Propane consumers love the simplicity and peace of mind that comes with automatic delivery to their home or business. Propane suppliers utilize a well established method of using time and temperature measurements to predict how much heating a customer will need and when the next optimal delivery time is. These measurements are referred to as degree days and K-factor.
What are Degree Days?
A degree day is a measure of cooling or heating. In addition, degree days change daily along with the temperature and are based on the expectation that we don’t need either heating or cooling at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Degree days are calculated based on heating values and are the difference between the average daily temperature outside and a standard temperature of 65°F. The more extreme the outside temperature, the higher the degree-day number will be requiring more energy for heating.
Formula for Calculating Degree Days
There is a formula propane suppliers use to calculate the degree days of a specific day. To understand the degree days for a specific day, you add the low and high temperatures for that day and divide your total by two. After that, you subtract that the number from 65.
Let’s use a cold January day as an example. The low for that day is 22 degrees and the high for that day is 36. If you plug those two numbers in the formula listed above, your degree days will be 36 for that specific day.
What is K-Factor?
K-factor is a specific number given to each customer and is based on their unique heating needs. In addition, the K-factor represents the quantity of gallons a customer will burn every day. Each customer has various heating requirements and needs that affects how much propane they use. Important factors that affect a customer’s K-factor number include:
- The size of the home
- The quality of the heater (type/size/age)
- The size of the propane tank
- The intended use of the propane tank
- The set thermostat temperature
If a household has a lower K Factor number, that means they are using up their propane faster.
Combining the K-Factor and Degree Days
Propane suppliers combine the K-factor and degree days to predict when a customer will need their next propane delivery. For example, if the degree days is 34 for a day and the K-Factor is 5, the household will use almost seven gallons of propane that day.
By examining the projected temperature for each day well in advance, propane suppliers can estimate the number of degree days coming up. This allows companies to accurately estimate next delivery dates. Furthermore, when a customer has a usage history with a company, projecting their next delivery becomes a lot easier.
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Great Valley Propane is known for its tremendous customer service, experienced technicians, and competitive propane pricing. In addition, Great Valley Propane takes the hassle out of our customers’ hands and schedules deliveries automatically and on-time. We promise to always put the customer first!
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