane is easy.”

Home Gas’s general manager Dayne Brady believes propane is the best option for minimising your impact on the environment and on Cayman’s natural resources.

“Since propane has long been recognised as a safe low-carbon, eco-friendly energy, it’s also a great way to go green and benefit from the extra value, reliability, and versatility of gas appliances,” Dayne says.

Representatives of Home Gas and Go Gas will assess and audit a home to determine how cost effective it would be to swap out certain appliances for propane-powered ones.

It’s also important to ensure that installations are done by qualified professionals so that all safety standards are met.





Katie O’Neill