While greenhouse gases get a lot of rightfully deserved attention, they aren’t the only clean air challenge we face. Lower in the atmosphere, air quality suffers when a category of emissions known as criteria pollutants interact with sunlight. Criteria pollutants include particulate matter (also known as soot), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide (SOx), and nitrogen dioxide (NOx), compounds that aggravate respiratory conditions. To have cleaner air, we need to reduce criteria pollutants.

Good news – here are seven ways propane is making an immediate and positive difference:

An added bonus: Propane-powered appliances can operate independently from the electric grid, providing reliable and resilient power to homes and businesses when it matters most.

  1. Propane water heaters generate fewer NOx and SOx emissions than conventional electric water heaters. And on average, propane-powered tankless water heaters can supply more than double the amount of hot water per minute that electric tankless water heaters can, ensuring homes and businesses have all the hot water they need.
  2. When compared with electric furnaces, propane furnaces produce up to 35% fewer NOx emissions and 82% fewer SOx emissions. High-efficiency propane furnaces also bring significant cost savings and consistent, comfortable heat, even in the coldest climates.
  3. Propane cooking ranges generate up to 15% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 83% fewer SOx emissions than electric ranges. With precise temperature control and more even heating, it’s no surprise that 96% of professional chefs prefer cooking with gas.
  4. Propane irrigation engines have 8% lower greenhouse gas and 9% lower NOx emissions compared to diesel models. Farmers can feel good about using propane-powered equipment knowing it protects air quality and the land they grow their crops on.
  5. Propane commercial lawn mowers decrease greenhouse gas emissions by up to 17%, NOx by 19%, and SOx by 16% compared to gasoline mowers. For this reason, propane mowers may be permitted to operate when local regulations ban the operation of gasoline-fueled mowers to protect air quality.
  6. Propane forklifts offer a 99% NOx reduction compared to diesel-powered forklifts, equating to better indoor air quality for warehouse crews. When compared to electric forklifts, propane forklifts reduce SOx emissions by 76% with none of the recharging downtime that electric models require.
  7. Propane school buses reduce NOx emissions by 95% and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 13% on stop-and-go routes, compared with diesel buses. Furthermore, propane is the least carbon-intensive type of school bus energy. When you consider that the average U.S. electric grid has a carbon intensity of 130 gCO2eq/MJ, diesel has a carbon intensity of 91, and propane’s carbon intensity is 79, it’s clear to see that propane buses are a smart choice for school districts and students across the country.

Learn more about propane’s environmental benefits.