mdygsmin, Author at Midway Gas
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A Quick Guide to Propane Tanks of all Shapes and Sizes

propane tanks virginia If you’re readying this, you’re likely familiar with portable propane tanks; those being the ones you use with an outdoor grill. Typically, they’ll give their capacity in pounds, which ranges from 5 pound at the lightest to 100 pounds at the heaviest.

But are you familiar with the sizes of residential propane tanks? These tanks are noticeably bigger, helping to heat and power your household. These will have their size is given via water capacity volume in gallons.

Now, since propane is stored in a liquid state under pressure, it needs room to expand into a vapor. That’s why propane tanks are “filled” to 80% of its water capacity. For example, a 120-gallon tank will hold approximately 100 gallons of propane when completely full.

When it comes to residential propane tanks, size matters, and while there’s no “typical” size, most households require tanks with a capacity from 150 and 500 gallons.

How Do I Determine the Tank Size I Need?

To know what size tank you need, you need to know how you will use your propane. Are you using it just for cooking, or for heating water, heating your home, and more? There are a lot of variables to consider, and the pros at Midway can help you take the guesswork out of calculating the best size tank for your needs:

  • 40- to 100-pound cylinders: If you plan to use propane for a gas grill, patio heater, outdoor cookstove, or for an RV, a refillable portable cylinder tank in this range is what you want.
  • 120-gallon propane tank: This size tank is perfect if you only use propane for water heating or space heating, or to fuel a single range or clothes dryer; one or two appliances at most.
  • 150-gallon propane tank: If you have one or two low-Btu appliances, such as a water heater, cooking range, space heaters, wall heaters or a clothes dryer, this size tank should provide ample propane supply for those uses.
  • 250-gallon propane tank: For three or more propane appliances like ranges, water heaters, or fireplaces—but not a furnace or boiler—this size is likely a great option.
  • 500-gallon propane tank: This size tank is recommended if you heat your entire home with propane; especially so if you live in an area with a long, cold winter season. You’ll have enough propane to also fuel appliances including fireplaces, ranges, and water heaters.
  • 800- to 1,000-gallon propane tanks: This capacity will fuel an extra-large home or small commercial business heated with propane that also uses several propane appliances as well as high-Btu propane appliances like pool and spa heaters.

Once we’ve helped you determine the best size tank for your needs, our team of professionals can help determine the best location for your tank and make sure it’s installed safely. We’ve been installing tanks for all kinds of homes and businesses for more than 50 years.

Looking for Local Propane Delivery or Tank Installation? Call Midway!

In addition to a safely installed tank, you’ll want to be sure you have reliable propane delivery service to ensure you always have the propane you need.

You want a company that puts customers first. That inherently means offering fair, transparent pricing, but it also means offering real value and true reliability, with products and services designed to make your life easier. And it’s what makes Midway Bottled Gas the local favorite for prompt, reliable, courteous propane delivery service to homes and businesses across southwest Virginia.

Whether you’re a new homeowner who’s never run a home with propane, or you just need to replace your tank, Midway’s experts can help you understand all your options when it comes to propane tank sizes. Contact us today.

Easily Heat Those Cold, Unheated Spaces in Your Home!

space heater virginia Do the words “propane space heater” conjure an image of something you’d plug in to heat a workshop or haul out only in the case of an emergency? You might be surprised to know that that there’s a whole category of propane space heaters designed to efficiently—and attractively—provide supplemental heat in your home!

If you have a drafty, hard-to-heat room in your home, you’ve probably tried everything. But if you’re trying to heat an addition, an attic, or another uninsulated space, you know that cranking up your thermostat only gets you higher heating bills. Portable electric heaters often blow fuses, or short out, and they can be unsafe if they tip over.

Imagine a solution that would keep that space warm and comfortable all winter, without driving up your heating bill. That solution is a propane space heater . Here’s a few things you need to know:

Understanding the Benefits of Propane Space Heaters

Propane space heaters make it easy to get more use out safely and cost-effectively of any chilly space or room in your home.

