Grilling Safety: Propane BBQ Edition

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Grilled food can really hit the spot on nice Arizona days. Before you use your BBQ, make sure that you keep these grilling safety tips in mind. This helps ensure that you and your family can enjoy grilled dinners without any trouble.

Store Propane Tanks Properly

Grilling safety involves storing propane tanks properly. Tanks for gas grills can easily become a hazard. Store these tanks in a vertical and upright position. Also make sure they are kept far away from any heat or ignition sources, such as lighters or matches. If you have a gas line for your grill, you don’t have to deal with propane tanks at all.

Turn the Grill on Safely

Another important grilling safety tip is to make sure that you turn the grill on correctly. This involves opening the lid and turning the propane on. After this is done, turn the knobs for the burners, then push the ignition. Doing this the right way lowers the risk of fires and other accidents.

Never Use Lighter Fluid

Never use lighter fluid to ignite a gas grill. Lighter fluid is a major fire hazard when it isn’t used properly. You will avoid having to worry about this if you have a gas grill with its own natural gas line installed.

Check for Leaks

Gas leaks can occur when you use propane tanks for your grill. You should check for leaks by putting a solution of water and light soap on the gas tank hose. If you see bubbles, this means you have a gas leak that needs to be fixed by a professional right away. Grills with a gas line have a lower risk of ending up with these leaks.

Don’t Reignite Right Away

If your grill doesn’t ignite, don’t light it again right away. You could have gas in the air that needs time to clear out. Lighting it again immediately could result in a fire and serious injuries. Wait for 5 minutes before you try to ignite your gas grill again.

Keep Your Grill Clean

Grilling safety includes making sure that your gas grill stays in good condition. Grease and other debris can build up over time, which can increase the risk of a fire. Clean debris off your grill and from the tray under it. You should wait for your grill to cool before cleaning it. Getting into the habit of doing this after using your grill each time means you won’t have to scrape a lot of debris off later on.

Turn Your Grill Off Properly

When it comes to grilling safety, it’s important to ensure that you turn your grill off the right way. This reduces the risk of injuries and accidents. You’ll need to turn the gas tank off before shutting off the gas burners. Make sure that your propane cylinder valve is fully closed to prevent gas from leaking. With a gas line grill, all you have to do is shut it off without having to deal with any tanks.

If you’re ready to install a gas line for your grilling area, contact Forrest Anderson. We can ensure that this is done properly for your safety.

7 tips you need to know before installing an outdoor fire pit

Warm evenings are great for gathering around an outdoor fire pit for quality time with family and friends. Whether you want to unwind with friends at the end of a long week or sing campfire songs and roast s’mores with your family, a gas line fire pit offers a convenient way to do so. Before you have one installed, keep the following information in mind about outdoor fire pits.

Consider Your Budget

You don’t want to go over your budget for your outdoor fire pit. To avoid spending too much, compare costs and decide what features your fire pit should have. Keep in mind that size and material can affect the overall cost. Adding seating to your fire pit setting will also cost you more, so factor that in as well.

Think About Location

If you plan on having a permanent outdoor fire pit installed, rather than a portable one, decide where it should go. You’ll need to keep it a reasonable distance away from your home and other flammable places, such as storage sheds. A gas line outdoor fire pit needs to be in a location that allows it to be easily connected to a natural gas source.

Decide Between Gas or Wood

Wood and gas are common types of outdoor fire pits. Which one should you go with? Wood fire pits give off a more campfire-like smell, but they are also more dangerous. Some logs can spark or smoke easily, resulting in a fire hazard. A gas line outdoor fire pit offers a more convenient and safer way to have a fire burning in your yard.

Choose a Surface for It

What kind of surface should your outdoor fire pit go on? There are several options to consider, such as brick, concrete and slate. Permanent fire pits are sometimes placed on gravel if you’re looking for a simple setup. You should avoid having your fire pit placed on a wood surface, such as a wood deck, since this creates a higher risk of a fire.

Determine the Size You Need

How big does your outdoor fire pit need to be? This depends on how many people are likely to be sitting around it on a regular basis. You’ll need a larger one if you have a bigger family or if you plan on having a bunch of friends over regularly during the summer. Otherwise, you can plan on having a smaller one installed. No matter what size you need, gas line fire pits are available in a wide range.

Consider Convenience

If you’ll be using your outdoor fire pit often, make sure it won’t be difficult or inconvenient to do so. Wood fire pits require you to store a steady supply of wood in your yard. Gas line fire pits provide greater convenience for regular use since you just have to switch your fire pit on when you want to use it.

Think About the Installation Process

How difficult is it to have a fire pit installed? If you choose to have a gas line outdoor fire pit installed, leave this to the professionals. This ensures that your fire pit’s gas line is connected safely and properly.

If you’re thinking of having a gas line outdoor fire pit installed at your Arizona home, contact Forrest Anderson for more information.

Charcoal vs. Gas vs. Propane grill

When it comes to grilling, every backyard expert has an opinion on which fuel is best. Ask enough people, however, and you’ll soon learn that there is truly not a definitive answer. Whether it’s natural gas, charcoal or a propane grill, each method has its loyal legion. It’s an argument almost as old as time.

