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How to choose the right propane storage tank for your home

propane tanks west virginia For people who only use propane for a freestanding grill, fire pit or patio heater, the only size container they’ve known is probably a portable 20-pound cylinder. Making the switch to propane for home heating or hot water means familiarizing yourself with the different stationary propane tank sizes.

At Roach Energy, our team has lots of experience helping new propane customers in the Eastern Panhandle region identify the right tank for their needs. Here’s a rundown of the standard tank sizes and factors we consider for choosing a propane tank.

Common propane tank sizes

There’s a range of propane tank sizes, from compact tanks meant to power one or two appliances to huge commercial models that hold tens of thousands of gallons.

It’s worth noting that propane companies only fill tanks to about 80 percent. Like water, propane expands with heat fluctuations, but its volume increases 17 times more than water. Leaving 20 percent empty space in a tank accounts for this volume change.

Here is a basic primer on standard residential tank sides and what they’re used for:

120-gallonOne or two appliances like ranges, dryers, space heaters or a water heater
250-gallonLarge propane appliances like water heaters, pool heaters or generators.
500-gallonWhole-home heating for an average household
1,000-gallonHeating and appliances for a larger home or commercial building

Choosing the right size propane tank

When the Roach Energy team works with a new propane customer, we consider the following variables:

  • Home size and number of appliances. How large a home heating system is involved, and how many additional appliances need fuel? With this information, we can see how much fuel your home will need each month.
  • The people living in your home. Older people and infants often require higher indoor temperatures, and remote workers will run heat longer than people who commute.
  • Plans for the future. Do you intend to move in an elderly relative, have a baby or build an extension on your house? All of these will increase your propane usage.
  • Regional climate. Homes located at higher altitudes and in areas with harsh winters will need more fuel than homes in milder climates.
  • Tank placement. Are you planning to bury your propane tank? Some tank sizes are not available for underground placement. Additionally, underground tanks require more coordination to install than aboveground models. You’ll need to excavate your property, and there might be additional permitting.

Roach Energy can handle any propane tank installation

Whether you’re adding propane to your home or looking to switch from a propane company that’s let you down, the Roach Energy team can take care of your tank and gas line needs. We sell and lease propane tanks in many sizes. Our technicians will work with you to find the right one for your home, then handle installation quickly and safely.

We’re also ready to be your dependable, responsive propane delivery partner!

Get in touch with us today to become a customer.

You can enjoy a cozy, fiery hearth without lugging the wood

propane fireplace west virginia We’re well into fall in the Eastern Panhandle region. Temperatures are low in the evening and only getting lower, so lots of people are spending their nights indoors. What could make a night cozier than a beautiful fire in your hearth?

Of course, not every home has a functional fireplace with an open chimney. And even if you have a working wood-burning fireplace, building a fire safely requires a lot of work and attention.

That’s why the team at Roach Energy recommends that customers explore their gas fireplace options. We carry propane-fired gas logs from trusted manufacturers, including Heat & Glo, Monessen, Quadra-Fire, SimpliFire, and Vermont Castings. Here’s how gas logs work.

How gas logs work

Gas logs are composed of ceramic logs and piping. They’re placed within a hearth or stove. Propane passes through ports in the piping, where it’s ignited and provides a steady, controlled, stunning flame.

Gas logs have a safety pilot, which prevents gas from escaping into your living area. You can control the flame with a dial or remote. One signal turns on the fire, and another turns it off. No mess, no hazards — just perfect ambiance and warmth!

What gas logs are made of

To hold up under continuous high temperatures, the most common materials for gas logs are ceramic or refractory cement mixes. Some products are reinforced with steel, too. Although there might be some color changes on your gas log’s façade over time, it will maintain its structural integrity and remain attractive after many roaring fires.

Choosing between a vented and vent-free gas log

Vented and vent-free gas logs are produced for different spaces. A vented gas log might be your best choice if you have a fireplace with an open chimney. It will make a larger, more stunning orange flame than a vent-free product. On the other hand, you will need to keep your chimney’s damper open continuously to vent byproducts from combustion. This makes vented gas logs less effective as supplement heat options.