Here are a few of the benefits that make propane space heaters (and gas log sets!) a great option for your home:

  • They’re easy to install.
  • They’re extremely safe and efficient (up to 99.9%).
  • They produce fewer emissions than their electric and fuel oil counterparts.
  • They generate almost no noise while operating.
  • They come in slim, compact designs that easily fit into just about any space.
  • They produce balanced, reliable, and continuous temperature control without a hefty price tag.

Propane Space Heaters Come in Several Styles and Options

When it comes to choosing a propane space heater, you have a lot of options. Do you want a wall-mounted or freestanding unit? Do you want radiant or forced-air heating? Do you want a vented heater or an unvented—also called a vent-free—heater? What’re the differences?

  • A vented heater funnels the combustion exhaust from the back of the heater into a chimney or vent that safely sends it outside. Vented heaters are fixed in place, sometimes mounted to a wall.
  • A vent-free heater is free-standing and portable. They’re extremely efficient, too. Because they are not vented, they come with an oxygen-depletion sensor (or ODS) that immediately shuts off the gas supply to the burner whenever oxygen levels drop beyond a certain point.

Still not sure which propane space heater is right for your space? Don’t worry, the professionals at Midway Bottled Gas can help you choose the size and type of heater that will best serve your needs and then install and maintain it for you! We sell and install models from leading brands, including Empire and Heatstar, in sizes to suit all spaces.

Midway has become the local favorite for reliable propane deliveries and propane products in southwest Virginia—we’ve been serving customers for more than 50 years. Our customers trust us for good reason! Find out for yourself by contacting us today or come and stop by our Radford showroom during regular business hours.

Get the Warmth and Style of a Fireplace—Without a Chimney!

gas fireplace virginia Nothing beats the cozy charm and warmth of a crackling fire on a chilly night. But what if your home doesn’t have a chimney? Installing a ventless gas fireplace could give you the golden warmth you crave. But what exactly is a ventless gas fireplace? A ventless gas fireplace is an appliance that uses a regulator to produce a fine mixture of gas and air that allows the gas to burn cleanly, without the need for drilling or venting.

All you need is access to propane gas—and an expert in gas fireplace installation. So, if you’re located in Southern Virginia, Midway Bottled Gas has you covered on both! We offer reliable propane delivery service and a great selection of vent-free fireplace inserts, all backed up by experienced pros to handle the job.

What are the Benefits of Ventless Gas Fireplaces?

Truth be told, there’s a lot to like about ventless propane fireplaces.

Because there’s no need for exterior venting, ventless propane fireplaces are super versatile. They can be installed almost anywhere and can even be free-standing. That means you can incorporate the ambiance and warmth into just about any room, including living rooms and family rooms, but also kitchens and dining rooms. Create your dream master suite or a spa-like bathroom escape, just by adding a gas fireplace. You can also convert traditional fireplaces to a maintenance-free propane hearth with a gas log insert.

They also provide efficient supplemental heat without the mess, smoke, and ash of a wood-burning fireplace.

Did you know as much as 90% of the heat from a wood-burning fireplace goes up the chimney? A ventless fireplace is almost 100 percent efficient, even more efficient than a vented gas fireplace, because none of the heat escapes through venting. They’re also much more attractive than a space heater, delivering cozy charm as well as real warmth!

A propane fireplace is also noticeably safer. No more playing with matches and waiting for tricky kindling to catch—you can turn on and adjust the flame with a wall switch or even a remote control and turn it off right when you are done! Additionally, ventless fireplaces are rigorously tested and come with built-in carbon-monoxide detectors. They’ll shut off automatically if CO is detected, or if oxygen levels in the room fall below safe levels.

Ventless Gas Fireplaces Enhance Style and Design

There are a wide range of design options available for these units. Go with the traditional look of a mantle and hearth, including realistic logs, or choose a more sleek, contemporary style. Express your design vision with a long, linear model with stones or glass instead of logs, or turn an odd corner into a striking focal point. We offer a broad range of styles from leading manufacturers, including R.H. Peterson, Heatmaster, Golden Blount, and Empire!

For an Easy Fireplace Upgrade…Contact Midway Bottled Gas!

Whether you’re looking to make upgrades for yourself or to add value for a potential sale of your southwestern Virginia home, adding a ventless propane-fueled fireplace is an easy and affordable option.

