If you’re entirely new to propane, the first thing you need to know is that it is a clean burning fossil fuel that is produced as a byproduct of natural gas and petroleum. Its applications are numerous, but it is most commonly used to fuel gas grills and gas stoves. It is also commonplace to use this fuel to heat whole homes and to power household appliances in areas not equipped with natural gas pipelines.
How Long Does a Tank of Propane Last When Grilling:
The main factor at play is whether or not you are relying on a traditional 20 lb. cylinder of propane when grilling (this is most common) or if your gas grill is connected to a larger propane tank. Assuming you are using a 20 lb. cylinder, the answer is between 18-20 hours. To be safe you should keep an extra tank on hand to avoid running out of fuel. It should last much longer if your grill is connected to a larger tank fueling your home.
How Long Does Propane Tank Last For a House:
The answer to this question is going to primarily depend on the size of your tank as well as the number of appliances that are drawing from your supply. It should come as no surprise that you will consume fuel at a much faster rate when numerous appliances draw from your tank as opposed to a single furnace unit. With that said, you can rely upon a formula to help understand the amount of energy you can draw from your tank.
It is important to note that a single gallon of propane equates to 91,500 British Thermal Units (BTU). Each appliance that draws from your tank (i.e. – furnace, stove, dryer) will have a BTUH rating associated with it. This represents BTUs per hour. To determine the number of hours you can draw energy from your tank you will follow the below formula-
BTUH/91,500 = Gallons of Fuel Consumed/Usage Hour
Gallons of Fuel Consumed/Usage Hour X Number of Gallons in Your Tank = Approximate Number of Hours of Energy With Your Current Propane Supply
For example, if your furnace had a BTUH of 80,000 we would divide 80,000 by 91,500, which will tell us that your furnace consumes 0.87 gallons of propane/hour. If you have a 500-gallon propane tank that is 80% full, we know that you have approximately 400 gallons remaining. 0.87 X 400 = 348 hours of energy with your current supply.
If we assume that you run your heat 4 hours/day (this number varies on an individual basis) we can infer that you have 87 days of fuel remaining. This formula can be repeated to account for other appliances that draw from your tank.
Does Propane Expire:
Propane does not expire. What you should be more concerned about is how you’re storing your fuel. Whether your tank is above or below ground, it will age and deteriorate over time. We recommend homeowners recertify their tank at the 10-year mark and then every 5 years after that.
Annual visual inspections and intermittent pressure & leak tests will serve to increase the lifespan of your tank. You should immediately call your fuel provider if you ever realize you have an empty tank.
Ways to More Closely Monitor Your Levels:
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the gauge on your tank. In your first year in a new residence, you will benefit from tracking your consumption more closely to help avoid a run-out. Companies such as Aero Energy offer free tank monitors that allow you to view your levels any time from the convenience of your smart phone. This comes built in with automatic delivery features for ultimate peace of mind.