Conversely, a vent-free product doesn’t require an open chimney. Its flames are more contained and less realistic compared to a vented gas log. However, it produces more powerful heat for your living space, a special bonus in the winter.

Cleaning and maintaining a gas log

Like most propane-fired products, having a professional clean and inspect your gas log every year is a good idea. A Roach technician can look at your gas log, perform adjustments and calibrations on the equipment, perform safety inspections, thoroughly clean it and make any needed repairs.

Our team has installed and serviced many gas logs. We can assess your existing fireplace or hearth and help figure out the best product for you. Then, we can seamlessly install and service it annually to ensure many years of wintertime comfort!

Contact the Roach Energy team for an appointment to explore your gas fireplace options.

Explaining how your home’s heating oil is made

heating oil service west virginia At Roach Energy, we’ve filled countless tanks in the Eastern Panhandle region with premium heating oil. Many of our heating oil delivery customers ask about the product we deliver. Where does heating oil come from? How is it different from other oil products? Why does it now seem to burn cleaner than the oil they grew up with?

We’re always happy to discuss the fuel we sell. Here are some answers to frequent questions we receive.

How is heating oil made?

Heating oil — sometimes called no. 2 heating oil — comes from crude oil pulled from the ground through wells. Petroleum products like heating oil, diesel and gasoline come from crude oil that has been refined through fractional distillation.

This distillation process involves heating the oil to a temperature of over 1,000 degrees! This removes impurities that can harm equipment like car engines or, in the case of heating oil, your furnace or boiler.

How is heating oil different from other crude oil products?

Heating oil goes through a different production process than the gasoline you put in your car. Among other things, gasoline contains additives that aid its performance in car engines. This means gasoline can break down much quicker than heating oil.

Home heating oil is much closer in composition to diesel. Indeed, they’re nearly identical. One of the main differences between the diesel in a truck and the heating oil in your home is that heating oil isn’t subject to the same taxes.

Another comparable oil product oil is kerosene. Kerosene is distilled at a much higher temperature than no. 2 heating oil and has a lower “gel point.” It can withstand more frigid conditions. It also burns much hotter, so you need special equipment to use it.

How has heating oil changed in recent years?

Today’s heating oil is more efficient and cleaner than the product your grandparents used. It’s now ultra-low sulfur, and the heating oil industry is incorporating biofuel. Biofuel is a cleaner-burning product made from organic and recycled materials like:

  • used cooking grease
  • soybean oil
  • inedible corn oil
  • algae

The resulting blend reduces carbon output significantly. It’s also much easier on your heating equipment. This means less wear and tear and fewer repairs!

Is heating oil a good home fuel?

Heating oil is one of the most effective ways to warm your home. Let’s compare heating oil’s heat output to natural gas. Heat output is measured in British thermal units (Btu’s):

  • Heating oil produces 138,690 Btu’s per gallon.
  • Natural gas produces 1,030 Btu’s per cubic foot,

One gallon of oil gives off the same amount of heat as 135 cubic feet of natural gas. Heating oil is a more efficient choice.

Heating oil is also safe for your home. It will not explode. In fact, it can’t even burn as a liquid. That’s why your oil-fired heating system must heat your oil to 140 degrees to vaporize it for burning. Oil heating systems also have a very low risk of carbon monoxide infiltration. They are equipped to shut down if the burner malfunctions.

Interested in receiving Roach Energy’s top-quality heating oil? Join our family of happy customers!

Choose the best cylinder size for your barbecue and keep it filled!

grill tank options west virginia Now that it’s football season, countless backyard chefs across Berkeley, Morgan, Jefferson and Washington County are firing up their grills each gameday. And if you’ve just invested in a new propane grill, you’re in for a treat. There are fantastic reasons that propane is the most popular barbecue fuel in the U.S.:

  • Propane is clean burning, with no chemical taste or smell.
  • Propane’s flame is powerful and adjustable for maximum temperature control.
  • Propane grills require virtually no prep — just turn the knob and light the burners!
  • Propane grills are incredibly easy to clean.

