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What’s the Best Choice for Your Home?

water heater installation texas Is it harder to get your water to be as hot as you’d like? Are you noticing your energy bills inching higher and higher without big fluctuation in your hot water usage? Is your hot water looking rusty out of the tap? These are all signs that it’s time to think about replacing your water heater.

If you have a traditional, tank-style water heater that’s hitting the ten-year mark or is already past that, you’re probably used to running out of hot water. On busy mornings, when everyone needs to shower and get out of the house, someone likely ends up with a lukewarm experience. That’s never the best way to start the day! We’ll put this simply: Don’t wait for a breakdown to look for a new hot water heater. Start doing your research now and let the professionals at Pico Propane and Fuels help you install a new more efficient propane water heater.

Do I Choose Tank or Tankless—And What’s the Difference Anyway?

Storage tank water heaters are exactly what they sound like: it’s a big storage tank, typically about 20 to 80 gallons, that keeps all that water hot, so it’s ready when you next need it. These types of units use a thermostat to make sure the water is hot enough when you want to use it, heating water to the set temperature and then reheating it as it cools. This is called “standing heat loss” and it’s the main drawback of this type of water heater. They can use propane or electricity to heat the water—so how much hot water you use can have a big impact on your energy bills.

Storage tank water heaters are quite susceptible to rust and corrosion, which can lead to leaks. You need to stay vigilant for signs of deterioration. Further, you are limited by the size of your tank and how much water it’s able to hold.

On the plus side, storage tank water heaters are relatively inexpensive to purchase. More energy-efficient models have become available, and you can also add additional insulation to reduce heat loss. All that said, they can still end up costing you more to operate in the long run.

A Primer on Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters save energy by instantly heating water the moment when you need it. When you turn on the tap, water flows through the unit and is heated instantly by a propane-fueled heating element. When you turn off the tap, the unit stops heating water. Compare this to the cost of operating a traditional water heater, which requires you to keep a tank holding many gallons of water hot and ready to use all the time.

As a result, you can enjoy virtually unlimited hot water—while seeing savings of up to 40% in your monthly heating costs!

You’ll save space as well as energy. Tankless water heaters are compact—about the size of a suitcase—and can even hang on a wall or in a closet, freeing up room in your basement or utility room. There are several different sizes designed to fit different needs. Rather than total gallons, their output is measured in a flow rate of gallons per minute. The more hot water you need at the same time will require a higher flow rate.

The main downside to a tankless water heater is price—but they will pay for themselves in savings over time, vs a storage tank style, which will cost you more over its lifespan on average.

Ready to Learn More? Call Pico Propane and Fuels!

Want to learn more about your water heating options? The pros at Pico are here to help. We sell and install a broad selection of high-efficiency water—including storage tank and tankless styles, and we can help you choose the best option for your needs. We can also help you take advantage of money-saving rebates, too.

Enjoy energy efficiency and comfort with a new water heater! Contact us today to get started. 

Understanding How to Convert from Oil or Electric…to Propane Gas

propane conversion texas Electricity is essential for a lot of things in your home. That includes necessities like lights, refrigerators, computers, televisions, and phones. But with an unreliable grid and increasingly unpredictable weather, it’s might not be such a great choice for heating your Texas home—especially with unpredictable winter seasons of years past. Natural gas is an option, but the infrastructure isn’t there in terms of capacity—and that’s if you are living someplace you can connect to natural gas in the first place.

These reasons are why so many homeowners are asking about how easy—and feasible—it is to convert to propane. After all, clean-burning propane is an affordable fuel that can keep your home comfortable plus power a range of appliances, while helping you keep energy costs better under control.

What’s more, when you convert to propane, it can actually be quite easy. The average conversion takes about two days, with little disruption to your life or comfort.

Here’s what you need to know:

Determine the Size of Your Propane Tank(s)

Converting your home to propane, for heat or any other appliances, requires a propane storage tank on your property. To know what size tank you need, you need to know how you will use your propane. Is it just for cooking? Or will it be for heating water, heating your home, and more? There are a lot of variables to consider, but the pros at Pico Propane and Fuels are here to help you take the guesswork out of calculating the best-size tank for your needs.

To start off, most residential tanks typically range from 100 gallons to 500 gallons. From there, you also need to consider whether you want an aboveground or underground tank. There are advantages to both:

  • An aboveground tank is faster to install—with no excavation required—and therefore inherently less expensive. The downside is mainly appearance, but we can work with you to find the best location on your property.
  • An underground tank doesn’t detract from your view, but it will take longer to install and typically costs more.

Whichever option is best for you, we can ensure the installation process is handled safely and easily. Plus, when you lease a propane tank from us, the maintenance is our job! You don’t have to worry about a thing.

Adding or Converting In-Home Appliances

If you want to heat your home with propane, you’ll need a propane furnace. But the great thing about propane is that it’s excellent for all kinds of other appliances that involve heat, too! A propane water heater, for example, will save you about 30 percent on your energy bills compared to an electric water heater while providing much faster recovery times. You’ll save even more energy when you choose a tankless propane water heater. Multiply those savings when you use propane for dishwashing and laundry.

Propane is also the top pick for chefs—and we don’t just mean grill masters. A gas range gives you the precise control that professional cooks demand.

Ready to Switch to Propane Gas? Give Us a Call Today!