Let our team show you how easy and affordable installing a ventless gas fireplace can be. We service and install everything we sell, and we stand by our work. Stop by our showroom or contact us for more information today.

How to Prevent Pressure Problems in Your Propane Tank

propane tanks virginia If you’re used to heating your home with oil, you know that occasionally, it can get cold enough here in southern Virginia and northern North Carolina for your heating oil to gel, and result in problems keeping your home warm. If you have an aboveground propane tank, you might be wondering if your propane supply can freeze or gel when our temperatures fall below 16°F for more than a night.

The good news is that the freezing point for propane is -44°F—which is well below our average low here in Martinsville, which is 29°F, let alone the record low of -7°F in 2015. Suffice it to say, you don’t need to worry about your propane freezing. Nevertheless, our coldest weather can still cause problems for the propane in your tank.

How Can Cold Weather Affect My Propane Heating System?

Like most substances, propane contracts in cold temperatures. If your propane tank is buried, you don’t need to worry. Temperatures need to get extremely cold for a very extended period to affect the propane in an underground tank.

It’s a different situation with an aboveground propane tank. When it’s extremely cold outside, the volume of propane inside your aboveground propane tank will shrink, resulting in a loss of pressure. The problem is, if the pressure becomes too low, the propane inside your tank will not be able to reach your gas burner. That means you may not be able to run your propane appliances, including your furnace or boiler. In addition to no heat, you need to worry about pipes freezing.

3 Ways to Avoid Low-Pressure Problems

  1. Fill your tank–and keep it full! The best way to prevent pressure problems in your propane tank is to keep your tank at least 30% full. The more propane is in your tank, the more positive pressure there will be. When the forecast is predicting a stretch of chilly weather, check the gauge on your tank, and call us for a propane delivery if you’re getting low. Additionally, you can also sign up for our convenient automatic delivery service, which is work, worry, and cost-free!
  2. Keep the snow off your tank. We average about 7 inches of snow all winter, and we don’t often get more than an inch or two at once, but if you notice snow accumulating on your propane tank, brush it off. When sunlight can reach your tank, it keeps the propane inside warmer and slows contraction.
  3. Turn down the heat. It may seem counterintuitive, but another way to reduce pressure problems is to turn down your thermostat. Your furnace or boiler won’t run as often, so it won’t try to draw propane from the tank, allowing the pressure inside your propane tank to rebuild.

Need Propane? Call Midway Bottled Gas Today!

There’s a reason New River Valley region residents trust Midway for dependable propane deliveries, appliance and equipment installations, maintenance and more. We’ve got the knowledge, skills and resources and can answer all your questions about the benefits of a propane-heated home.

Contact us today to learn more.

Understanding the Details of Your Tank

propane tank service virginia With electricity prices so volatile, we’ve been hearing from a lot more customers who are interested in adding propane to their homes in some capacity. Admittedly, there’s a lot to like about propane: it’s an extremely versatile and efficient option for heating your home and much, much more!

One of the biggest reasons people prefer using propane gas for home heating and water heating is that they know they will always have propane on hand when they need it most. That’s because your propane supply is delivered and stored in a tank on your property, so you’ll always have it right on hand. Electric and natural gas customers don’t enjoy that kind of reliable security.

The propane tank is a key part of a propane-fueled home, so here’s everything you need to know about propane tanks to get you more familiar.

What Size Propane Tank Do I Need?

Size matters when it comes to propane tanks. If your propane storage tank is too small, you’ll need to order propane too often—or risk the cost and hassle of runouts. Getting a big tank means you’ll need fewer refills—and you may be able to avoid or lessen the sting of price spikes.

But a bigger tank is, well, bigger! You’ll need space to bury it if you have an underground tank. And if it’s above ground, a huge tank can be less attractive.

Midway offers the biggest range of sizes in the area, from 20-pound cylinders to fire up your grill to 1,000-gallon tanks to fuel the largest homes and local businesses. We can help you determine the best size propane tank for your needs based on the size of your home as well as how many appliances you’ll be fueling.

What are the Benefits of an Aboveground Propane Tank?

