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The Pros and Cons of Going Tankless

water heater options virginiaYou don’t give it much thought until it breaks down, but your water heater works extremely hard for you day-in and day-out. Between bathing and showering, washing dishes, laundry, cleaning and other tasks, the typical American household uses between 60 and 65 gallons of hot water a day! And that nonstop workload can take a toll. The life expectancy for a conventional water heater with a tank is between 8 and 10 years.

If you have a traditional tank-style water heater that’s approaching—or already has surpassed—the ten-year mark, you may be seeing higher energy bills, or water that just doesn’t seem to get as hot. And we all know that a lukewarm shower is not the best way to start the day.

Thinking it’s time to replace your water heater? You should also weigh your options when it comes to going tankless!

What’s a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless propane water heaters—also known as on-demand water heaters—instantly heat water when you need it, rather than keeping a large tank hot all the time. Imagine having virtually unlimited hot water, while seeing lower fuel bills. It’s possible, with a high-efficiency tankless water heater. In addition to whole-house models, smaller versions can be installed where they are needed to generate hot water for an addition or for a spa tub, for example.

Here are the pros of going tankless

  1. Unlimited Hot Water: Traditional tank heaters can run out of hot water if you use a lot at once. Tankless water heaters use an electric pilot and a hot propane flame to heat water instantly, on-demand. There’s no tank, so it can’t hit empty!
  2. Savings: Tankless water heaters save energy by instantly heating water when you need it, rather than keeping a large tank hot all the time. All that efficiency means you’ll also save money by lowering your energy costs by as much as 40%.
  3. Flexibility: With no storage tank, a tankless water heater is small—even whole-house sizes take considerably less room than a 55-gallon tank. Most are about the size of a suitcase. It can also be wall-mounted, which means a tankless water heater can be placed just about anywhere in the house, including closets and crawl spaces.
  4. Longer Equipment Life: The primary culprit in the limited lifespan of a conventional water heater is the corrosive water stored in its tank. Because it doesn’t store water, a tankless water heater will last 18 to 20 years.

Are There Downsides of Going Tankless?

Although they save you money in the long run, tankless water heaters are more expensive to buy and install. In addition, they require a little maintenance, particularly if you have hard water. Deposits and minerals can reduce performance and efficiency if you don’t flush the tank at least once a year and clean the filters.

Sticking with a Tank Style Water Heater

A traditional tank-style water heater is inexpensive to replace but costs a lot more to run. And it can’t really deliver enough hot water for more than two or three showers in a row, assuming no one is washing dishes or using hot water for anything else.

If your home has a basement, space may not be an issue. But if you don’t have a basement, that big tank uses a lot of valuable real estate in your home. Imagine what you could do with that closet space…

Don’t Take Hot Water for Granted!

Whether you decide to stick with a traditional tank-style water heater or update with a highly efficient tankless model, don’t wait for your water heater to fail to replace it! Like other essential equipment in your home, such as your refrigerator, you don’t want to go long without it.

Want to learn more about the benefits of a tankless water heater for your southwestern Virginia home? The pros at SWVA can help you choose the best option for your needs. Enjoy energy efficiency and all the hot water you need with a new water heater! Contact us or visit our Radford showroom today to get started. 

Keep Safe with These Useful, Year-Round Propane Tips

propane leak virginiaPropane is a clean-burning and safe way to heat your Southern Virginia home, water, and run many household appliances. But propane is also a highly flammable gas under certain conditions. As with any fuel, there are certain steps to take to ensure you and your home are kept 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:

Gas Leaks

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:

  • Leave the area immediately
  • Avoid all flames or sparks—including lights, appliances, phones, or cell phones—which could ignite the gas.
  • If you can, shut off the gas at the main valve on your tank—turn the valve clockwise until tight to do so.
  • Call us, or 911 from a safe area.
  • Stay away until help arrives

Propane Safety Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t store cleaning fluids and flammable substances near your propane tanks.
  • Don’t let your tanks run empty. The loss of pressure can lead to a variety of problems and will require pressure tests before refilling.
  • Don’t attempt to relight a pilot light if you smell gas. If you do relight a pilot light yourself, follow manufacturer’s instructions exactly as written.
  • Do clean furnace filters regularly.
  • Do set up automatic delivery to avoid running out of gas.
  • Do call us if a pilot light goes out frequently.
  • Do let us know if flames are yellow or you notice a significant amount of soot. Gas flames should be mainly blue when burning correctly.

