Propane tanks are an excellent way to heat homes during the winter and are a useful energy source for a variety of home appliances. With a bit of knowledge about propane and its usage, homeowners can get the most out of their tanks. One common question surrounding tanks such as 250 and 500-gallon options is how long the propane will last with regular use. Here, we explore how long 250 and 500-gallon propane tanks last in residential properties as well as what factors have an impact on longevity.
How Long Do 250 and 500 Gallon Tanks Last?
Propane tanks come in various sizes depending on whether they are for either residential or commercial use, with 250 and 500-gallon tanks standing out as common choices for residential propane. Some homeowners may not know that prone tanks are only filled up to 80% of their capacity for safety because propane expands once heat is applied. A 250-gallon residential propane tank holds 200 gallons of propane and will generally last around a month—but a tank can last much longer depending on a list of factors.
A 500-gallon tank holds 400 gallons of propane and can last several months, ranging between 2 to 14 months. On average, homeowners can expect that the tank will last around 5 months with regular use of appliances. Statistics show that the average home in the US uses around 750 gallons of propane throughout the winter months. The tanks themselves are made out of galvanized steel that can last over 30 years if serviced and maintained properly.
What Factors Effect How Long Propane Lasts?
Several factors will determine how long propane will last for your home. One is the size of your property. A smaller home will typically require less propane to power its appliances than a larger household would. How often members of a household put their propane to use is also a factor in how long tanks will last over time. Keep in mind that residential propane is used for heating and powering certain appliances such as water heaters, clothes driers, barbeques, and stoves, and usage rates of these appliances may vary from household to household. Having a clear idea of your usage rates may therefore give you some insights into the longevity of your propane supply.
Determining Your Usage
Determining how long a tank of propane will last involves utilizing the British Thermal Unit (BTU) and knowledge of the BTU ratings of the appliances you are using in your home. You can divide the BTU of a gallon of propane (92,000) by the BTU rating of the appliance to determine how long it will take the appliance to burn a gallon of propane.
Estimating your propane usage for a residential tank can be difficult if you have multiple members of your household or may forget to note when you use an appliance. For this reason, it is always a good idea to read your gauge meter around once a week to know when to call for a delivery. The percentage of propane left in a tank can be found on the tank’s gauge, and the best time to call for delivery is when the tank is around 30 to 40% full.