An aboveground tank is relatively inexpensive to install. Also, maintenance is made far easier. However aboveground tanks are more exposed to the elements, which can make them a little less durable if they’re subjected to extreme or extended heat and cold. Aboveground tanks are extremely safe. They only require periodic inspections for signs of damage or corrosion to avoid a leak.

What are the Benefits of an Underground Propane Tank?

Because they’re underground, they don’t detract from your view or landscaping. But they are more expensive to install. You need to budget for excavation costs and extra labor to bury your tank properly and safely.

Underground tanks are considered as safe or safer than aboveground tanks because they’re protected from extreme temperature fluctuations. They’re also safer in the event of a leak. Unlike oil, propane can’t harm soil or water, and since the tank is buried, leaking propane can’t escape into the air, causing a fire hazard.

Do Propane Tanks Need a Lot of Maintenance?

Propane tanks typically require little maintenance and they’re built to last a long time. We inspect your tank for signs of age every time we deliver fuel, but you should keep an eye out for rust. A little rust or a few small dings are not a problem, but large or deep patches of rust and bigger dents can cause leaks and allow moisture into the tank—two problems you want to avoid.

Underground tanks also require “sacrificial anodes,” which help prevent corrosion, to be buried near the tank. The tank also needs to have a special anticorrosion coating, and regular maintenance checks to ensure they’re functioning properly.

How Long Does a Propane Tank Last?

Most residential, aboveground propane storage tanks should last about 30 years…although factors like the weather and climate can shorten the lifespan. With proper maintenance, an underground tank should last just as long.

Are Propane Tanks Hard to Install?

Not at all! From permits to your first fill-up, Midway Bottled Gas makes it as easy as changing out your grill cylinder. Following testing and safety inspections, we’ll light pilot lights, check appliances for proper operation and answer any questions you may have about the tank installation, service arrangements or delivery schedules.

Aboveground tanks are quick to install, including a concrete base for stability. Buried tanks take a little more time for excavation, but the process isn’t complicated for our team of propane professionals.

Whether you decide on an aboveground or underground propane tank, know that the team at Midway can make selecting, installing, and maintaining your tank easy. And we’ll provide reliable propane delivery services, too. Contact us for more information today.

5 Reasons This Free Service Makes Your Life Easier

propane company virginia During the fall season, folks get busy, and the pace never seems to slow down. That’s why we’re here to make things easy for you, and one of the ways we can do that best is with our seamless and reliable automatic propane delivery service.

What is Automatic Propane Delivery Service?

It’s a service where we provide timely propane delivery to fill your tank without you having to call us. How does it work? It’s not a crystal ball—we use a proven industry algorithm that’s based on your typical usage combined with local weather trends and average temperatures to know when you will need a fill-up.

The real magic is that automatic delivery helps prevent the expense and hassle of a propane run out. But there are five other reasons that you’ll love automatic propane delivery services, too:

1. Peace of Mind: Running out of fuel is both annoying and uncomfortable any time. If it happens in the middle of the night or during a cold snap, it can become a crisis. Automatic deliveries mean you don’t have to worry about running out of propane, and you can rest easy knowing we won’t let you run out.

2. Convenience: It’s not hard to run down to the basement or outside to check your fuel gauges…but it’s an easy task to forget! The next thing you know, you’ve run out of fuel. Automatic deliveries mean you don’t have to remember to check your tanks or schedule propane deliveries, because we’ll do it for you. You don’t even need to be home on delivery day! You also eliminate the need—and cost—of a pressure test that would come with letting your propane tank go empty.

3. Better Service: When customers enroll in automatic delivery, it helps us schedule our fuel delivery routes efficiently so we can serve more customers. And fewer emergency run-out calls free up our crews for repairs and installations.

4. Savings: A propane run-out can be expensive. There’s the emergency delivery fee, plus the cost of the pressure test that’s mandated for safety reasons. But there’s also the potential cost of the damage if you heat your home with propane and run out during a cold snap and your pipes freeze. A cracked pipe can result in flooding and water damage—not to mention a big repair bill. And automatic delivery service is FREE.