Of course, you want to ensure that you have sufficient fuel for your propane grill. Here’s a primer on choosing the proper propane tank for your cookout.

Can you connect your grill to your home’s propane tank?

Yes, a trained propane technician like the team members at Roach Energy can connect your grill to the same tank that serves your home’s heating, water heater, indoor cooking and other gas appliances.
There are pros and cons to fueling a propane grill with a stationary propane tank:

ProsCons
• No more transporting and attaching portable propane cylinders. Your fuel will be replenished with each home propane delivery.

•  You’re extremely unlikely to run out of propane in the middle of grilling.

• Your freestanding grill won’t be able to move.

Your home will need more frequent propane deliveries.
• You have an increased risk of losing propane, either because you accidentally leave a grill burner open or because of a damaged outdoor gas line.

What portable tank sizes work in propane grills?

Here are some standard portable tank sizes and their uses:

Tank SizeUses
 20-pound, 30-pound and 40-pound  tanks Used for grilling, fire pits, outdoor heaters and other smaller gas appliances.
 33-pound tank Almost exclusively used for forklifts.
 100-pound tank Used for larger appliances, like large barbecues, clothes dryers and temporary commercial heating.

While all these sizes are typically compatible with a propane grill’s connections, the most common grill tank size is a 20-pound propane tank (sometimes called a 5-gallon tank). The storage underneath most freestanding grills is designed for a 20-pound cylinder. It’s the primary size sold at gas stations, garden stores and hardware stores.

Should you refill or exchange a portable propane tank?

It is often more cost-effective to refill your portable propane tank rather than exchange it. When you refill a propane cylinder, you save money because you only pay for the fuel that goes in. At a tank exchange, you lose any propane left in the tank you’re turning in.

And if you live in the Eastern Panhandle region, then Roach Energy has you covered. We supply multiple propane tank refill and exchange stations in this region. You can enjoy the same premium-quality propane that our home delivery customers receive, and you’ll have a dependable cylinder supplier right nearby!

Are you interested in setting up a recurring propane delivery service for your home? Contact Roach Energy today to become a customer.

We carry a range of sizes — and can handle gas line installation too!

propane tanks west virginiaAbout 50 million American homes use propane in some capacity. This clean-burning, energy-efficient fuel powers a wide variety of systems and appliances, including:

  • furnaces and boilers
  • water heaters
  • ranges, cooktops, and ovens
  • grills
  • clothes dryers
  • fireplace inserts and gas logs
  • space heaters and fire pits
  • spa and pool heaters

And those are just a few of the fantastic uses that American households count on propane for.

Daily, the Roach Energy team speaks to homeowners in the Eastern Panhandle region who are interested in a switch to our service. Some are building new properties or converting to propane from another energy source. Some just want a more dependable fuel provider.

Probably the most common concern they have is how disruptive the change to a new propane tank will be. Let us put your mind at ease about propane tanks.

Making it each to switch to Roach Energy

Many of your home’s vital systems rely on propane, but that doesn’t mean your comfort has to be interrupted by installing a new tank.

When you choose to buy or lease a tank from Roach Energy, our staff will evaluate your needs. We have over 70 years of experience keeping families warm and comfortable. We know what to account for. Our experts will factor in:

  • the size of your home.
  • how many people live with you.
  • how old they are.
  • how many propane appliances you have.

From there, we’ll find an above-ground or underground tank that fits your home just right.

If we’re putting an aboveground tank in place, the installation is pretty straightforward. We’ll make sure to set the tank at a safe distance from your property. The only thing we might need to do ahead of time is lay down a concrete slab under the tank.

