A propane tank is a must in every winter household. A general US household uses about 750 gallons of propane in one winter. Propane has its many uses starting from cooking, heating, and even drying clothes.
To make the most use out of a propane tank, it is important to know how the tank works and how you can maintain it.
How Long Does A 500-Gallon Propane Tank Last?
A 500-gallon propane tank can last up to any time between 2-14 months. The lasting time is determined based on the amount of propane used by average US households which is 750 gallons per winter. But, it also depends on the size of your home and some other factors.
Let’s walk through this section to know about their longevity in different circumstances as below –
For a house:
A 500-gallon propane tank can last for anywhere between 2 months to 14 months for a house. The lasting time depends mostly on the size and location of the house, amount of people living in it, and the number of appliances running on propane.
The heating requirements of a home increase with its size. A big house needs more heating than a regular one. On the contrary, a small house heats up fast and doesn’t burn that much propane.
So, a 500-gallon propane tank lasts much longer for a small house with less heating needs.
In winter, especially if the weather is too harsh, a 500-gallon propane tank can finish quicker than expected. Harsh winter requires more heating that ends up burning more propane.
Depending on the size and location of the house, a 500-gallon propane tank can last up to any time between 1 month 23 days to 14 months 4 days.
Should I get a 500 or 1000 gallon propane tank?
The size of a propane tank mostly depends on the size of your home as well as your family’s needs. Larger homes accommodate more people and usually have a lot of appliances that run on propane. Therefore, larger homes require more propane to function properly.
A 500-gallon propane tank is big enough for homes over 2500 sq ft. If you have the right space for it, you can get a 500-gallon propane tank even for smaller homes as it will last longer.
Homes over 4500 sq ft can go for the 1000 gallon propane tank but a 1000 gallon propane tank is too big and needs the right space to store.
6 factors that affect the time of a 500-gallon propane tank lasting
Factors that affect the time of a 500-gallon propane tank lasting have been discussed below –
The size of your home:
The size of your home plays the most important role in the lasting time of a 500-gallon propane tank. A big home comes with more heating requirements compared to a small one. Therefore, a big home uses up a lot of propane.
Number of people living in the home:
The lasting time of propane largely depends on the number of people living in the house and how they are using it. If there are more people, the more heating the house will require. Most of the propane gets used for heating water and burning furnaces.
Number of appliances that use propane:
Another important factor is the number of appliances in the house that run on propane. If your house has too many propane running appliances, the tank is likely to get empty quickly.
With a big house and a big family, the number of appliances increases, and the lasting time of a propane tank decreases.
Location of the house:
The location of the house is also crucial when it comes to the usage of propane. If you live in a colder zone, your heating requirement will be more and will eventually burn up more propane to fulfill that.
The harshness of the winter:
Winter is not the same cold every year. Some years, the weather gets too harsh. A house needs to burn more propane to run all the heating appliances in a harsh winter.
So yes, the lasting time of a 500-gallon propane tank also depends on the types of winters it has to encounter.
A little monitoring never fails when it comes to important elements of your home. It is wise to regularly check for leaks and other problems that may end up finishing the propane sooner than you planned.
How long does a 500-gallon propane tank last for different home sizes?
The numbers mentioned below are all estimated based on an average US household of 2300 sq ft. The numbers can vary depending on a lot of factors but are likely to be close to these estimations.
500 sq ft:
A 500 sq ft home doesn’t require much propane to fulfill its needs. With a 500-gallon propane tank, it can last up to 14 months and 4 days.
1000 sq ft:
A 500-gallon propane tank for a 1000 sq ft home lasts almost half the time required for a 500 sq ft home. It takes about 7 months and 2 days for the propane to finish.
1500 sq ft:
If you install a 500-gallon propane tank for your 1500 sq ft home, it can last up to 4 months and 6 days which is quite good.
2000 sq ft:
The average size of single-family homes in the US usually ranges between 2000-2500 sq ft. A 2000 sq ft home can last for at least 3 months and 25 days with a 500-gallon propane tank.
2500 sq ft:
A 2500 sq ft home is quite common in the US. It is quite spacious for a small to medium family and can last up to 2 months and 25 days with a 500-gallon propane tank.
3000 sq ft:
As the size of the home increases, the propane gets used up more and finishes quickly. A 3000 sq ft home can finish a 500-gallon propane tank in about 2 months and 11 days.
3500 sq ft:
With bigger homes, you may need to use more powerful appliances hence end up using more propane. A 500-gallon propane tank can last up to 2 months and 1 day for a 3500 sq ft home.
4000 sq ft:
A 4000 sq ft home is quite a large space for a 500-gallon propane tank to cover. A 500-gallon propane tank can last for only 1 month and 23 days for a 4000 sq ft home.
How to make a 500-gallon propane tank last longer?
The following tips might help you to make a 500-gallon propane tank last longer –
Limiting the use of hot water:
Most of the propane is used to supply hot water in winter households. If you want to prolong the life of your tank, you can try limiting the use of hot water. About 300 or more gallons of propane are consumed to produce hot water a year.
If you can limit the hot water usage even just a little, you can save both your money and the amount of propane. You can do this by monitoring how long the sink runs and limiting the time in the shower.
Limiting the use of furnace:
Another reason for most propane usage is the furnace that runs almost all the time and costs the most. It can be a good practice to limit the use of the furnace when it’s not needed.
You can remember to shut the furnace off when you go out or go somewhere for a long period. It is estimated that a furnace alone can consume 1000 or more gallons of propane per year.
Turning the thermostat down:
Another way to make your propane tank last longer is by turning the thermostat down. It doesn’t mean you have to make your house cold, you can save up propane by turning the thermostat down by just 10%-15% as even this much can make a huge difference.
How many gallons does it take to fill a 500-gallon propane tank? How much does it cost to refill?
A 500-gallon propane tank is never really full. There’s always some space left to allow the propane to expand freely.
If you’re new to finding out about the size of a household propane tank and how it works, you must know that a propane tank should never be filled to the brim with propane.
You have to leave adequate space for the propane to expand. It is too risky to fill up a tank to its 100% with propane. Generally, the rule is to fill 80% of the tank with propane and leave the rest 20% empty.
The market price of propane usually stays between $1.50-$2.00 per gallon. So if you’re planning to refill your 500-gallon tank, you will have to pay for 400-gallon propane which can cost between $600-$800. So, refilling a 500-gallon propane tank can be quite expensive.
A 500-gallon propane tank can last anytime between 2 to 14 months depending on the size and location of your home, heating requirements, and the number of appliances. The 500 gallon is the residential propane tank size. An average US household spends almost 750 gallons of propane per winter.