Charcoal aficionados will tell you there’s no way they’d ever cook with gas. Propane and gas cookers scoff at the perception of wasted effort by charcoal grillers. The truth is, both are right. There’s no right or wrong way to cook with fire, just different methods.

Charcoal Grilling

Charcoal grillers rest their argument on one main principle: the increased taste from the smoke that charcoal imparts on the meat. Meat drippings are also vaporized and re-introduced to the meat’s surface when hitting flame; something that doesn’t happen with natural gas or propane.

Those that prefer cooking with a different fuel point to a couple big differences between charcoal grilling and gas or propane grilling. Controlling the heat of a charcoal grill presents something of a learning curve. It can be done, but it takes time to master 2-zone grilling and dial in the dampers to control the flame just right. Do that, and you’ll have a fire that burns hotter than propane or natural gas.

It’s also important to perfect the technique of getting the coals going. Relying on starter fluid to get a stack of briquets going can be tricky. Use too much fluid, and your food will develop an unpleasant taste.

Propane Grilling

Grilling with propane may not impart the same flavor profile as a charcoal grill, but it offers a number of other advantages that some grillers go for.

Propane grilling is a much quicker process for a number of reasons. It gets hotter quicker, allowing you to spend less time tending the grill. It’s also much easier to control heat levels accurately.

Propane grills offer a bit more portability than natural gas grills and therefore are a bit more popular. Propane grills come with more features like side burners.

Natural Gas Grilling

While natural gas grills are not as common, it’s becoming more and more popular. Matters of convenience, cost and environmental impact lead many homeowners to install natural gas grills in their backyard.

Natural gas grills are typically attached to a fixed gas line that’s installed by a professional. Portability is not a factor with natural gas grills. Since a natural gas grill has an always-on, always-accessible fuel source, however, it offers a distinct advantage over propane grills, which run off tanks that need to be refilled. Natural gas grills can also be used to cook over a large area, just like propane, giving both gasses an advantage over charcoal.

Recently, natural gas grills have been gaining popularity for another reason. It’s a cleaner-burning fuel than propane, meaning it’s better for the environment. Natural gas is also a cheaper fuel.

For those who would like to experience a streamlined, no-hassle backyard grilling experience, natural gas grills are truly the way to go. When you decide to make the move to natural gas, call on our professional team at Forrest Anderson to install your gas line. We’ve been servicing the heating, cooling and plumbing needs of the greater Phoenix area since 1961.

5 important parts of your HVAC system

Many homeowners aren’t familiar with the different parts of an HVAC system. Although you should let HVAC professionals handle problems with your system, it’s helpful to know some of the most important parts. This can help you understand what’s going on if you have issues with your heating and cooling system.

Blower Motor

The blower motor in your HVAC system is the part that blows heated or cooled air into your home. When this motor kicks in, it pushes this air through your ductwork, which allows it to reach all parts of your home. Blower motors are available in conventional and variable speed models.

Blower motors can run into problems that affect how well your HVAC system heats or cools your home. Problems with the blower motor include having it run too often or having it not start at all. HVAC technicians should check this part of your HVAC system to make repairs or replace it if needed.

Compressor

A compressor, or condenser coil, is an HVAC component that helps keep your home cool. Heat pumps and central air conditioning systems have these outdoor units. Compressors send heat into the air outside and cool homes by condensing refrigerant.

Compressors are prone to having problems when airflow through these units is obstructed. This can happen when you have leaves or other vegetation around the unit. Shrubs or bushes can also obstruct compressors. Have HVAC technicians do maintenance on your compressor to keep it in good condition.

Evaporator Coil

Evaporator coils are important components inside heat pumps and central air conditioning systems. This coil contains refrigerant that absorbs heat and sends it back into your home as cooled air. This component also helps lower the humidity in your home.

Evaporator coils can have too much moisture on them, resulting in mold growth. These coils can also become frozen if you have any refrigerant leaks. Mold and ice can lower your air quality and even cause your HVAC system to break down. Have these coils cleaned and maintained to prevent this.

Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber in a furnace is also known as a burner. Gas and air enter this part of your furnace, which causes a pilot or electronic ignition to start. In some furnaces, there is also another combustion chamber. This chamber catches and compresses unburned fuel and carbon monoxide. The result is a furnace with better efficiency.

Problems with the combustion chamber usually involve the way it ignites. Electronic ignition systems can be damaged or may malfunction. Pilot lights can go out or end up letting carbon monoxide into your home. It’s important to have an HVAC technician check and repair any problems you have with the combustion chamber in your HVAC system.

Heat Exchanger

Furnaces, including electric and gas models, have a heat exchanger that is used for warming up cooler air. This part of your HVAC system is what generates heated air to keep your home warm in winter.

Heat exchangers are made to be durable. However, they can develop cracks that could cause a carbon monoxide leak inside your home. Regular HVAC exchanger inspections can help prevent cracks and leaks.

Whether your HVAC system is louder than usual or just won’t start, contact Forrest Anderson today for service.