We make converting a home to propane a straightforward, easy process that will leave you with lower energy bills and support a cleaner environment. Give us a call today and we can answer all your questions, plus provide dependable propane delivery and service in the seasons to come from the #1 propane company trusted by customers throughout Texas and New Mexico.

Enjoy a warm, comfortable winter season with the help of propane…and Pico! Contact us today for more information.

We Provide Commercial Propane for Businesses of All Sizes

business propane services texas When you’re in business, the bottom line is always top of mind. Right up there with delivering a great product or service, you need to keep your eye on efficiency, cost, and value. That’s why you should know all the benefits of commercial propane services and applications. Commercial propane is used in manufacturing, construction, warehousing, agriculture, landscaping, hospitality, and a broad range of other industries. And whether you need bulk propane for your business, or a cylinder exchange program, Pico Propane and Fuels can help you make the most of propane for your business.

Why Choose Propane for My Business Operations?

The reason propane is such a great fuel for commercial uses is that it’s so versatile. It can be used for interior heating, operating machinery, and running fleets of vehicles. What’s more, propane is better for the environment—and your bottom line. Compared to other heating fuels, including electricity, propane:

  • Heats quicker and burns more cleanly.
  • Leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Costs on average 2.5 times less per Btu than heating with electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Is extremely safe, with a very narrow range of flammability.

Agricultural Propane Supply and Services

Propane delivers consistent heat ideal for warming livestock barns, hatcheries, and greenhouses. It’s non-toxic and can’t harm soil or groundwater. Clean-burning propane can power much of your landscaping and agricultural equipment, from commercial mowers to irrigation engines. Propane puts less wear on equipment, keeping it out of the shop and keeping your operations running smoothly:

  • Commercial mowers and landscaping equipment
  • Irrigation equipment
  • Flame-weeders
  • Crop drying
  • Greenhouse and barn heating

Forklifts & Industrial Needs

Warehouse management, construction, and industrial facilities rely on forklifts. Let our team show you why propane-fueled forklifts will keep your operation running smoothly with less downtime. Here are just a few of the advantages:

  • Propane-fueled forklifts can be used outdoors in wet conditions, unlike electric-powered forklifts.
  • Propane-powered forklifts will operate at 100% power as long as there’s propane in the cylinder. An electric forklift loses power as the battery drains.
  • Refueling is quick and easy with replaceable cylinders. Recharging an electric forklift takes equipment out of service for hours, slowing down operations.
  • Propane-powered forklifts also handle heavy loads better and are more capable when it comes to inclines.

Propane’s versatility is a plus for your business or job site. In addition to forklifts, propane can be used to power a wide range of equipment, including:

  • Welding equipment
  • Asphalt heaters
  • Concrete grinders, saws, polishers, trowels, and dust extractors
  • Pressure washers
  • Small cranes
  • Water pumps
  • Floor buffers
  • …and more!

Hospitality & Food Service

Professional chefs prefer gas for cooking. Hotels, hospitals, and nursing facilities all benefit from propane for cooking, water heating, and space heating, as well as for industrial washers and clothes dryers, just to name a few.

  • Food trucks
  • Restaurants
  • Laundromats
  • Hotels

If You’re Looking for Commercial Propane Solutions…Call Pico Propane and Fuels!

Pico customers know we provide the same superb and attentive service to our commercial accounts as to our residential clients. At Pico Propane and Fuels, we’re proud of our commercial partnerships that support businesses throughout Texas and New Mexico.

We offer more than three decades of experience working with businesses all over our Texas and New Mexico service area. As a result, we are known for our customer service and a real understanding of your needs, and our commitment to providing our commercial clients with the most dependable commercial propane service in the area. Not only that, but we also have fair, transparent pricing so there are no surprises for you.

Contact us today for more information or pricing on a solution for your specific commercial fueling needs.

Where to Get Convenient Propane Cylinder Refills and How to Avoid Runouts

propane refill texas Whether you’re having your crew over for the Cowboys game and some BBQ, or you’re just grilling something for family dinner, you don’t want to run out of propane. But how can you tell how long will your grill tank last? A standard 20-pound portable propane tank should last about 18 to 20 hours…but who keeps track of how many hours they use their grill?

Even though most of the portable cylinders that you’d hook up to your grill don’t have a gauge, there are easier ways to make sure you don’t run out than pulling out a stopwatch every time you grill.

Here’s four ways to make sure you never run out:

  1. The Water Trick: Fill a small bucket with hot tap water and pour it down the side of the cylinder. Then run your hand down the side of the tank and find the point where it turns cool. That’s the level of the gas!

    The liquid propane inside the tank absorbs heat from the water, which makes the metal wall of the tank cool to the touch.

  2. The Weight Check: Check the cylinder for markings that let you know the “tare weight” or TW, the weight of the tank when empty. A 20-pound tank usually weighs about 17 pounds when empty. To calculate how much propane is in the tank, place the cylinder on a scale—a basic bathroom scale will work—and subtract the tare weight from the amount shown on the scale. So, if your 20-pound cylinder weighs 27 pounds, and the tare weight is 17, you have 10 pounds of propane left. Or simply pick up a digital propane tank scale at your local hardware store or online retailer like Amazon. Most come with a digital app to let you know when it’s time for a fill-up.
  3. Add a Gauge: You can buy a gauge to install between the gas line from the grill and the cut-off valve on the tank. It will measure the pressure and show you how full the tank is.
  4. Keep a Spare: The easiest way to make sure you always have enough propane on hand to fire up the grill is to keep an extra tank on hand. Come to a Pico location and we’ll make sure to help you out with exactly that.