Safety First—Always!

At SWVA, your safety is always our priority. All our technicians follow the highest safety standards for all your propane deliveries, and we invest in ongoing training to keep them up to date in the latest technologies and safety protocols available.

You can find links to more propane safety information on our propane safety page.

Remember that carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas produced no matter what type of fuel you use. It is odorless and tasteless, but high levels can be deadly. Be sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home—in addition to smoke detectors—and change the batteries twice a year. You can also install propane leak detectors, too. They’re inexpensive and easy to install—and can help detect a propane leak before you notice the smell.

If you have any questions about this information or any other propane safety issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us right away.

Should You Consider Switching to Auto Delivery This Season?

propane delivery virginiaWith a chill in the air, and more chills coming with Halloween right around the corner, it’s time for Will-Call customers to fill their tanks and consider switching to Automatic Delivery for the season ahead—which helps bring peace of mind to any household.

Since 1945, SWVA Gas Service has built a reputation of providing our customers with reliable propane delivery, and installation and servicing of appliances in a large portion of Southwestern Virginia. We have a long history of giving families warmth, savings and safety. We’re a locally owned and operated propane provider, so we know our neighbors and go to great lengths to keep them happy!

To our loyal customers, we provide safe and steady propane delivery to homes, businesses, and farms, featuring honest pricing, and top-notch sales and installation of high-level propane appliances. At SWVA, customer satisfaction is always our No. 1 priority.

Automatic Delivery Makes Things Easy!

SWVA likes to remove the guesswork for our clients and keep things simple. You’re all busy enough: Let us do the work regarding your propane access.

A big part of this simplicity is to enroll in our Automatic Delivery! After joining our popular program, the days of heading outside in messy weather to check your propane gauge levels—or forgetting to check them to begin with—are a thing of the past. You also won’t have to contact us to set deliveries, fret over running low on fuel or shell out extra money for an emergency propane delivery. Who wants to deal with any of that?

As Will-Call customers, YOU are responsible for consistently checking your propane usage and tank gauge levels, then contacting SWVA to schedule a delivery when you need it. Right now, that also means getting the best possible rate, as the volatile fuel market has pushed prices across the industry to the highest levels in years. And, as we’ve all seen or dealt with once before, fuel always seems to run low at the worst possible time, like around the holidays or right before overnight guests arrive at your house.

SWVA Gas Service also offers multiple payment options to meet all budgets, tank and appliance installations, simple online payment methods, and outstanding, caring customer service representatives to fulfill your needs.

Reach out to SWVA Gas Service and let us be your trustworthy propane delivery company this season and for those well-beyond! Need a fill-up? Call us today—we’ll be happy to help.

Versatile Log Sets Can Go Just About Anywhere!

gas firplace installation virginiaThere’s nothing quite like the cozy feeling you get when you’re lounging in front of your fireplace on a cold or rainy night here in the New River Valley area of Southern Virginia.

However, it’s fair to assume that many of us don’t want to deal with the work of a wood fire—especially after a busy workday. Think about it! First, you must bring in the wood from outside. Then you must build the fire itself and wait for it to get going before you can finally get to relax in front of it.

Even after all that work, you’re not done yet! After you extinguish the fire, you have the messy job of cleaning up all the ashes and soot.

What’s easier? You can avoid all of this work and worry by adding propane-powered gas logs to your home this fall!