5. It’s Easy: Signing up for this convenient service is a breeze. Just give us a call. If you’ve been a customer for a few years, we can easily plug information from your past bills into our system to calculate your usage. If you’re a new customer, no problem—just answer a few questions about your equipment and appliances, and how many people are in your household.

Looking for Reliable Propane Service? Contact Midway Bottled Gas Today.

Sure, you can still monitor your tank levels yourself, if you prefer. But remember that it’s important to check your gauge at regular intervals so you don’t run too low! The best time to call for a fuel delivery is when your tank reaches about a quarter full. That gives us time to schedule a delivery before you run out.

Who needs another thing to worry about? Contact us today to sign up for worry-free automatic deliveries.

Ventless Propane Fireplaces Offer Affordable Cozy Charm

vent free fireplace virginiaDo you ever wish your home had a fireplace? Think it’s impossible because you don’t have a chimney? Think again! Midway Bottled Gas can help you add the cozy charm of a fireplace, even if you don’t have a flue installed. We’re not talking about a hearth with a plastic log over a lightbulb—we’re talking about real flames, and real warmth, all thanks to ventless and direct vent designs!

The pros at Midway can make it easy to add a gas fireplace to virtually any room in your southwestern Virginia home.

Easy Installation, Endless Warmth, and Timeless Style

With direct vent and vent-free technology, a gas fireplace is easy to install as no chimney is necessary. All that’s needed is access to propane gas:

  • Ventless models have a regulator that produces a fine gas-air mix that allows the gas to burn cleanly, and reduces the fumes associated with traditional gas fireplaces. 
  • With direct venting, a single dual-chambered pipe is installed directly through a wall to the exterior of the home. The pipe simultaneously draws air for the fire from the outdoors, while it expels the fire’s combustion byproducts to the outside.

Because the space requirements between the fireplace and wallboard or wood are minimal, they can be installed almost anywhere. That means you can incorporate the ambiance and warmth into just about any room, including living rooms and family rooms, but also kitchens and dining rooms, too.

Create your dream master suite or a spa-like bathroom escape, just by adding a gas fireplace. You can also convert traditional fireplaces to a maintenance-free propane hearth with a gas log insert.

What are the Benefits of a Propane Fireplace?

Propane-fueled fireplaces add ambiance—but they also provide efficient supplemental heat without the mess, smoke, and ash of a wood-burning fireplace. And a gas log or gas stove is much safer, too. No more playing with matches and waiting for tricky kindling to catch.

You can simply turn on and adjust the flame with a wall switch or even a remote control and turn it off when you are done. No waiting for embers to burn out or worrying that they will flare up again.

An Affordable Home Upgrade for the Winter Season

Whether you’re looking to make upgrades for yourself or to add value for a potential sale, adding a propane-fueled fireplace or stove is an easy and affordable option.

Stop by our Martinsville showroom to see your many available options. Propane fireplaces are available in a range of styles to work with any décor, from traditional to contemporary. We carry trusted brands including RH Peterson, Heatmaster, Golden Blount, and Empire.

Warm Up Your Home by Partnering with Midway Bottled Gas!

Nothing beats the cozy charm and ambiance of a fireplace. Let the team at Midway show you how easy and affordable installing a gas fireplace or stove can be. We service and install everything we sell, and we stand by our work.

Contact us for more information today, and kick back by your own fireplace before the holidays arrive.

Enrollment is Now Open to Help Keep Your Bills Manageable

fuel bill options virginiaWhile some things are inching back to normal, so many things remain unpredictable: the news, the weather, and the price of fuel. Commodities like oil and propane have always fluctuated in price, and those prices have been low for the past few years. And while the price of gasoline has begun to moderate, ongoing disruptions to the supply chain plus geopolitical strife could keep prices volatile—at least for now.

While we can’t control the price of fuel, we can help make your bills easier to handle. Our Monthly Budget Plan is designed to keep your propane bills predictable and eliminate the pain of bigger winter bills!

How Does A Monthly Budget Plan Work?

We know you work hard for your money. Why should you pay for all your propane over just a few months? Midway’s Monthly Budget Plan eliminates those winter spikes and makes it easy for you to plan.