Installation of an underground tank is more complex, but Roach Energy has the knowledge to do it. We can excavate your property to bury your tank. It will be placed free of septic tanks and other buried objects.

The right propane tank (and gas lines) for your home

Roach Energy has a variety of tank sizes for our customers. Here are some of the most common sizes and the type of homes they serve:

  • 120-gallon tank – This smaller aboveground tank can fuel one or two appliances, like a stove, water heaters or hearth product. The underground tank can hold more fuel and will service up to three appliances.
  • 500-gallon tank — This tank is perfect for whole-house heating and multiple appliances.
  • 1,000-gallon tank — This tank will serve a large home with many propane appliances, including fuel-intensive products like pool heaters.

The propane experts at Roach Energy are also trained to install gas lines to connect your new storage tank to your home appliances. Once you’re set up, you can take advantage of the most reliable propane delivery in the region!

Our team is always ready to help you get the proper fuel storage and delivery for your home. Contact us today.

Offering multiple delivery services for heating oil & propane

fuel delivery west virginiaAt Roach Energy, we appreciate that being a heating oil or propane partner is a serious responsibility. Eastern Panhandle households depend on us for reliable heat and hot water. Our propane customers often need us for cooking and drying laundry too.

So, we offer fuel delivery options you can tailor to your family’s specific needs, including automatic delivery and will call service.

How automatic delivery works

Whether your home uses heating oil or propane, Roach Energy offers a stress-free, no-fee automatic delivery option. Once you enroll in automatic delivery, we take care of all your fuel tracking. Here’s what we do:

  • Our computerized system looks at your past usage to determine how quickly you use your oil or propane.
  • We also account for current weather conditions.
  • If you’ve added construction to your home, installed new oil or gas-fired appliances or welcomed more family members, we’ll adjust your schedule. (Please keep us informed of these changes as they happen.)
  • Using this data, we estimate your tank levels and deliver more fuel before your run too low!

There’s no charge to receive automatic deliveries, and you don’t have to purchase more fuel to participate. We only deliver fuel when you need it, and you’ll only pay for what you receive.

Benefits of going automatic

Most of our customers choose automatic delivery for their heating oil or propane needs. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it option that allows you to say goodbye to some annoying things that come with will call service, including:

Checking gauges and meters — You can forget about trekking outside your propane tank or trudging downstairs to your oil tank to see how much fuel is left.

Scheduling deliveries and waiting in line — When you track your own fuel levels, you’re responsible for calling for a delivery. On automatic delivery, your refill is scheduled well in advance!

Running out of fuel — You know that sinking feeling when your shower turns cold because of a heating oil run-out? What about when your stove won’t light because you’re out of propane? And then there’s the fear of losing heat when a blustery snowstorm is in the forecast. With automatic delivery, run-outs are a thing of the past.

Leak test fees — If your propane tank runs out of fuel entirely, we’re required to perform a leak test before bringing it back online.

Simply put, automatic delivery promises a full tank and total peace of mind.

Will Call service you can trust

If you want to track your own fuel levels and choose when to receive your heating oil and propane, we also provide will call delivery service. In fact, our Martinsburg heating oil customers can get their fuel on the same day if they call us before 3 p.m.

Bear in mind, will call customers are responsible for keeping tabs on their tank levels, and we recommend that you call us when your tank is around 30 percent filled.

Are you looking for a home comfort partner who takes your needs to heart? Join the Roach family of customers!

SimpliFire products offer affordable, clean, modern space heating

fireplace installation west virginiaAt Roach Energy, we’re already performing annual tune-ups on heating systems in preparation for the colder seasons to come. We’re also fielding questions from customers in the Eastern Panhandle region about supplemental heating.

Certain rooms in your home need to be as cozy and stylish as possible: living rooms, master bedrooms and dining rooms, for example. One of these rooms might have a fireplace, but wood fires require time and effort to start and clean up. And you can’t leave one unattended safely.

Other rooms have no fireplace option at all, and you want something more attractive than a space heater.

