Avoiding Propane Shortages

Sudden and unexpected propane shortages took many homeowners by surprise last year. Luckily, there have been many precautions taken since that time to prevent future U.S. shortages and keep propane costs to a minimum.

Many programs have been implemented to help members of the farming community who rely heavily on propane to fuel their family businesses. Both the propane industry as a whole and farmers have recognized the immediate need for increased storage, and have worked together closely to forecast their supply needs. Strategic planning in conjunction with assistance programs to purchase additional bulk tanks and pre-buy propane under contract have greatly contributed to alleviate the squeeze on the farming community.

So what does this mean for the average propane user? Studies show that residential propane prices have dropped significantly in the Northeast Region, and industry experts predict that last year’s price spikes are unlikely to happen again. This optimism is credited to the fact that both consumers and dealers are being extremely proactive.

Propane dealers throughout the Northeast intentionally have a lot more propane in stock than they did this time last year. They have also strongly encouraged their customers to order their propane early, make pricing arrangements, and do everything they can to make sure that their homes are as energy-efficient as possible.

As you well know, energy conservation has a multitude of benefits for the homeowners as well as the environment. Here are a few easy things you can do to upgrade your home’s efficiency today:

  • Check old windows for gaps that allow cold air in and warm air out. These can be fixed quickly with just a little bit of calking.
  • Eliminate drafts under doors by placing a long throw pillow along the floor in front of the gap.
  • Turn down the thermostat at night while you and your family are sleeping, and again while you’re away at work and school.

At Keystone Propane, we value our customers and do everything in our power to provide you with outstanding service. We look forward to meeting all of your propane needs this winter and for many years to come! If you have any questions regarding your future propane orders, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

5 Affordable Ways to Winterize Your Home

Winter. Whether we like it or not, it’s right around the corner, ready to drop the temp while you crank up the thermostat. Don’t wait ’til the last minute to start thinking about winterizing your home. Fall can often bring low temps as well, and someday soon you’ll be giving in to the chill and turning on your home’s heat.

So, what can you do to help minimize your heating bill without breaking the bank? Here are 5 affordable ways to get a jump start on winterizing your home.

1. Dodging the Draft

Many homeowners struggle with cold drafts, particularly if they happen to own an older home. So, what’s the solution? You can thank your elders for this little gift. Introducing … the draft snake. This trend started during the Great Depression, and the best part is simple and affordable. All you need to do is fill a fabric pouch with sand or just roll up an old towel to make your draft snake, then place it along the foot of your door. It will stop the warm air from rushing out and the cold air from rushing in.

2. Bring on the Bubble Wrap

Try to resist popping that bubble wrap (we know, it’s so much fun) and use it as cheap insulation for your windows. It may look slightly unconventional, but we’ll see who’s laughing when you save a ton on your heating bill.

3. Redirect Your Ceiling Fans

This is one simple trick that eludes many homeowners. If you have ceiling fans, take a close look at what direction they are currently turning. A clockwise rotation will create warm air, while a counter-clockwise rotation will create cool air. When the temp outside begins to drop, make sure you have your fan set correctly and you could be cutting your heating costs by as much as 10%.

4. Set Your Thermostat

Don’t waste heat while you’re sleeping or away at work for the day. Be sure to turn down your thermostat at night to anywhere from 50 to 55 degrees and watch your heating costs drop as much as 10%. If you choose to upgrade, there are programmable thermostats available for purchase, or you can save by just remembering to be diligent.

5. Lower the Water Heater Temp

Most water heaters come with a default setting which most people never adjust. A typical water heater is initially set for 140 degrees, but lowering your setting to 120 degrees will still be a comfortable water temperature while saving you an additional 6-10% on your heating costs.

Keystone Propane is proud to provide our customers with affordable, dependable heating fuel and delivery. Please give us a call today for more information and find out why Keystone Propane is the only choice for your home heating.

Spend a Little – Save A Lot

When it comes to saving big on heat expenses, sometimes spending a little money is the key. Here are a few affordable things you can do to help lower your heating bill and increase your home’s efficiency.

How’s Your Ductwork?

You can easily lose upwards of 50% of heated air if your home does not have well-planned ductwork. If you happen to be particularly handy, there are lots of ways you can improve your ductwork system. Be sure to check that all of your ductwork is connected properly and repair any of the places where pipes may be pinched. Always remember to use tape with metal backing in lieu of regular duct tape, as it lasts much longer. If you are inexperienced or uncomfortable with this type of work, hiring a professional may be your best bet. Although it may be more expensive, it can save you a lot in the long run.

Stop Heat from Escaping

Gaps around doors and windows could allow a significant amount of heat to escape your home. Inspect all of your home’s doors and windows for any drafts and open areas. Caulking is an excellent way to seal older windows to help keep the heat in and the cold air out. Also, investing in a few inexpensive door sweeps to block exterior entrances can improve your home’s efficiency as well.

Time to Winterize

Another way to eliminate heat loss is by winterizing older windows. If window replacement isn’t an option, covering your windows with clear plastic can help with insulation. It is also a good idea to review your home to pinpoint any other areas that can be better insulated with traditional methods. Pay particular attention to your attic, which is one of the most common places that allow heat to escape in older homes. Always be sure to look for blackened spots on the edging of the fiberglass … this dust is an indicator of where airflow is escaping. Sealing these areas first can make a tremendous impact.

For more information on how to help save on your heating bill, contact Keystone Propane today.

Free Solutions for Heat Savings

Don’t let this year’s winter weather put a burden on your pocketbook. By following these few simple tips, you will see a noticeable difference in your heating bill without spending any additional money!

Turning Down the Thermostat Does Make a Difference

Did you know that you can save approximately 3% of your total heating costs by turning down your thermostat just 1 degree? Those percentages can add up quickly. Think of how many opportunities there are to turn down the heat when you and your family aren’t home. Remember to adjust your thermostat before you leave for work and again at night before you go to bed … you can save a bundle.

Clean Those Heating Vents

Any build-up or blockages in your heating vents could prevent the proper circulation of airflow throughout your home. Without good circulation, the lack of efficiency isn’t only wasting heat … it’s wasting money as well. Be sure to keep your vents clear of debris, carpeting, or anything else that could disrupt airflow and efficiency.

It’s Curtains for You

How and when you adjust your curtains could aid in both warming your home and insulating it at night. Determine which windows in your home are facing south, and open your shades and curtains to let the sunlight in. Closing all your curtains in the evening will help to prevent the warm air from escaping, increasing your overall heating efficiency.

Are You a Fan of Fans?

Fans can quickly disperse the heat in your home, especially if they’re left on longer than needed. It can be extremely easy to forget to turn off a fan after use, so do your best to be aware of fans running longer than absolutely necessary, especially in your kitchen and bathroom.

Close Up That Fireplace

Contrary to popular belief, that cozy fire can actually be stealing the heat from your home when it’s in use. Try to limit the use of your fireplace and always keep the damper closed when not in use.

Contact us today for information on Keystone Propane quality services and how we can help you save on heating costs!