Should I Refill or Exchange My Tank?

What’s the difference between refilling or exchanging your portable propane tank? It’s mostly a matter of preference. Some people appreciate the swap-and-go convenience of our cylinder exchange. But savvy customers love the ease and the savings they get by refilling.
When you own your propane tank and refill it, you can save money in a few ways.

  1. First, you’ll save on the price of the propane. The difference can be up to $1.75 per gallon!
  2. You also save because you’ll pay only for the propane you use. When you choose to refill your propane tank, you’re only buying the propane to fill the rest of your cylinder. With a cylinder exchange, you’re charged for all the propane in the cylinder—including the propane left in the tank when you take it to be exchanged.

Think about it: When you see your propane cylinder is starting to run low, your instinct is to take it in to exchange before you run out. So, unless you run them until they’re completely empty, you could be wasting half a tank or more over the span of a few exchanges!

Where to Get Easy Propane Refills or Exchanges in Texas

Pico makes propane tank refills and exchanges easy, with nine convenient locations across Texas and one in New Mexico. We offer propane tank exchange and refills for a variety of sizes, including 20-pound cylinders most folks use for grills, patio heaters, mosquito traps, and various outdoor equipment, and the 30- and 40- pound cylinders for RVs.

Ready to fire up the grill? Contact us to learn more about our propane refill stations today—chances are we’ve got a convenient location near you!

Pico is Your Go-To for Convenient Propane Fill-Ups in Mission and Weslaco!

propane tank refill texasNo one likes the realization that you’re running low on propane as you head into the weekend and you’re planning to grill. Similarly, many folks like to always have a spare propane tank ready to go at a moment’s notice. In either instance, knowing where to find a convenient and easy refill for your portable propane cylinder near you is crucial!

That’s why you need a propane refill station near you that offers propane when you need it—especially one that also offers affordable prices—and no lines! It’s why folks in Alton, La Joya, South Alamo, and surrounding communities in South Texas choose Pico for reliable service and convenient refilling locations.

Fill Your BBQ Cylinder and More—Right Nearby!

If you use your propane grill a lot, Pico’s propane refill stations on N. Shary Road in Mission and South International Boulevard in Weslaco can help ensure you always have enough propane in your tank. We’re here to make sure you won’t run out during your next cookout or backyard barbeque.

Need a fresh propane cylinder for your camp generator or RV generator? Our propane refill and stations aren’t just for your BBQ tank. Propane cylinders and small tanks provide fuel for patio and deck heaters so you can enjoy your backyard earlier and later in the season. They’re also great for RVs and portable generators.

Businesses appreciate our efficient refill stations, too. Commercial customers that use propane cylinders for equipment like forklifts appreciate our quick and easy service to keep them on the job.

Safe & Easy Propane Refills All Year Long

Refilling or exchanging your cylinder with us is a snap! All you need to do is bring your empty cylinders to one of our convenient locations, including Weslaco and Mission, ideal for customers in Brooks, Jim Hogg, Starr, Zapata Cameron, Kenedy and Willacy Counties. Our propane professionals will properly and safely refill them or exchange them for full ones that have been carefully inspected so that you can be sure they’re safe.

Remember! Always handle propane cylinders safely when transporting them:

  • Don’t bring empty tanks inside any of our refill locations—inform our employees and we’ll come out to you.
  • Always transport cylinders in an upright position after they are filled. Cylinders should not be transported lying down.
  • Do not leave a filled tank inside your car for any length of time, especially in the summer.
  • And remember, we can’t refill tanks with excessive rust, corrosion, or other damage.

Whether you need a 20-gallon refill, or you want to buy an extra tank so that you always have a spare, Pico is happy to help you with our convenient portable tank refill service. Contact us today for more information.

Creating a Propane-Powered Home is a Realistic Option

convert to propane texasTexas’s energy grid continues to struggle with reliability, and extreme weather continues to pose challenges to ERCOT’s ability to provide service. We narrowly avoided rolling blackouts as this summer’s epic stretch of triple-digit temperatures tested our electric grid. Meanwhile, natural gas companies may not be prepared for more bouts of severe cold that resulted in the devastating outages we saw 18 months ago. And at the same time, prices continue to be higher than in years past. So…what’s the answer?

Easy, affordable, clean-burning propane can help you keep your home comfortable and power a range of appliances while helping you keep energy costs under control.

What’s more, converting to propane is actually quite easy. The average conversion takes about two business days, but with little disruption to your life or comfort.

Assessing Your Home Energy Needs

Propane is super-efficient at heating. It generates more Btus than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat or energy. It’s a key reason why converting your heating system to propane-fueled equipment is a smart move.

Propane’s efficiency makes it a great fuel to power a wide range of appliances, too. For example, 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.

The same technology that makes propane ideal for water heaters makes it a smarter choice than electricity to power all kinds of appliances that use hot water or heat:

  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Patio heaters
  • Pool and spa-tub heaters

It’s also the chef’s choice for cooking—and not just on a grill. Once you decide how much of your home’s equipment you want to run on propane, you can choose a tank. (And you can always start with your furnace and water heater and add more propane appliances in the future!)

