How Long Will my Propane Supply Last?

The Answer Could Depend on the Size of Your Tank

propane Bristol, TN When it comes to propane supply, it stands to reason that a bigger tank holds more propane, and more propane will last longer. What’s more, propane doesn’t spoil, like other types of fuel, so having too much isn’t a problem. But there’s no need to have the largest possible tank just to avoid runouts. There are easier ways to make sure you always have the propane you need for your home.

Our customers love the convenience of our automatic delivery service and our wireless tank monitor. Either of these options eliminate any need to worry about running out of propane. But if you feel like you need deliveries too often—more than every six weeks or so—your problem might be your tank size. When it comes to finding your propane tank size sweet spot, the pros at Admiral can help.

How are You Using Propane?

If you use propane to power an appliance or two, a 500-gallon tank could last as much as 14 months. If you use propane to heat your home, your water and run multiple appliances, you’ll probably need a fill-up every six to eight weeks. That’s based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which finds the average American home uses about 750 gallons each winter for heating, water heating and cooking.

It helps to know that different appliances burn propane at different rates, and some appliances don’t use much propane. For example, a propane cooking range only uses about 35 gallons a year. If that’s your only propane appliance, a 500-gallon tank will last 11 years! On the other hand, a propane fireplace uses about 200 gallons a year.

A traditional water heater burns about 1.5 gallons of propane a day, or about 200-300 gallons per year. A tankless water heater will use between a half a gallon and two gallons per running hour—basically, how long you are using hot water, since they heat on demand. Pool heaters use more propane, because they’re heating a lot more water.

Of course, the age and efficiency of your heating equipment and appliances will make a difference in how much propane you need.

One other factor: How many people are in your household? One or two people will use a lot less water for bathing, dishwashing and laundry than a big family.

When the Power Goes Out

One of the many benefits of running your home with propane is that you can also use propane to power a whole house generator. When storms bring down power lines, a stand-by generator goes on automatically, and can run key equipment or everything in your home. And the average 5000-watt stand-by generator will run for 7 to 10 days on a 500-gallon propane tank.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to residential propane use, propane tanks typically range from 120 gallons to 500 gallons, depending on what appliances and equipment you are running. Getting a big tank means you’ll need fewer refills—and you may be able to avoid or lessen the sting from price spikes. But, a bigger tank is, well, bigger: you’ll need space to bury it. And if it’s above ground, it will really detract from the curb appeal of your home.

The experts at Admiral can help assess your needs and make sure you get a propane tank that makes sense for your Tri-cities home. Ask us about tank monitors and convenient automatic delivery service that will help you streamline by eliminating the need to call for deliveries. Contact us for more information or to become a customer today.