In the United States, most households that rely on propane use a 500-gallon tank. Propane doesn’t lose potency or go bad over time, so the main concern is ensuring the tank doesn’t run out.
In considering how long a propane tank lasts, it’s important to keep in mind that propane tanks should only be filled to 80% of their total volumetric capacity for safety purposes. This guideline means that a 500-gallon propane tank refill is actually 400 gallons.
All told, the average homeowner can expect to fill their tank roughly two to three times a year. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect the time between propane tank refills.
How Long Does a 500-Gallon Propane Tank Last in the Average U.S. Household?
Generally speaking, a 500-gallon propane tank can last the average American household anywhere from two months to eight months.
The number varies depending on elements like:
- House size: Larger homes require more heating, so they’ll consume propane faster than smaller homes.
- Heating requirements: Climate also affects propane usage. Households in the northern U.S. require higher heat energy than those in the southern states due to their colder temperatures.
- Energy efficiency: 500 gallons of propane will last longer when paired with more energy-efficient propane furnaces.
- The number of appliances that use propane: Heating is just one household application for propane — it also powers appliances that people use to cook, dry clothes and complete other everyday tasks. Households that have more of these appliances naturally use more propane and require more frequent refills.
Long Will 500 Gallons of Propane Last During Winter Months?
Propane use tends to be highest during the winter for obvious reasons. Lower outside temperatures call for higher heat indoors. You can generally expect a 500-gallon tank of propane to last around two months during this time, though it’s important to monitor usage to avoid running out.
How Long Does a 500-Gallon Propane Tank Last During Warmer Months?
Most homeowners run their propane appliances at lower capacity and for less time in warmer months. During these times, a propane tank refill can last eight months or so.
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