Choosing the Proper Propane Tank Size

To know what size propane storage tank you need, you need to know how you will use your propane. We’ll talk to you about a variety of factors, including:

  • The size and square footage of your home.
  • How many propane appliances you plan to run with propane.
  • If you are planning to add more propane appliances or perform any renovations or additions soon.
  • Your home heating trends and prior fuel usage.

Should I Buy or Lease My Propane Tank?

You also need to decide whether you want to buy or lease your tank, and we can help you come to the proper conclusion. For starters, there are pros and cons of both options that you should know.

  • The downside of owning your propane storage tank is that the responsibility for the tank is also yours. That includes maintenance, repairs, fees, safety checks, and more in addition to up-front purchase and installation costs. In fact, buying and installing your own tank could cost anywhere from $450 to $3,000, depending on its size and type!
  • On the other hand, when you lease your tank from Pico, all the maintenance and repairs handled by our experienced pros. We’ll also provide safe, expert installation of your propane storage tank, including a thorough inspection of your tank and appliances, and provide a safety certification for your home.

Pico Offers Convenient, Reliable Service All Year Long

When you convert to propane and lease your tank from Pico, you’ll be getting more than just a propane tank. Pico is trusted by customers throughout Texas and New Mexico for reliable propane delivery.

Customers love our keep-full service that prevents runouts. We also offer tank monitoring, ideal for customers who want a hassle-free way to track usage, and great for customers whose usage isn’t predictable.

The professionals at Pico Propane and Fuels have the knowledge, experience, and resources to answer all your questions about the benefits of a propane-heated home. Contact us today to learn more.

Pico Propane and Fuels is Texas and New Mexico’s #1 Provider

fleet fueling texasWhen it comes to commercial fueling services in Texas and eastern New Mexico, Pico Propane and Fuels has the experience and knowledge to rise to any challenge. From oilfield services to agriculture businesses, from propane for industrial applications to diesel fuels for aviation, and more, our committed commercial team is standing by to support your business.

Agricultural Propane Supply and Services

Let us show you how propane for your agricultural business is better for the environment—and your bottom line. Compared to other heating fuels—including electricity—propane:

  • Heats quickly and burns cleanly.
  • Leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Costs on average 2.5 times less per Btu than heating with electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Delivers consistent heat ideal for warming livestock barns, hatcheries, and greenhouses.
  • Is nontoxic and can’t harm soil or groundwater.
  • Is extremely safe, with a very narrow range of flammability.

Clean-burning propane can power much of your landscaping and agricultural equipment, from commercial mowers to irrigation engines. Propane puts less wear on equipment, keeping it out of the shop and keeping your operations running smoothly. We offer several propane solutions for businesses and equipment such as:

  • Mowers
  • Irrigation equipment
  • Flame-weeders
  • Crop drying
  • Greenhouse and barn heating

Propane Forklifts and Exchange Solutions

Warehouse management, construction, and industrial facilities rely on forklifts. Let our team show you why propane-fueled forklifts will keep your operation running smoothly with less downtime!

Propane-fueled forklifts can be used outdoors in wet conditions, unlike electric-powered forklifts. Plus, refueling is quick and easy with replaceable cylinders. Recharging, on the other hand, takes equipment out of service for hours, slowing down operations. Best of all clean-burning propane is better for the environment and your bottom line.

Local or On-Site Fleet Fueling Services

Whether you need to fuel delivery vans, construction vehicles, or farm equipment, when it comes to keeping your fleet on the road or on the job, Pico provides the same superb and attentive customer service to our commercial accounts as to our residential clients.

Our on-road and off-road fleet-fueling services are convenient and dependable for trucking, construction, and farm equipment. Take advantage of fast, convenient fleet fueling services or save time and money with on-site fueling and bulk diesel and gasoline delivery services. We readily offer fuels such as:

  • Premium diesel
  • Premium gasoline
  • Off-road diesel

Oilfield Services

When it comes to oilfield jobs, versatile propane is a cost-effective choice. Our commercial services division is geared to be a full-service partner with options for all your industrial fuel needs. Whether it’s degassing storage tanks and cleaning ocean-going vessels to tank cleaning and purging, or working with thermal oxidizers or vaporizers, we’ll get the job done right. We can also handle:

  • Power wells, submersible pumps, oil- and water-heating equipment, and drilling rigs.
  • Temporary heating in outdoor work areas.
  • Propane-fueled backup generators will safely keep your systems running when you are off-grid.
  • Satellite tank monitoring is ideal for oilfield locations, or any off-grid location.
  • Full range of commercial oils and lubricants for equipment maintenance.

Enjoy a Dual-Fuel Provider You Can Trust—Give Pico a Call Today!

We understand the region’s unique needs and we are here to assist you with local customer service and technicians who can keep your business powered and running smoothly. Whether you’re a big business, a mom-and-pop operation, or something in between, we’ll work to provide you with top-quality fuels delivered with safety first and foremost in mind. And with Pico, you’ll enjoy expert service by our commercial fuels professionals all year-’round.

Contact us today to see how our commercial propane and fueling solutions can work for you.

Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact

home energy tips texasGas prices at the pump have been volatile for months now, and inflated prices are still becoming all too common—especially with electricity. Meanwhile, we’ve been seeing hotter-than-normal temperatures since mid-April. So, it’s no surprise that everyone is looking for ways to keep household costs down and budgets under control. Here are a few ideas that can make a big impact now and into the months ahead:

1. Rethink Laundry Day and Dishwashing

Changing the way you use certain appliances—like your dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer—can really make a difference in your energy bill.

  • Only do full loads and choose cold water wash often.
  • Additionally, you can opt for air-dry instead of heated dry for dishes. Line dry laundry, too, if you can.
  • Try to run loads early or late in the day, too, as those appliances can generate heat when you run them.

With these simple changes, you’ll use less water. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you use about 75% less water when you wash a full load in the dishwasher rather than washing dishes by hand. You can further save energy with less reliance on heating—to the tune of around $130 a year in some cases.

2. Take Hot Water Down a Notch

Speaking of water heating costs, most water heaters have a default setting of 140° Fahrenheit. That is unnecessarily hot. It also increases your energy costs—as well as the risk of scalding, especially for children and the elderly. Set your water heater to 120° instead and you can cut your water heating costs by about 10%.

A tankless water heater can boost savings even more! They heat water instantly, on demand, rather than running up your energy bill by keeping a tank of water hot for when you need it.

3. Cut Cooking Costs

The best way to keep your kitchen cool is to take the cooking outside. Use your propane grill for everything from veggies to steaks. If you do need to use your range or oven, try to use it in the morning before 10 a.m. or after the sun goes down which are “off-peak” hours by electricity standards. Small appliances such as multicookers, air fryers, rice cookers, microwaves, and slow cookers use less energy and generate less heat.

4. Try This Bright Idea

Switch to LED bulbs for your home’s lighting and cut your energy costs by about $225 per year. That’s right—over $200! Why is that? It’s been found that only 10% to 15% of the energy used by incandescent light bulbs goes towards creating light. They also give off a lot more heat than LED bulbs, too.

5. Make a SMART Move

Installing a programmable or “smart” thermostat will help you better control your cooling costs. Smart thermostats allow you to check and adjust your home’s HVAC system from your phone. You—as well as these intuitive devices—can create schedules for your cooling system that matches your day or adjust temperatures in your home, remotely.

By doing so and being more in-tune throughout all hours of the day, you aren’t spending money and using energy to cool spaces that no one is using.

6. Take Care of Your Air Conditioning & Heating Systems

Have you had professional, annual maintenance on your home’s central A/C, ductless mini splits, furnace, or boiler? If not, you’re likely losing money in part to decreased efficiency. Keep your home’s air conditioning running at its peak efficiency while helping to prevent costly breakdowns with a professional tune-up at least once a year. The same goes for your central heating systems, too!

In between those tune-ups, be sure to change your filters every month or two, more often if you have pets. A clogged filter makes your AC or furnace work harder and can lead to larger breakdowns.

7. Stop Drafts

A well-sealed and well-insulated home means cool air stays in summer. Drafty, leaky walls, doors, and windows drive up energy costs. Make getting rid of drafts a weekend DIY project with caulk, weatherstripping, and insulating foam.

At Pico Propane and Fuels, we want to make sure you’re familiar with all the ways you can cut energy costs around your home to try and take the pressure off your wallet. That also means getting familiar with our wireless tank monitoring services, Keep-Full automatic delivery, and more!

Contact us today for more information or to see how we can best serve your Texas or New Mexico-based home or business.

Learn Why Low Prices Don’t Equal Great Values

fuel company texasThese days, we know folks near and far are looking for the best deals possible whenever, and wherever, they can. Shopping around is important! For some purchases, a great deal can mean the lowest cost. But there’s more to good value than price—especially when it comes to your home comfort and your family.

The Values of a Full-Service Propane Company

We’ve seen it plenty of times. Folks who opted for a propane dealer with rock-bottom prices thought they could have it both ways…saving money without putting their comfort at risk. Then they find their discount company isn’t even answering the phone, can’t make a delivery for a week, or can’t get in at a convenient time to perform maintenance or repairs. 

Suddenly that “great deal” doesn’t seem so great. So please think hard about whether saving 10 or 20 cents a gallon is worth all you give up by not having a company you can feel completely confident about.

In fact, here’s a primer on how Pico stacks up against the discount dealers:

Pico Propane and Fuels Discount Dealers
24/7 Emergency Service We’re always here for you when you need us—morning, afternoon, or night. You can leave a message anytime. Here’s hoping you get a call back!
Automatic Delivery Service Customers love our Keep-Full service. It makes things super easy for both of us! No. Be sure to watch your tank and call ahead so you don’t run out.
Wireless Tank Monitoring Service Yes. No.
Equipment Installations Yes. We offer safe, expert installation and repairs from our trained, in-house service technicians—plus a showroom of products. Nope. Maybe they can refer you to someone if they’re nice enough.
Trained and Insured Yes. Maybe?
Credit Terms Yes. No.
24-hour Account Access Yes—a full-service website with a secure customer portal. Plus, we even have our own mobile app! Probably a generic home page with minimal info.

Trust Your Home Comfort Needs to the Pros at Pico!

Value isn’t just about low prices—it’s about what you get for your money. When you’re looking for a propane provider for your home or business, you want a company that puts customers first. That 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.