We start by estimating your annual payments based on your past fuel usage. Then, we multiply your annual fuel usage by this year’s projected price and divide the yearly total into 12 even payments. You’ll find your winter bills may be cut by more than half, and the remaining months will usually be lower, too.

Even if it’s extra cold one month and you get two deliveries, you still only pay your regular monthly payment. We only charge you for the fuel you receive at the market price on the day of your delivery. If your actual bills are a little higher or lower than we estimated, we’ll adjust as necessary during the year.

If you like the idea of having a little more cash on hand in the winter, this convenient program is FREE to enroll! And you can enroll any time.

Midway Bottled Gas Makes It Easy!

We’re always looking for ways to make your life easier and reduce your stress. That’s why Midway has so many convenient, no-fee services including online bill pay, paperless billing, automatic deliveries, and more. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can make propane delivery and bills easy for you.

Here’s When—and How—to Shut Off Your Propane Tank’s Supply

propane shut off virginiaFor the most part, you should try to always leave your propane tank alone other than to check the level on the gauge. While propane is completely safe under most conditions, it can be highly flammable, so leaking propane lines can be dangerous. That’s why under certain emergency conditions, you may need to turn it off.

Propane Supply Shut-off

It’s not hard—but it’s important to familiarize yourself with your tank so you know what to do when or if an emergency is at-hand:

  • Know where the shutoff valve is. You tank should have a large round lid with a hinge. When you lift the lid, you should see the gauge and a round knob that looks like a small steering wheel. That’s your shutoff valve.
  • To stop the flow of propane, turn the knob all the way to the right, or clockwise. If you have more than one tank, turn them all off in the same manner.

When to turn off your propane

  • If you smell gas and suspect a leak, turn off the gas at the tank—if it’s safe to do so—and stay outside. Call 911 and your propane provider once you are away from the building.
  • If there has been severe weather, flooding, or a natural disaster and your tank appears to have moved, or if there appears to be damage to the tank or the gas lines. Once you’ve turned off the gas, move away from the area, then call your propane provider 911.

If it feels unsafe to turn off the gas, first move a safe distance away and outside and then call for help. Once you’ve turned off your propane, do not go back in the house until a certified technician has confirmed that it’s safe.

Also, NEVER turn the propane back on yourself. Turning the gas off and on changes the pressure in the lines, which can cause the seals around pipe fittings to contract and create a potential leak. A professional propane technician needs to perform a leak test to check the integrity of these joints and seals. Pressure tests are required by state and federal law, as well as insurance rules.

At Midway, your safety is our number one priority. If you have questions about your tank or propane safety, please contact us any time and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Propane Cylinders Can Do A Lot!

propane appliances virginiaIt’s summertime here in Southern Virginia! Whether you’re grilling on the patio or heading to the mountains or the lake, it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors. Propane can help you make the most of outdoor time with friends and family—and even let you start the season earlier in the spring and extend it to later in the fall. Portable propane cylinders—available in a variety of sizes—make it all easy as can be.

How Propane Improves Your Outdoor Space

You probably know nothing beats the precise temperature control you get with a propane grill. And for most folks, a 20-pound cylinder is the perfect to fire up their portable grill. But there are lots of ways a 20-pound propane cylinder can take your summer outdoor living to the next level:

  • Propane patio heaters — Extend the season! Propane patio heaters can keep you comfortable well into the fall—and early in the spring, too. From full-size standing models to table-top units, the experts at Midway can help you choose the right-sized outdoor heater for your needs.
  • Firepits — What could be better than sitting by a fire under the stars…without ever having to leave your own backyard? From fire pits to fire tables and more, propane adds flare and warmth to your outdoor space without the hassle of firewood.
  • Insect traps — Zap mosquitoes and other pesky bugs by utilizing propane-powered traps that emit CO2 and moisture to attract biting bugs away from you and your pets.
  • Bigger portable tanks — 30- and 40-pound cylinders are ideal to power your camper or motor home when you’re setting up in a more remote location and can’t plug in.

Whatever you need, the pros at Midway can help you choose the right propane cylinder to get the job done. We offer portable tanks in sizes up to 100 pounds. Visit our Martinsville showroom to see our great selection of grills and more! Contact us today for more information.