Propane fundamentals for commercial buildings Propane fundamentals for commercial buildings
Meet your building performance goals.
Pros will find that the fundamental characteristics of propane are consistent not only with their environmental and resilience objectives but also with project goals regarding performance, safety, and occupant comfort. Here’s what building professionals and their clients should know about propane.
IT’S CLEAN ENERGY
Propane can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40 percent compared with electricity in applications such as water heating because much of the nation’s electric power is generated by coal- and oil-fired power plants. Propane has similar advantages over heating oil. For example, recently a Maine YMCA switched from heating oil to propane for its space and water heating, resulting in a CO2 emissions reduction of 183,000 pounds per year — the equivalent of taking 17 cars off the road every year. By using propane and related applications, construction pros can earn points under green building programs, such as the LEED rating system.
IT REDUCES ENERGY COSTS
Many propane systems and appliances are more efficient than their electric counterparts. For instance, more than 100 commercial tankless water heater models with a thermal efficiency of 94 percent or higher are listed in the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute’s Directory of Certified Product Performance. The highest-rated models are rated at 98 percent thermal efficiency.
Propane allows you to construct your buildings with first-rate amenities regardless of where they are located. Propane can fuel a building’s vital systems, including power generation, space heating, and water heating, even if the building is located off the grid, without access to off-site energy sources such as electricity or natural gas.
IT PROTECTS YOUR POWER SUPPLY
Standby generators fueled by propane enable a business to stay open during severe storms that bring widespread power outages. With propane available, on-site generators maintain lighting, refrigeration, heating, and air conditioning, while propane-fueled appliances such as water heaters can continue to operate without interruption.
IT PROVIDES MAXIMUM COMFORT
With options such as energy-efficient propane furnaces, which heat air to a much warmer temperature than electric heat pumps, and propane fireplaces, hearths, and outdoor heaters, which keep guest areas and outdoor patios inviting and toasty, propane amenities and heating systems turn buildings into comforting and appealing destinations.
IT’S DESIGNED FOR SAFETY
Typically used in gas form, propane is stored and transported as a liquid under pressure. Propane is nontoxic and odorless, so processors add a chemical odorant (ethyl mercaptan) to help users detect leaks by way of an easy-to-identify rotten-egg smell. The propane industry’s voluntary Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) helps ensure that propane installation and service personnel are well qualified to handle even the most challenging tasks. In addition, propane is a well-regulated industry that follows the codes and standards set by the NFPA, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, and various state and local regulatory bodies. For more information, go to Propane.com/Safety.