Imagine a world without propane. Maybe we’ve somehow been sucked into a Stranger Things’ Upside Down world where propane doesn’t exist, or perhaps it’s a Christmas Carol situation where we’re ushered through an alternate reality as a warning to appreciate what we have.
Either way, a world without propane fuel, would lead to more problems than you might imagine.
Even though this video is about oil and gas, it offers some perspective on the unexpected roles petroleum products play in our lives:
Let’s stroll through this bummer of an alternate universe and see what we would be missing.
You wouldn’t get the benefits of propane for:
Energy Bill Savings
So many people use propane to heat their homes because of its cost-effectiveness. Propane is an energy efficient fuel, able to do the job of other energy sources at a lower cost. When you use it for home heat and propane appliances, those savings on heating and cooling can add up!
Some of the most popular propane appliances are tankless water heaters for the perfect water temperature, propane clothes dryers, and propane stoves — all household machinery used with such regularity that if we didn’t have propane, the costs would be adding up instead.
In this sad, cold, propane-less world, we would be missing those energy savings big time.
Carbon Footprint Reduction
As an alternative fuel, propane shrinks carbon footprints. It was included as part of the Clean Air Act of 1990 because its low emissions reduce air pollution overall, especially when used in the replacement of fuels like diesel.
And although electricity is heralded as an energy crisis savior, it isn’t a perfect source. The batteries that power electric vehicles are made from mining materials that cause significant environmental harm, and most electricity is created by burning coal — which produces the emissions that electricity is meant to negate in the first place.
Without propane’s role in diversifying our energy sources, we would have far higher pollutants affecting our environment overall and it would be harder to reduce your carbon footprint.
Hot Air Balloons
If you’ve ever been to a balloon festival, you know what a treat it is to see airborne hot air balloons floating against a blue sky. And if you’ve been inside one for a ride, that view is something you’ll never forget.
Without propane, the world would miss out on the chance to be inspired by Semakaleng Mathebula, South Africa’s first Black female hot air balloon pilot.
Hot air balloons use propane to create the fuel pressure needed to fly up, up, and away — so without it, life looks much more landlocked and less awe-inspiring!
Almost 6 million homes in the United States use propane to heat their homes — and that’s not even counting people and businesses who use it for the other purposes listed here, and more. That much use creates a lot of need for technicians, making the propane industry a major job-creator. The propane industry employs drivers, executives, administrators, dock workers, and more! Without propane, those employees wouldn’t benefit from the steady and safe work environment created by the industry.
Sometimes, you’ve just gotta hit the road. RVs make doing it more comfortable, largely thanks to propane!
Propane is used instead of gasoline for RVs, which need more power due to their size, and RV owners love it because it’s less expensive than gas and widely available.
Propane is also used to run RV heating systems, providing hot water and powering stoves and refrigerators. (Remember — propane isn’t just a source of heat, it’s a source of overall power! You can use it for refrigerators and even air conditioners.)
In this world without propane — poof! These conveniences either disappear or become significantly more expensive. It’s enough to make you want to park the RV and stay home.
Propane camp stoves allow us to cook while still immersed in nature. Propane tent heaters keep us from shivering in our sleeping bags. And moving from site to site is possible with the propane power of RVs.
Without propane, poof! Camping looks a lot more like roughing it and a lot less doable.
Propane school buses are having a real moment. A study at a Georgia school district have recently shown that children who ride to school in propane-powered buses instead of traditional diesel buses scored higher on tests and had improved cognitive function.
The switch to propane bus fleets has been an asset for health reasons due to propane’s low emissions and monetarily since America is amid booming diesel prices.
If we didn’t have propane to lean on during these times, our mass transportation systems would be stuck in the smoggy, expensive past instead of innovating a healthier way forward.
Propane forklifts make lifting heavy things more accessible and cheaper and save precious time during a factory workday or on a job site.
Rather than electric models that have to be plugged in and charged, propane forklifts give you a full, uninterrupted day of work with no hassle. Plus, you can use them outdoors or indoors in ventilated areas.
Without propane, forklift use becomes cumbersome, which is the opposite of how it’s supposed to be.
Pools heated by propane are such a gamechanger for pool owners. They allow pool season to start earlier in the spring and last into the fall by giving you the perfect pool temperature, and they’re significantly less expensive than electric models.
Plus, using propane for pools allows you to pre-buy your gallons and save money.
Without propane pool heat, you’re at risk of paying way more for your heated pool than you need to, on top of the cost of maintaining your pool all on its own. Not having propane makes the comfort of a heated pool far less attainable — and night swimming way less possible.
There’s a lot of talk about “aesthetic” these days — dreamy visuals that make everyday life feel a little more appealing. And nothing says aesthetic like glowy string lights across a backyard, a fire pit with sparkling, colored glass, or an outdoor fireplace.
These elements add an “it factor” and pop to backyards that wouldn’t be attainable without propane. Portable propane tanks allow you to park your fire pit wherever you want or set up an outdoor kitchen to make pizza under the stars. Without it, these activities stay indoors, and you’re back to switching on your harsh floodlights if you want light outside.
The cannabis industry has been steadily growing (see what we did there?) for years, and many farmers turn to propane for its versatility in producing quality products.
Propane allows for the precise temperature-controlled needed for cannabis greenhouses to thrive. It’s also used to coax oil from leaves that create extracts, which are popular because they offer an alternative to the traditional ingestion method of smoking dried leaves.
Innovations in a field that’s currently all about forward motion wouldn’t be made as rapidly, safely, or affordably without propane.
And these uses are just the tip of the iceberg!
It’s time to wake up from this bad dream and/or leave the Upside Down! Propane is here to stay, and it’s a good thing — it touches our lives in so many ways that we would feel its absence.
If you would like it to have more of a presence in your life, get in touch. We’ll be happy to help with all of your propane needs.