Pico Propane and Fuels has been dedicated to prompt, reliable, courteous service, and the best quality of fuels for our customers throughout Texas and New Mexico since 1986. Contact us today to learn more and become a customer today. We’re the company you keep for life!

Wireless Propane Tank Monitors Eliminate the Guesswork

tank monitors texasCustomers who experience a propane runout know what a hassle it can be. First, there’s the cost of an emergency fill-up, as well a leak test for safety. And even if your tank isn’t completely empty, you can experience problems, too. When propane levels get too low, air can get into your system, which can lead to expensive damage down the line.

Whenever these situations occur, folks always ask us if there’s an easier way to know how much propane is in their tank. Watching the gauge on the tank is one way to do it—but you must remember to look frequently—and you can still get caught with a near-empty tank if you use more than usual or simply forget to check the level.

One option is our Keep Full automatic delivery service. But automatic deliveries aren’t the best solution for everyone. If your propane usage isn’t consistent, we can’t use our algorithm to best predict your needs. Many of our customers travel often or are managing a rental property or Airbnb—which means their propane use is practically unpredictable. And it’s exactly why they appreciate the real-time accuracy of our wireless propane tank monitoring service!

How Does a Wireless Propane Tank Monitor Work?

Wireless tank monitors track the level of propane in your tank in real-time and transmit your usage via wireless cellular technology. When the tank gauge reaches a pre-set level of approximately 25% full, the monitor alerts us—and you—directly via a mobile app or email.

In addition to timely alerts, the app gives you even more control and insight! You can use it to easily track your monthly energy consumption—and save on energy costs—or to take the guesswork out of knowing when to order fuel. This is especially useful if you’re ordering propane for a second home or rental property to avoid an unwelcome situation for your guests.

Interested in a Wireless Propane Tank Monitor? Call Pico Today!

With our convenient wireless tank monitoring service, you’ll never have to wonder, “How much fuel is in my propane tank?” ever again! A tank monitor eliminates the guesswork, as well as the inconvenience and the expense of an empty tank. This handy device is useful for both homeowners and businesses alike.

A wireless tank monitor is easy to install, and we can have you ready to go in a matter of minutes! Contact us today to find out more about the added benefits of wireless tank monitoring and how we can get you set up—100% hassle-free.

How to Keep Summer BBQs Safe and Fun

gas grilling tips texasIt’s peak grilling season here in Texas! Enjoy great times outside with family, friends, and delicious food. Be sure to keep these safety tips in mind next time you fire up your propane grill:

  1. Keep your propane grill at least six feet away from your home on sturdy and level ground.
  2. Never leave the grill unattended.
  3. Check all hoses and connections for leaks before operating the grill. 
  4. Never light a gas grill with the lid closed—Open the lid before turning on the gas at the tank. If the grill doesn’t light after a couple of clicks, turn off the burner, turn the gas off at the tank, and wait 5 or 10 minutes before attempting to light it again. 
  5. Make sure to keep your grill lid accessible to extinguish small flare-ups. It’s also a good idea to portable fire extinguisher or baking soda on-hand. 
  6. NEVER attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water!
  7. Never attach or disconnect an LP tank or adjust fittings while the grill is operating. If you run out of gas while grilling, turn off all the burners, reconnect the new tank, and re-light. When you finish grilling, shut the gas valve, and disconnect the LP couplings before storing the grill. 

Transporting a Portable Propane Cylinder? Be Sure to Do It Safely

  1. Transport it upright (valve on top) in a secure position to prevent rolling.
  2. Close and plug the cylinder valve.
  3. Place the cylinder in a well-vented area inside the vehicle.
  4. Don’t leave the cylinder in a hot vehicle; go straight to your propane dealer and straight home when you pick it up.

Pico Propane and Fuels has convenient locations across Texas and New Mexico to refill or exchange your portable cylinder. Having a spare means the grilling never has to end due to an empty tank!

Still using that clunky old charcoal grill? Make the switch to a propane grill and enjoy instant start-ups, no chemical fumes, and precise temperature control.

Stop by our Bergheim showroom or contact us today for more information.

3 Telltale Signs It’s Time for a Propane Delivery

propane delivery texasSo many variables can affect how much propane you use and how much is in your tank at any given time. It can vary by season, the day-to-day weather conditions, and even by how many people are home.

With a 15- or 20-pound cylinder, it’s easy to tell—if your portable tank because relatively easy to lift, chances are it’s time to exchange it or refill it before too long. And if your grill won’t light altogether, you’re effectively empty. But you can’t pick up a full-size propane storage tank. So how do you know when it’s time for a propane delivery?

  1. Check the gauge on your tank. You’ll find the gauge under the lid, near the fill pipe and shut-off valve. Because propane expands and contracts with temperature, your tank will never read 100% full. To best avoid a runout, call us when the level reaches between around 30% full so that we can get your delivery scheduled in an appropriate timeframe. We always try to schedule and route deliveries efficiently. Emergency fill-ups mean special trips, which incur an added cost.
  2. The flame on your appliances is not steady. If the flame on your cooktop is sputtering, rather than steady, it’s a sure sign you need a propane delivery ASAP. The same is true for other propane appliances, like gas hearths or log sets, or the pilot for most water heaters.
  3. You can’t remember the last time you ordered propane. Depending on what you use propane for, your usage levels can vary. If you use it to heat your home, you likely use more in winter than you do in the summer. Similarly, a stretch of rainy weather may mean you’re grilling less, so a cylinder will last longer than when you’re spending more time outdoors. Seasonal reminders—like when you check smoke alarm batteries—should also trigger a reminder to check your propane gauge and schedule a delivery so you have your fuel before you need it most.