With a propane gas log set, you can have a fire in your fireplace any time you want it. Just push a button or flip a switch and your work is done! You can sit back and enjoy the realistic look of today’s propane gas logs and its flames. When you’re done, just turn off the fireplace and that’s it. No cleanup, no work, no worries!

Enjoy the Versatility of Gas Logs

Propane gas logs aren’t only designed to fit in fireplaces. Gas logs can also be used in gas outdoor fireplaces, a gas insert in your masonry fireplace, a propane fireplace, or a freestanding propane stove.

SWVA Gas Service sells and installs top-quality gas logs from leading manufacturers. Our in-house propane appliance experts can help you choose the right type, size, and style of gas logs to fit your appliance—and your budget. Our gas logs offer realistic looks and styles of woods such as oak, aspen, birch, cherry and more.

Once you’ve made your selection, our trained and experienced service technicians will safely and expertly install your new gas logs—just in time for the holiday season!

Propane Gas Fireplace Options

If you don’t have an existing masonry or brick fireplace in your home, you can still get that charming ambiance with direct vent and vent-free propane fireplaces.

A propane gas fireplace is easy to install. You can incorporate the ambiance and warmth into virtually any room, including kitchens and dining rooms as well as living rooms and family rooms. Create your dream master suite or a spa-like bathroom escape just by adding a gas fireplace. You can also convert a traditional fireplace to a maintenance-free propane hearth with a gas insert.

We have a wide and attractive selection of styles to complement any décor, from traditional to rustic to contemporary.

Read more about propane gas logs and fireplaces by visiting our website, today! Or contact us today for more information.

free automatic delivery virginiaAs preoccupied as we all are these days, it’s easy to forget a little detail like remembering to check the levels on your propane tank. Unfortunately, that particular detail can have big and costly consequences if you run out of fuel.

The most obvious problem to a propane runout, of course, is that you’ll be without heat in the middle of winter. You’ll also have to pay for an emergency fill-up rather than a standard top-off, along with a mandatory propane pressure test (which the law requires each time your propane system is shut down, for any reason).

Luckily, there’s a FREE service from SWVA Gas Service that helps you avoid these problems while taking many of the hassles out of heating your southwest Virginia home: Automatic Propane Delivery!

Automatic Delivery: Free Peace Of Mind

With Automatic Delivery, we’ll estimate the time of your fill-up based on how much fuel you’ve used in the past, the average use of homes your size in your area, and the current weather conditions. When your tank reaches about one-quarter (25%) full—we’ll be there. That’s a big step up from “will call” delivery, where you’re responsible for tracking your propane levels and scheduling all your deliveries.

Why Is Automatic Delivery FREE?

You might wonder if there’s some kind of catch to Automatic Delivery—why offer such a valuable service for free? The truth is that we make Automatic Delivery free because it benefits everyone—you, us, and the rest of our customers—by helping us to schedule more efficient delivery routes.

Let SWVA Gas Service take the hassle out of managing your propane deliveries in southwest Virginia with FREE Automatic Propane Delivery! Contact us today to learn more.

commercial propane service virginiaIf you’re looking for a better way to power your Southwestern Virginia farm or commercial business, look no further—propane gas is the answer!

Who Uses Commercial Propane?

Propane is one of the cleanest and greenest ways to power your commercial operation. It’s one of the most versatile, too, with uses that include:

  • Farm Applications: From drying crops and running coop heaters to powering irrigation systems and controlling weeds, propane can do it all for your farm or agribusiness.
  • Forklift Power: Propane offers big advantages over electric and gas when it comes to powering forklifts, including less downtime, safer use, lower operating costs, fewer emissions, and easier maintenance.
  • Propane-Powered Backup Generators: Severe weather is becoming more and more common, and the power outages they often bring can pose big financial risks for your business—not to mention health risks to your residents and patients. Backup propane generators can help keep your business online, your customers and patients safe, and your employees comfortable while you wait for power from the grid to return.
  • Temporary & Permanent Heating: Propane-powered salamanders and propane temporary heaters will keep your workers warm and comfortable while they build your construction project. Whether you use direct or indirect fired portable heaters, propane provides clean, consistent heat, free from moisture and emissions. Propane is perfect as a long-term solution for your commercial space, too, providing a powerful, efficient, and reliable option for space and water heating.
  • Commercial Cooking: Restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, churches and nursing homes use propane because it gives their cooks precise temperature control, high heat and consistency that helps them produce a high volume of food while maintaining high quality.

