Propane FAQs

SAFE, ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY PROPANE

Beaudry Oil & Propane serves families throughout Minnesota with safe, environmentally-friendly propane for home heating, water heating, cooking, and more. Read answers to these frequently asked questions and learn more about propane.

 
What is Propane?

Propane is a hydrocarbon, sometimes called liquefied petroleum gas, LP gas, or LPG. Propane is produced from both natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Propane is nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless. As with natural gas, an identifying odor is added to propane so that the gas can be readily detected.

 
Is propane the same as natural gas?

No. Propane is a byproduct of either petroleum or natural gas. There is minimal difference when comparing performance level in household or commercial appliances and equipment.

 
Is propane imported like crude oil?

No. Nearly 97 percent of the propane we use is produced here in North America.

 
Who uses propane?

More than 12.6 million U.S. households use propane for home heating and other purposes. Millions more Americans use propane for agricultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation applications.

 
What can propane fuel in my home?

As a clean, versatile energy source, propane is frequently used for home heating, water heating, cooking, clothes drying, and in fireplaces. In outdoor spaces, propane is a widely used energy source for outdoor grills, lighting, and heating for pools and spas. During power outages, propane is often used for standby generators.

 
What size tanks do you offer for residential heating?

We offer 1,000 gallon, 500 gallon, 250 gallon, and 120 gallon propane tank sizes.

 
Is propane safe for the environment?

Yes. Propane is an approved clean alternative fuel as listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act. Propane is a nontoxic fuel that won’t contaminate aquifers or soil.

 
Is propane safe for my family?

Yes. Propane is a very safe fuel when properly used and maintained. As with any energy source, take steps to further ensure your safety, including:

  • Carefully reading the Important Safety Information and sharing that information with your family members.
  • Knowing the location of gas lines so you won’t damage them when digging or working in the yard. Remember to contact Gopher State One Call (811) every time you plan to dig to request an underground utilities locate.
  • Changing or cleaning furnace filters regularly as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Not storing cleaning fluids, oil-soaked rags, gasoline, or other flammable liquids near a gas-burning appliance, as vapors could be ignited by the pilot light.

Read important propane safety information and contact us with additional questions.

 
Do I have to monitor my tank level, or can someone do that for me?

As part of the Beaudry Oil & Propane Automatic Delivery Program, we can monitor the level of fuel in your propane tank. If you prefer to monitor the level yourself, contact us when your gauge reaches 30 percent.

 
Is the cost of propane the same all year, or does it go up and down like gasoline?

Prices can fluctuate throughout the year. Protect yourself from propane price spikes by enrolling in one or more of our cost-saving Customer Program Options, including our Pre-Buy Program and Budget Price Cap Protection Plan.

 
Do I need to pay for the tank you provide?

Use of our propane tank is free, provided you meet annual minimum usage requirements.

 
How do I know what size propane tank I need?

Typically, a 500-gallon tank can hold enough propane to meet the annual energy needs of an average home. However, 1,000-gallon tanks are used for larger homes with swimming pools or spas. Smaller tanks can be used if propane is not your primary heating source.

 
Why does my tank read only 80 percent after a fill?

We typically fill tanks to 80 percent. Propane expands and contracts depending on the weather. A tank filled to 80 percent in the winter might read slightly lower than 80 percent; the colder the temperature, the more compressed the propane inside. Conversely, in summer months, the gauge could read higher. The reading on your tank’s gauge is “approximate” because of this temperature sensitivity.

 
When is the best time to call for a delivery?

We recommend contacting us when your gauge reads 25 to 30 percent. Do not let your tank run too low and end up running out in cold weather. Heavy snowfalls or extreme cold may prevent timely delivery. It’s always best to order in advance.

 
Why and when is a leak test required?

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Code 54 states that a system must be leak tested after an interruption in service, such as when a tank runs out of propane. As an added safety measure, our insurance company also requires an updated leak test on file for all Beaudry Oil & Propane tank sets. Avoid the need for a leak test by monitoring tank levels so you don’t run out of propane.

 
How can I recognize a propane leak in my home?

Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell, like rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray. Propane manufacturers deliberately add the smell to help alert customers of propane leaks. If you detect a propane odor, shut off the valve on the tank and contact Beaudry Oil & Propane immediately.

View our safety information for additional details.

 
How many gallons of propane does the average home use each year?

Every home is different, and every region of the country differs in climate and duration of winter. As an example, homes of 2,000 square feet built within the last 15 years in Central or Eastern Minnesota should be prepared to use between 700 and 850 gallons per year. Usage also depends on home temperature preferences, severity of winter, additional propane appliances in the home (such as a water heater, stove, dryer, or fireplace), and other factors.

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