When it comes to heating your home, there’s a lot to consider. While there’s growing pressure to switch to electric heat, that could be the least efficient option for our climate. That leaves heating oil and propane. So, what’s the best option for your home? If your current system is fairly new and performing well, there’s no reason to change. But if it’s time to replace your old heating system, or you’re building a new home, it’s smart to consider the benefits and downsides of each—and see why propane could be the best option.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the bigger points:
Compared to heating oil, which has basically just one use, propane offers great value due to its versatility. Propane appliances are very efficient, meaning they waste very little fuel in the combustion process. Propane water heaters generate much more hot water at a cheaper cost per gallon. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes that heat water with propane rather than electricity can see average annual savings of $174.
Midway also offers great value: We make it easy to do business with us with convenient automatic delivery service, budget-friendly payment options to keep bills manageable, and friendly and responsive customer service reps to take your call.
There’s a reason homeowners and businesses in southwestern Virginia rely on Midway for propane service. Contact us today to learn more.
When you’re running a food-service business, you need a cooking method that’s fast, precise, and efficient.
That’s why, whether you’ve got an upscale restaurant, a casual diner, a food truck, or a catering business, you want the power and versatility of propane. Propane delivers precise temperature control and fast, consistent heat that enables your team to serve up a high volume of food without sacrificing quality.
But propane offers more benefits that can make a big difference to your bottom line, and impress your customers, too. Here are three ways using propane in your commercial kitchen can have a big impact (that can make sense at home, too!).
Professional chefs prefer cooking with gas for a reason. Propane produces an instant flame with plenty of Btus—that’s heating energy. There’s no waiting for burners to come to temperature. And propane allows for accurate, fast temperature control at the turn of a knob. That means the money you invest on fresh ingredients isn’t wasted on over- or undercooked food.
Another key benefit of propane is the value it brings due to its versatility. Not only is propane utilized in restaurants to heat grill tops and cooktop burners, but it’s also used in a variety of commercial kitchen equipment. Using propane for your commercial kitchen appliances provides you with the sizzle your broiler requires to sear those delicious steaks and chops and flawlessly melt a cheese topping. Not only do Pizza ovens, steam tables, buffets, deep fryers and other appliances run on propane, but propane is an energy-efficient fuel for heating water for sinks and dishwashers. If you do some or all of your establishment’s laundry on-site, it runs clothes washers and dryers, too.
Propane can also help boost revenue by helping you expand your outdoor service. Propane-powered patio and deck heaters, fire pits, and hearths add ambiance while giving warmth and comfort—and extending your outdoor dining season. Propane can also be used to operate outdoor lighting with a warm glow.
With a propane-powered kitchen and a propane standby generator, even the loss of electricity cannot close your doors. A propane standby generator will not only maintain power, but it will also keep your coolers, refrigerators and freezers running and preventing major loss of food. And of course, with Midway’s dependable commercial propane service, you will always have a ready supply.
The restaurant business is very competitive. Midway can customize commercial gas services to help your restaurant or commercial kitchen succeed. Whether you’re an arty bistro, a school cafeteria, or any other food service operation, we’ll work with you to find the right delivery schedule—and adjust it as your needs change. Have multiple locations? We can set you up with wireless tank monitors so you can even track your use across your chain.
Get in touch with us and find out how we can help your food service business thrive.
Hello, summer! Long days and warm nights are perfect for grilling up your favorite foods for family, friends—or the whole block! If your grill’s best days are over, now is the time to add some new sizzle to your deck or patio. Midway has a great selection of propane grills from Broilmaster, Firemagic, and Phoenix and a team of experts who can help you chose the best grill for your needs.
We know there are some people who have strong feelings about whether charcoal grilling is better than gas. But except for a very specific type of barbecue and smoked foods, a propane grill will perform better. In fact, you can achieve a slow cooked, smoked effect with a propane grill with just some simple tricks.
From easier cooking to healthier foods to safety, there are plenty of reasons why propane is better than charcoal.
A propane grill makes outdoor cooking as easy as turning on your kitchen cooktop: Flip a switch, turn a knob and set your heat level. There’s less waiting time, too, because a propane grill is hot and ready to go in about 10 minutes. Compare that to 30 minutes or more to get charcoal hot.
And, just like your gas range, you get precise control with your propane grill. That kind of temperature control means you can grill all kinds of food, from meat to more delicate food, including fish, vegetables and even fruit. You can also close the lid to maximize heat (and increase efficiency). Try that with a charcoal grill, and you’ll smother your coals.