Five Key Commercial Propane Benefits

Why choose commercial propane over gas and electricity? How about these five big reasons:

  • It’s Versatile: Propane can power everything from furnaces and outdoor lighting to backup power.
  • It’s Efficient: Many propane-powered appliances offer AFUE ratings reaching into the high 90s!
  • It’s Safe: With extremely high standards set for fuel handling and equipment construction, propane gas offers a safe, dependable option for whole-home or supplemental heating.
  • It’s Eco-Friendly: Propane offers one of the best carbon profiles you’ll find among available energy sources!
  • It’s Economical: Average fuel prices for propane generally fall below those of other commercial fuels.

Clean, green propane. It’s the do-anything fuel for your Southwestern Virginia business! Contact SWVA Gas Service today to learn more about commercial propane services and commercial propane deliveries across Southwestern Virginia!

From Roanoke to Christiansburg, Blacksburg to Rocky Mount, SWVA Gas Service has been providing local fuel services across the New River Valley region of Virginia to homes, farms, and businesses alike! With more than 50 years of propane experience, let us show you the difference we can make for all your propane gas needs!

generator installation virginiaSevere weather can strike at any moment this time of year in southwestern Virginia—and with that severe weather can come potentially dangerous power outages.

One of the best ways to reduce the impact of severe weather is to invest in a propane backup generator! This powerful piece of home comfort equipment designed to give you peace of mind.

Powered by propane and connected to your home’s electrical and HVAC equipment, a backup or emergency generator looks like the outdoor compressor unit of your central air conditioner. The generator powers up automatically within seconds after the start of an outage, allowing a seamless transition to backup power.

Backup Generator Benefits

Today’s backup generators do much more than simply keep the lights on. Depending on the size and capacity of the unit, a propane whole house generator could:

  • Protect your property by keeping your security system and sump pump working, potentially preventing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damages and losses.
  • Protect your health by keeping critical medical equipment powered up and running reliably.
  • Preserve your food by preventing spoilage and keeping refrigerators working.
  • Keep you connected by powering outlets to run and charge laptops, tablets, cell phones, radios, and TVs.
  • Keep you comfortable by powering your AC or heating equipment, including your water heater.

Just remember that installing a backup generator is a job for licensed professionals with expertise in plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, along with local, regional, and federal flood, noise, gas, and electrical codes. Perhaps more than any other appliance, it is NOT a D.I.Y. job!

Be prepared for severe spring weather with professional emergency generator installations in southwestern Virginia by the experts at SWVA Gas Service. Contact us today to learn more.

Already have a backup generator? Make sure it’s filled up and ready for summer. Contact us to schedule a propane delivery for your backup generator today.

grilling tips virginiaMay is National Barbecue Month – time to get cooking on your propane grill (don’t have one yet? We can help you with that!).

As you prepare for the BBQ season ahead, please take a few minutes to review these important safety reminders for your cooking on your propane grill.

Safe Grilling Practices

  1. Keep your 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 – to light your grill, 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. NEVER attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water!
  6. 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.
  7. If transporting a portable propane cylinder for re-filling, always:
    • Transport it upright (with the valve on top) in a secure position to prevent rolling
    • Close and plug the cylinder valve
    • Place the cylinder in a well vented area inside the vehicle
    • Refrain from leaving the cylinder alone in a hot vehicle; go straight to your propane dealer and straight home when you pick it up.
  8. Always practice food safety:
    • If you can’t wash your hands, use antibacterial wipes before eating or handling food – especially raw meat, poultry, or fish.
    • Separate raw meats from cooked and prepared foods. Store raw meats in a separate cooler, place raw meat on its own plate, and use different utensils to handle uncooked and cooked food.
    • Always cook meats to recommended internal temperatures.
    • If you aren’t eating immediately, refrigerate food quickly after cooking.