Keep-Full Automatic Delivery Makes Things Easy!

No matter how much propane you use, when you’re enrolled in our Keep-Full automatic delivery service, you can eliminate the worry, hassle, and expense of running out of propane. We’ll calculate your needs using an algorithm based on the weather and your household’s typical propane usage. It allows us to accurately predict when you will need fuel and provide convenient and reliable automatic delivery before you run low.

In addition to eliminating the hassle of watching your tank, this convenient option saves time and money. There’s no need to schedule and wait for propane deliveries, and you avoid the expense and hassle of pressure testing and relighting due to empty tanks.

Wireless Tank Monitoring is Great, Too!

Some customers prefer even more precise visibility of their tank levels. Our convenient Tank Monitoring service is perfect for exactly that! It’s ideal for when your propane use is not predictable, or if you need to monitor multiple homes. How does it work? Our wireless monitor—attached right to your propane tank—works with a mobile app so you’ll get an alert when it’s time to order fuel. You can check in 24/7/365 to see exactly how much fuel is in your tank.

Does your portable tank feel light? Just stop by one of our convenient refill and exchange locations and you be ready to grill again in no time. Need more information about our convenient and reliable propane services in Texas and New Mexico? Contact us today. We’ll be happy to help.

Managing Your Fuel Account Just Got Even Easier!

online fuel payments texasWe’re incredibly excited to introduce two new ways of managing your fuel services with Pico Propane and Fuels that can make your experience with us as easy as can be. Our new customer portal and mobile app have launched…and we’ve already been getting great feedback from our customers who’ve tried it!

What An Online Account Includes

Check out all the things you can do once you’ve registered:

  • Make secure online payments
  • Set up automatic payments
  • Request deliveries
  • Review statements and payments
  • Retrieve or change your password
  • Update your contact information or credit card details

Customers love it because it saves time—and quick payments make it easier to avoid late fees.

Try It, You’ll Love It!

It’s easy to get started—all you need is your account number. When you’re ready, click on “Account Login” at the top left of our website and follow the prompts to set up your account.

And while change is good, it can also be overwhelming. To ensure you feel comfortable and confident navigating our new portal, we have designed step-by-step instructions which can be found at the link here. Don’t forget to save your password, too!

Prefer to use your smartphone? Just search for Pico Propane and Fuels in the Apple App Store or Google Play and download our easy-to-use app. It lets you order propane, pay bills, and more on the go.

As always, we’re here for you and are happy to take your calls. But using the customer portal or app means you can access your account and request deliveries any time that’s convenient for you. Login and create your account today to discover all the great benefits for yourself!

Follow Pico’s Tips for a Smooth Move!

propane home uses texasLocation, school district, commute time, and of course, style—there’s a lot to think about when you’re house-hunting! And while considering the systems and fuels that run your new home aren’t the most “glamorous” aspects to focus on, they are undoubtedly some of the most important. If you’ve never lived in a propane-fueled home before, you might be surprised to know all the benefits. Propane is one of the cleanest, most versatile, and most efficient fuels around.

It’s a domestically sourced alternative fuel that can provide exceptional performance and efficiency in a wide range of home appliances, as well as heating and water-heating equipment, at a much lower cost than electricity. Let’s get you familiar with propane and why you should pay attention to it amidst your home-buying process.

Propane vs. Electric Heating Systems

Propane generates more BTUs than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat or energy. That means propane appliances are very efficient as well, so they waste very little fuel in the combustion process. On the other hand, about two-thirds of the energy used by a power plant to generate and transmit electricity is wasted.

In other words, propane can offer more bang for your buck, all while protecting the environment. It’s a win-win for customers who care about the environment, but also want to keep costs under control. 

Propane Can Power Your Home Both Inside and Out

Because propane is so efficient, it’s a smarter choice than electricity for a wide variety of appliances. For example, 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. The same technology that makes propane ideal for water heaters makes it a smarter choice than electricity to power all kinds of appliances that use hot water or heat, including:

  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Patio heaters
  • Pool and spa-tub heaters
  • Outdoor grills

…and did we mention that Pico Propane and Fuels sells, installs, and maintains many of these propane appliances? Stop by our Bergheim, TX showroom today to see all our available products and equipment.

Making the Move

Have you decided to make the move to a propane-fueled home? Congratulations! Here are a few things to consider:

  • If you’re buying the propane storage tank from the current owner, make sure to ask for and check the tank’s maintenance records. Additionally, you can ask the seller to provide you with maintenance records and a statement of total spending on heat for the past year or two. Why does this matter? It will give you an idea of the tank’s condition, maintenance costs, refilling costs, and schedule.
  • If the current owner leases the tank, you can arrange to keep the tank and sign a new lease agreement. Need a new propane storage tank? The propane experts at Pico can help you choose the right size tank for your needs and install it safely and professionally.
  • If there’s fuel left in the tank, the owner can include the cost of the fuel in the sale price.
  • If you’re the seller, and you own the tank, you may be able to take it to your new home—although it will require certified technicians to do this. If you’re moving within our service area, we can help make this as hassle-free as possible.

