Sick of suffering sticker shock every time you have your propane tank filled? Always worried you won't have enough in your budget to cover the cost? Here's how to keep your home warm, and your propane tank full, without spending a fortune.
01 of 08
Get a tank that's big enough to hold a year's worth of fuel. Then, have it filled in the summer when propane prices are at their lowest. Having a bigger tank may also get you a better rate. Find out if your propane company offers a better deal for bigger fill ups. The savings could justify a tank upgrade.
Not sure what size tank you need? Look over your bills from previous years or ask your provider for a recommendation.
02 of 08
Lock In Your Rate
Propane prices fluctuate, but many companies will allow you to lock in your rate for a small fee. This caps the amount you'll have to pay to fill up but allows you to fill up for less if the current market prices are better than your locked rate. Just lock in once a year, and you'll know where you stand.
If you can, lock your prices during the summer, so you can be sure you're getting the best deal. Set a reminder on your calendar, so you don't forget to call.
03 of 08
Prices can vary widely from one propane provider to another. Use an online comparison site like CheckPropanePrices.com to make sure you're getting the best rate for your area, or call around and check for yourself. If there are several providers in your area, they'll probably be pretty eager to compete for your business.
04 of 08
Snag Every Discount You Can
Propane companies frequently offer discounts for senior citizens and large fill orders. Talk to your provider to see if you qualify for these discounts or any others. Get in the habit of asking every year because you never know when the answer is going to change.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Join a Co-Op
Join a propane co-op, and start taking advantage of the special rates that they've negotiated with suppliers in your area. You may spend $25-$30 on your membership, but that membership could easily save you hundreds of dollars a year.
To find a co-op near you, just type "propane co-op" and your state into a search engine.
06 of 08
Propane companies love to tack on extra fees. When you call to schedule your next delivery, ask for a break down of all related charges. Then, question anything that seems excessive to you.
Some Fees to Watch Out For: fuel surcharges and extra charges for deliveries made during inclement weather, after-hours or on weekends
07 of 08
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
It'll learn your family's habits and dial down the temperature when you aren't home. Some models can even be connected to your alarm system, so the temperature automatically adjusts down any time you put your system in "away" mode.
Want your house to be toasty warm when you get home? Just use an app to bump the temperature back up when you're on your way home.
08 of 08
Use Less Propane
Extend the time between fill ups (and fill up bills), by finding ways to use less propane. Some ways to do that:
- Have your furnace and hot water heater serviced annually to ensure they're working as efficiently as possible, or perform the maintenance work yourself. Be sure to change out your filters monthly, so you don't put a strain on your heating system.
- Conduct an energy audit on your home. Look for places to beef up insulation, seal cracks and improve the overall efficiency of your home. The less your heat runs, the less propane you'll use.
- Consider replacing old propane appliances with more energy-efficient models. If you've had your current propane stove for 10-15 years, there's probably something more efficient on the market.
- Dress in layers, and add extra blankets to your bed, so you don't have to set the heat quite so high to stay comfortable.