    For more tips and information on safe food prep and handling, visit the Partnership for Food Safety Education website.

Still using that clunky old charcoal barbecue? Make the switch to propane today and enjoy instant start-ups, no chemical fumes, and precision temperature control! Contact us today to learn more about our available selection of propane grills and propane cylinder refills in Southwestern Virginia!

payment options virginiaIt’s still a bit chilly here in Radford, but the worst of heating season 2020/21 is behind us. It was an up and down year weather-wise in southwestern Virginia—and if you are a will call customer, you probably had the gas bills to prove it.

If you had been an SWVA Gas Service Budget Plan customer, on the other hand, you would have barely noticed the difference between cold months and warmer ones.

How Does A Budget Plan Work?

With a Budget Plan, we estimate your fuel costs for the year use based on your past bills, then divide that number into 12 equal installments, with one adjustment bill (or credit) per year. That way, you’ll avoid paying for almost a year’s worth of fuel during the small window of peak heating season. Instead, you’ll get level, predictable payments throughout the year, no matter how much gas you use.

With an SWVA Gas Service Budget Plan:

  • You’ll never pay a finance charge or any additional fuel surcharges
  • You won’t use more gas than you would otherwise
  • You won’t pay more per gallon for your propane
  • If actual propane costs are a little higher or lower than we estimated for the year, we will make a one-time adjustment (payment or credit to your account) in the spring season.

A FREE Path To Peace Of Mind

Enrollment for the SWVA Gas Service Budget Plan is now open—and the sooner you get on board, the sooner you’ll say goodbye to heating bill surprises!

Think of how much easier it will be to plan your monthly budget knowing what your energy bill will be! In a time where every day brings new surprises, it’s nice to have something you can rely on, from a company you can rely on.

Get ready—enrollment for the SWVA Gas Service Budget Plan begins in May! Contact us today to learn more about the Plan and other convenient SWVA Gas offerings that can make your life easier in the months ahead!

propane company virginiaA propane tank is a pretty simple device when it all boils down—but because it holds pressurized gas, it’s critical to inspect and maintain it regularly, and to repair it quickly and correctly.

The question is, who’s going to pay for that?

When You Lease A Propane Tank:

  • We do all required inspections and maintenance.
  • We take care of all repairs; if your tank needs to be replaced due to a fault or manufacturer defect, we’ll do it…for free.
  • If the tank ever leaks, we’ll replace it…for free.
  • If you need a larger or smaller tank, we’ll swap tanks…for free.

When You Buy A Propane Tank:

  • You do all required inspections and maintenance and incur all costs associated with them—including replacement parts for your tank, regulator(s), valves and lines. 
  • You must own and know how to safely use the equipment to properly maintain the valves, gauges, or exterior of the steel tanks—especially the tank bottoms. Improper use of these tools creates a hazard for your family.
  • If your tank leaks, any gas lost is your responsibility.
  • Our crews are prohibited by law from filling an improperly maintained tank; if we find a problem we cannot deliver your gas.

The bottom line is that buying your own propane tank will cost you more in the short AND long term and will be a headache for you along the way. Leasing your tank is almost always the smarter choice.

Safe, easy propane tank installations in the New River Valley

If the time has come to replace to install a new propane storage tank, SWVA Gas Service is ready for you. Our experts will work with you to right-size your propane tank, then get it installed quickly, safely, and in compliance with all state, local, and federal codes. Tanks from 100 gallons to 1,000 gallons capacity are available today!

If it’s time for a new propane tank, call the pros at SWVA Gas Service – we’ll get it done fast, and we’ll get it done right!