That’s where SimpliFire electric fireplaces come in. They’re easy to install and can go anywhere in your home. They provide excellent space heating and a stunning, contemporary design accent that captivates your friends and family.

All the warmth and allure of fire — none of the mess!

When people think of electric fireplaces, they often mainly think of their visual appeal. That’s understandable. SimpliFire products provide unparalleled visuals that you can adapt to any space. These include:

  • realistic, spellbinding imagery
  • glowing ember colors that you can adjust to your preferred design
  • ambient backlighting
  • crystals and driftwood logs for three-sided products

But these products also provide space heating up to 5,000 Btus per hour — 10,000 Btus for built-in electric fireplaces.

As with a propane fireplace insert or gas log, you can control this supplemental heat with a remote. No lugging logs inside or stoking a flame on your hands and knees. There is no sweeping of ashes, ruining your clothes in the process. You also don’t have to pay for a chimney cleaning every year!

Plus, if you want to keep enjoying your alluring electric flames during the summer, you can run these products without heat.

No fireplace? Not a problem.

If you have a drafty, dusty, unused hearth in your home, we can fill it with a SimpliFire Electric Insert or Built-In Electric Fireplace. These products are framed to fill your fireplace opening snugly and attractively.

But what if you don’t have a fireplace to fill? That’s a-okay!

SimpliFire’s Wall-Mount, Allusion, Scion, Scion Trinity and Format series products are all designed to work without an existing hearth. The Roach Energy team can install a gorgeous electric fireplace in the center of a wall in your dining room or the corner of your bedroom. You can enjoy its cozy warmth and enchanting glow all year round. You’ll be amazed how a SimpliFire product transforms your living space!

Now’s a great time to get that electric fireplace you’ve had your eye on. We have plenty in stock, from traditional to contemporary. But supplies won’t last forever — get in touch with us now!

Have your gas hearth cleaned and inspected today!

gas fireplace service west virginiaBelieve it or not, it will soon be fall, and you’ll be snuggling up in front of a cozy fire. If you have a propane insert, gas log, or stove, you benefit from a clean-burning, energy-efficient flame that minimizes cleaning for your chimney flue.

However, it’s still crucial to schedule yearly cleaning and maintenance for your propane-fired hearth or stove appliance. This will ensure the performance, safety, and longevity of your equipment. Roach Energy performs affordable cleanings and inspections throughout the Eastern Panhandle region.

Why should you have your propane fireplace or stove cleaned?

Maintaining your propane hearth products has similar benefits to servicing your propane furnace or boiler. It pays off dividends in system performance and fuel use:

Your hearth or stove will look better — Our technicians can fix cracks, obstructions and blemishes on your insert or gas log.

You’ll save money on propane — Over time, the vents of your propane hearth equipment can become blocked with debris. This reduces efficiency, meaning you’ll end up using more fuel. Professional cleaning gets all the gunk out and restores an efficient flame.

Cleaning extends your equipment’s lifespan — The overwork caused by obstructions and compounding wear and tear reduces the life of your hearth or stove product. We can catch lingering issues before they lead to a total breakdown.

It provides peace of mind — Gas logs and other propane-fired inserts are incredibly safe. Still, on rare occasions, they can need repairs. Yearly service makes sure you get all the comfort and none of the hazards.

What happens during propane fireplace service?

We perform an affordable, thorough cleaning and inspection that covers all the vital components of your appliance. We’ll do a complete diagnostic tear-down and then reassembly to confirm your hearth or stove is clean and working correctly. This service includes:

  • a full cleaning
  • inspection of the appliance, fire-up unit and venting
  • adjustments and calibrations

We even change the batteries on your remote or receiver box!

Roach Energy also offers service contracts on supplemental heating equipment. It includes annual cleaning and inspection and provides priority repair service and discounts on parts and labor.

Now is the best time to schedule your annual cleaning. We still have plenty of available appointment times. Contact us to request service.

