Monthly Archives: June 2016

What Determines Pennsylvania Propane Prices?

 

money

Propane can be an easy, green way to provide energy for anything from your pool heater to your backyard barbeque to your whole house. But we have seen many different propane prices in PA, sometimes even just from store to store or town to town. What exactly determines propane prices, and how can you get the best deal? Here are the five biggest factors:

  1. The market. One of the main things that impacts propane prices is propane production around the world. Propane is typically found mixed in with natural gas deposits, and new deposits that are found can cause prices to fall while increased demand can cause prices to rise. We find that the best PA propane prices come from companies that adjust their rates according to the market—giving you a lower price when the market is low, and only raising your price if their own cost goes up. This allows them to give you lower rates much of the time, whereas “fixed price” propane companies always have to charge you as if the market is high, to cover their costs.
  1. The size of tank you use. This is the biggest factor in your month-to-month propane costs. Another way to put this is, “How much propane do you use?” If you buy bigger tanks or go through propane more quickly, you will pay more. However, even two households using the same amount of propane will pay different prices if they use different tank sizes. Generally, the larger the tank you use, the less you’ll pay per gallon of propane. If you’re torn between two sizes, go with the larger of the two.
  1. Whether it’s delivered or not. For low to moderate propane usage, it may make more fiscal sense to drive in to a filling station rather than get at-home delivery. Even 100 pound tanks are relatively easy to move to a vehicle and bring in for refilling, and if you combine the trip with a weekly grocery run you won’t use extra gas. Refilling your own tank means no delivery fees.
  1. Whether you own or lease the tank. For larger tanks, you can potentially save money if you own your own tank. However, be aware of two things: first, we recommend this only for individuals who understand propane tank maintenance, and secondly, there is an upfront cost to buying your own tank, which may pay off in the long run and you keep your tank in good condition. If you’d rather avoid the hassle, you can simply rent/lease a tank (often at no cost to you).
  1. Discounts. A good propane dealer will give discounts to long-term customers, often with a multi-year agreement. This should just mean you agree to buy your propane from them—it shouldn’t lock you into a set price (see #1, above!).

 

Understanding Propane Tank Dimensions

Whether it’s for a backyard barbeque or your whole home energy needs, getting the right size propane tank is a must. But propane tank dimensions aren’t always easy to understand. How big will this tank be, will it fit where you need it to fit, and exactly how much propane do you get? Below is our complete guide.

Weight vs. Gallons of Propane

propane tank

Perhaps the most confusing part of understanding propane tank dimensions is knowing exactly how much propane you’re getting. Propane tanks are typically referred to by their weight—how many pounds they weigh when full. But most of us don’t have a clear sense of how much propane weighs, especially with the weight of the tank itself added in. To get a better visual of how much propane is inside, it’s often better to know how many gallons of propane a tank can hold.

Below, we will list all tanks by their weight but also give how many gallons they hold. Note: the two largest tank sizes are always listed by gallons, never weight.

Bear in mind that the best way to know how much propane you’ve used, or how much is left, is just through experience. Many propane tanks come with gauges that show you exactly how much you have, similar to the gas gauge on a car. But some propane tanks, particularly the smaller ones, do not. With these smaller tanks it’s generally best to have two on hand: one that you’re using, and one that you can switch to when the first one runs out. Then replace the first one and you’ll always have a backup.

Common Propane Tank Sizes

Here are the most common propane tanks:

20 lb tank:

  • 18” tall and 12” in diameter
  • Holds 5 gallons of propane
  • Very portable, easy to pick up
  • Usually exchanged at a refill station for a fresh tank

33 lb tank:

  • 2 feet tall and 1 foot in diameter
  • Holds 8 gallons of propane
  • Very portable, can be picked up by one person
  • Usually exchanged at a refill station for a fresh tank

100 lb tank:

  • 4 feet tall and 18” diameter
  • Holds nearly 25 gallons when full
  • Portable, may want a buddy to help
  • At-home exchange service is available

2x 100-lb tank setup:

  • Two 100 lb tanks are connected with a switchover valve
  • When one tank runs out, the valve automatically switches to the full one
  • A red/green indicator tells you when to replace the first tank.

420 lb tank:

  • 4 feet tall by 3 feet diameter
  • Holds 100 gallons of propane
  • Not portable. Refilled on-site.

500 gallon tank:

  • 5 feet tall by 10 feet long
  • Holds 400 gallons at 80% capacity (standard fill)
  • Above ground or below ground. Refilled on-site.

1,000 gallon tank:

  • 5 feet tall by 16 feet long
  • Holds 800 gallons at 80% capacity (standard fill)
  • Above ground or below ground. Refilled on-site.

What size propane tank is the best fit for you? Are you not sure? Contact one of our experts today for the help you need: 1-888-449-3585.