The Impact on Your Home’s Value

While there are many advantages to using propane, it’s true that it doesn’t significantly change the value of your property compared to other fuel sources. An exception, however, may be when it comes to both fireplaces, built-ins, and firepits. These extras tend to increase a home’s attractiveness to homebuyers. The National Association of Realtors has reported that a propane fireplace can increase the value of a home by up to $10,000 or more.

Whether you’re new to the neighborhood or new to the state, Pico Propane and Fuels can help make heating and powering your new Texas or New Mexico home easy. Explore our great selection of services like Keep-Full automatic delivery, wireless tank monitoring, and more to keep your home comfortable all year long.

Contact us today to learn more—and welcome home!

The Benefits of Using Propane on Your Farm

propane farm delivery texasThere’s a lot to comprehend when getting familiar with the wide array of agricultural businesses of the greater southwest. Cattle ranching, produce, and nurseries for trees and plants are big parts of the local economy, and propane is a vital element to make farms run smoothly and cost-effectively.

Propane Is Energy Efficient

Right now, everyone is feeling the sting of higher energy costs, especially agriculture-based businesses. But farmers and ranchers are embracing propane because it’s energy efficient—which means more bang for the buck when it comes to all kinds of operations. When compared to electricity or alternative fuels, you’ll see lower fuel costs with propane-powered irrigation engines. These are well known for delivering both high horsepower and low emissions.

Additionally, crop drying with propane offers such highly efficient performance that you’ll make the most of your profit potential while minimizing any crop loss. Here are just a few of the ways it can help you save:

  • Lower equipment costs: Propane-powered equipment typically has a lower up-front purchase cost than diesel-powered equipment. 
  • Fewer repairs: Because it burns cleaner, equipment powered by propane tends to break down less frequently, which means you’ll spend less money on repairs and spend more time working profitably.
  • Less fuel loss: Propane is used in a closed end fueling system, virtually eliminating loss from theft and spillage.

Propane Is Incredibly Versatile

Propane has many uses on the farm. Whether you are growing crops or raising livestock, propane can work for you in many ways:

  • Drying and ripening crops
  • Irrigating fields
  • Powering generators
  • Heating barns, greenhouses, water tanks, farmhouses and more
  • Combatting weeds and insects with flaming equipment
  • Keeping orchards warm in cold weather
  • Sanitizing milking operations
  • Crop moisture control
  • Fuel light-duty vehicles such as mowers and forklifts

Ultimately, propane is a smart choice for your modern farm as it is 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 you would see with gasoline or diesel if it spills. 

Partner With Pico To Help Your Agricultural Business Thrive!

If you want to learn more about how propane can help fuel your agricultural business, contact the pros at Pico Propane and Fuels. For close to three decades, we’ve been partnering with local agricultural businesses of all sizes throughout Texas and New Mexico to help them maximize efficiency, logistics, and savings. We look forward to helping you, too.

Save on Energy Costs and So Much More!

propane efficiency texasWe’re halfway through 2022, and energy prices continue to be elevated across the board. Whether you’re filling up your gas tank or powering your home, prices are noticeably higher than in years past, and many homeowners are looking for ways to be more cost effective as well as energy efficient.

While electricity will always be part of the mix, propane is a great choice, both environmentally and economically. After all, it can help to run a range of appliances and equipment both in and outside your home! Here are some additional facts on why propane is a great fuel choice for now, and years to come:

Improved Energy Efficiency

Improving energy efficiency in your home can help keep energy costs under control now, as well as help the planet in both the short- and long-term. Propane is a highly efficient fuel—meaning it generates more BTUs than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat or energy. Also, propane appliances are very efficient as well, so they waste very little fuel in the combustion process. It also delivers better comfort, to boot!

  • Propane water heaters save you money by heating water at nearly 30% less cost than electric ones. You get all the hot water you need—on-demand—with a propane tankless water heater.
  • Laundry becomes more energy-efficient with propane, as propane clothes dryers get your laundry dry 25% faster than electric dryers.
  • Propane heats your pool and spa much faster than an electric heater, so you can spend more time relaxing with lower energy costs. 

The Reliability of Propane is Key…Especially in Extreme Situations

When hurricanes, tornados, or even a good thunderstorm knocks out power, a propane-fueled backup generator will keep your lights and everything else running until the utility companies can make repairs. Additionally, a propane gas stove will continue to work during a power outage. Now that’s convenient.

A propane whole-house generator can also add value to your home and may even get you a break on your insurance. After some incredibly unpredictable—and dangerous—weather here in Texas the past few years, it’s easy to see how vital propane power can be.

Propane is a Naturally Cleaner Fuel Source

Propane is a primary energy source, which means it can be used with minimal processing. Propane itself is a byproduct of natural gas processing. Electricity, on the other hand, is created using another energy source. In fact, more than 63% of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas. This means that it takes more energy to create electricity, which can affect its cleanliness, efficiency, and cost.

Plus, propane produces fewer emissions when burned, making it a cleaner fuel all around from start to finish.

Want to learn more about the benefits of clean-burning, efficient propane for your home? Contact Pico Propane and Fuels today and let us show you how propane can make your Texas or New Mexico home more comfortable, and more efficient.