Avoid huge fuel bills & stabilize your finances

payment options west virginiaIt’s been a rough year for financial planning. If you’re like us, you hold your breath every time you pull into a gas station. When planning a trip to the supermarket, you wonder how much more chicken will cost this week.

We wish we could tell you exactly how much heating oil and propane will cost in the coming weeks. We can say that propane has been affected less by price increases than heating oil, but neither have been immune to market surges.

One thing we know helps is enrolling in our monthly payment program. And it’s not too late to sign up before the temperatures drop and your fuel bills begin to rise.

What is a monthly fuel payment plan?

Our monthly payment plan protects you from billing fluctuations with heating oil and propane.

When you pay for fuel in full on delivery, almost all your annual energy expenses fall over a few invoices in the fall and winter. These can be giant expenses, which you need to pay in full at the same time as you might be hosting Thanksgiving, buying holiday gifts or getting ready to pay an income tax bill.

With a monthly payment plan, Roach Energy determines how much propane or heating oil you’ll likely use for the year and spreads that expense over equal monthly installments. How does this help?

  1. Your winter payments are immediately cut in half.
  2. You no longer must guess how much you’ll spend on fuel in a month. Even if you receive two deliveries one month, you only make one payment.
  3. You’ll enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your tank will stay full and your monthly payments won’t skyrocket.

Don’t worry. If fuel prices go down and stay lower, we’ll adjust your plan. In the end, you will only pay for the fuel you actually received at the price on the day you received it — not a penny more.

What comes next

We’ve seen some hopeful signs in the energy market. Many fuel suppliers are being conservative in importing product right now because they expect prices to go down soon. We sincerely hope that’s the case, but no one has a crystal ball.

In the meantime, we hope you consider enrolling in our monthly payment plans. Our customers love the stability it brings. Contact us today to sign up.

Tank Replacement in the Summer is a Wise Move!

oil tank installation west virginiaOil storage tanks have pretty long lifespans, often lasting 30 years or more. Many homeowners have never needed to replace one.

But oil tanks wear out eventually, and if you don’t take the time to inspect your tank, you’re asking for trouble. Especially if your tank is over 20 years old, it could be damaged, corroded, and liable to leak. And while heating oil will not combust in liquid form — even if you were to drop a lit match on it — leaks can lead to costly clean-up bills.

We know that families across West Virginia and Maryland are stretching their budgets to the breaking point. It’s much wiser to replace a failing oil tank than pay to clean up a spill (then replace the tank anyway).

Here are a few telltale signs that your oil tank is nearing the end of its life.

What to look for with your old oil storage tank

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if your tank is deteriorating just by looking at it because most corrosion occurs inside it. But there are some things you can look for that offer clues. These include:

  • oil on the floor near your tank
  • oil smells around your tank
  • condensation and wet spots on your tank
  • pinhole leaks
  • rusting, peeling or bubbling paint
  • dents on the body of your tank
  • unstable tank legs
  • broken vent alarm or fuel gauge
  • cracking or splitting oil lines

In addition, if you noticed an increase in heating oil use last season even though you didn’t use your heat and hot water more often, it could be because your tank is corroded or malfunctioning.

Don’t delay — call in the pros from Roach Energy

It’s crucial not to wait if you notice any of the warning signs listed above. The experienced, skilled technicians from Roach Energy can inspect your tank, inside and out, and provide options for how to proceed.

Many of the problems above can be repaired, but others mean you’ll need a new oil tank. We’ll work with you to select the right model for your home. Then, we’ll get your new storage tank installed, your oil transferred and your old tank out the door, quickly and safely.

Summer is a great time to make the switch since you don’t have to worry about interruptions in your home heating, and our technicians have more availability to meet your schedule. And you’ll be thrilled with your new tank — modern oil storage tanks are lightyears ahead of the older models. They have amazing features, like galvanized steel bodies, protective coating, double-wall construction and leak detection.

If you suspect your longtime heating oil storage tank has deteriorated, get in touch with us today. We’re ready to help!