Speaking of efficiency, propane grills are a cinch to clean. They cool down quickly, and just require a once-over with a wire brush to remove food particles. Then wipe down the grate with a cloth dipped in vegetable oil. With charcoal, there’s ash that blows everywhere, and the danger of hot coals that can smolder and reignite.
A propane grill is cost-efficient, too. While a gas grill might be a little more expensive compared to a charcoal set up, a 20-pound bag of charcoal will only get you through three meals, and can cost anywhere from $10 to $60, depending on the type of charcoal you use. On the other hand, filling up a 20-pound cylinder is around $20 and lasts for about 25 grilling sessions.
In addition to the practicalities of actual grilling with propane, there’s one other distinct advantage that make a propane grill the best choice. With a propane grill, you can connect directly to your home’s propane storage tank, eliminating the need for portable propane tanks. You can create your dream outdoor kitchen, with built-in equipment.
Of course, you can always keep a charcoal grill for the ultimate smoky, low and slow barbecue. And, we get it: Some people really like the whole process of setting up the charcoal, messing with lighter fluid, nursing the flame and waiting for the coals to get hot enough. But the bottom line is that propane makes grilling an easy, healthy option for even a busy weeknight, instead of just the weekend.
Ready to see the possibilities? Come visit our Martinsville showroom. Whether you’re looking create a deluxe outdoor kitchen and entertaining space, or just need to replace your old propane grill, Midway has options ranging from basic, classic styles to top-of-the-line built-in units.
Whatever you need, our trained, experienced propane service technicians will safely and properly connect your new built-in gas grill to your home’s propane supply.
Prefer to use a propane cylinder? Take advantage of our convenient cylinder exchange. Contact us today.
Farming and agricultural businesses represents the lion’s share of private businesses in Virginia. Poultry, cattle, dairy farming, corn, and tobacco, along with many other crops, are a big part of our economy, and 90 percent of those operations are family-run. Midway has been supporting locally based, family-run agricultural businesses for decades, and we understand their needs. We know propane is a vital element to keep farms running smoothly and cost-effectively.
We know everyone is feeling the sting of higher energy costs, especially agriculture. But farmers continue to embrace propane because it’s energy efficient—that means more bang for the buck when it comes to all kinds of operations. For example, propane-powered irrigation engines cost less to operate, and deliver high horsepower and low emissions. And crop drying with propane offers such highly efficient performance that you’ll make the most of your profit potential while minimizing any crop loss. That’s why it’s also smart for barn heating: Propane generates more Btus than an equivalent amount of electricity. Here are just a few of the ways it can help you save:
Whether you are growing crops or raising livestock, propane can work for you in many ways:
Ultimately, propane is a smart choice for your modern farm. It’s a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, clean and portable fuel. Propane does not degrade over time, either, and it won’t contaminate your soil or water, which is a real risk with gasoline or diesel if it spills.
Talk to our team. Whatever your needs, we can work with you to develop a delivery schedule based on your usage patterns, the season, and the weather. We’ll make sure you have the right size storage tanks, places conveniently and installed safely. Need a refillable cylinder station to use with mowers, forklifts and other equipment? We can set you up.
We can also help you with back-up generation for essential buildings, so you can keep heat or refrigeration running through a power outage—potentially saving you from big losses.
If you want to learn more about how propane can help your agricultural business thrive, contact the pros at Midway. We’ve been partnering with agricultural businesses of all sizes throughout Southwestern Virginia to help them maximize efficiency and savings. We look forward to helping you, too!
Propane is a clean-burning and safe way to heat both your home and water, as well as run several appliances, too. But propane is a highly flammable gas under certain conditions. As with any fuel, there are certain steps to take to ensure you and your home are safe and comfortable. Leaks are rare, but they can happen. Knowing what to do if you smell gas can help ensure the situation is resolved safely and quickly.
Here’s what you need to know if you suspect a propane leak :
Propane has a distinct rotten-egg smell to help you quickly notice leaking gas. Make sure everyone in your home can recognize the odor. If you smell gas:
Under certain emergency conditions, you may need to turn off your gas at the tank. It’s not hard—but it’s important to familiarize yourself with your tank so you know what to do when it’s an emergency.
When to turn off your propane:
Once you’ve turned off the gas, move away from the area, then call your provider or 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 changes the pressure in the lines, which can cause the seals around pipe fittings to contract and create a 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.
Your safety is important to us! All our technicians are trained and certified to provide safe propane delivery and services. If you have any questions about this information or any other propane safety issues, contact us.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.