How long does a 250 gallon propane tank last for a home?


250-gallon propane tanks are primarily used for winter heating. With a 250 gallon residential tank, you can heat your entire home. The main question here is:

How long does a 250 gallon propane tank last for a home?

Size and Dimensions of a 250 Gallon Propane Tank
Example of an above ground 250 gallon propane tank. You can check 250-gallon propane tank dimensions here.

Here’s the short answer:

A 250-gallon propane tank holds anywhere between 26 days To 7 months and 2 days, This is a very wide range. The longevity of a 250-gallon propane tank depends on usage (how much propane you burn per day). This is indirectly tied to how big a house you want to heat with a 250 gallon propane tank.

If you want to use a residential propane tank for heating, you will have to calculate how long will it last, There are two ways to calculate this (we use both of them further), namely:

  1. by heating up the demand. This is the hard way; You need to estimate your average heating demand over the 6 winter months. Example: A home with 20,000 BTU heating demands will burn in 37-38 days in a 250-gallon propane tank.
  2. According to the size of the house. This is the easy way. Obviously, a 250-gallon propane tank will last longer to heat a smaller 500-square-foot home than it will heat a large 4,000-square-foot home. If you examine this analysis of how long propane tanks last, you can see that an average American household (2,200 square foot home) uses approximately 750 gallons of propane for heating over the 6 winter months (October to March). uses it. We can use these average propane heating consumption to calculate how long a 250 gallon propane tank will last for any given home size.
    how much propane do we need to heat in winter
    On average, an American household burns 750 gallons of propane each winter. Data Source: US Energy Information Administration

We also need to keep in mind that a full 250-gallon tank holds 200 gallons of propane. This is the 80% rule for all residential tank sizes; This is a security measure.

Let’s first look at how you can calculate how long a 250 gallon propane tank will last for heating via heating demand. After that we will also see how long this tank will last in houses of 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500 and 4000 square feet:

Method 1: How Long Will a 250 Gallon Propane Tank Last (By Heating Demand)

Here we will determine how much energy a 250 gallon propane tank holds. Then comes the tricky part – evaluating how much energy you need for heating. Based on this, we can calculate how long a 250 gallon propane tank should last.

1 gallon of propane contains 91,500 BTU of heat energy. In a full 250-gallon propane tank, we have 200 gallons of propane. Here’s how much energy is in a 250 gallon propane tank:

Energy Content (250-Gallon Tank) = 200 gallons × 91,500 BTU/gallon = 18,300,000 BTU

This means that a 100% full 250-gallon propane tank contains about 20 million BTUs of heat energy.

Now we need to determine how many BTUs we use to heat our home. Smaller homes require 5,000 Btu/h and the largest homes require more than 50,000 Btu/h. This is the average hourly heating output over the 6 winter months (it is extremely difficult to evaluate; this is the primary reason we use the following easy method 2 for this calculation).

Example: Let’s say we have a house that requires 15,000 BTUs of heat every hour. We know that there is 18,300,000 BTUs of energy in a 250 gallon propane tank. How long will this energy from a 250 gallon propane tank last? Here’s how we can calculate it:

How long will a 250-gallon tank last? = 18,300,000 BTU / 15,000 BTU/h = 1,220 h =

50 days and 20 hours

As you can see, for such heating demand, a 250-gallon propane tank will last 10 days to 2 months.

We have calculated how long a 250 gallon propane tank will last based on different heating requirements. Here is the full count table:

Heating Requirement (Btu/h): Holds for a 250-gallon tank:
5,000 Btu/h 153 days
10,000 Btu/h 76 days
20,000 BTU/h 38 days
30,000 Btu/h 25 days
40,000 Btu/h 19 days
50,000 BTU/h 15 days

Of course, it is very difficult to accurately assess the need for heating. So we use an easy method to determine how long a 250 gallon propane tank will last (depending on the size of the house):

Method 2: How long will a 250-gallon propane tank last for 500-4,000-square-foot homes

Here we use average US propane consumption for heating per household data from Statista. In short, on average, an American household (2,200 square feet) uses about 750 gallons of propane for heating during the 6 cold months (October to March).

This means that we, on average, need 1 sq ft. 0.341 gallons propane for heating of our house For example, 1 gallon of propane is equal to 4.25 pounds; We need about 1.45 lbs of propane per square foot for heating.

This gives us an idea of ​​how long a 250 gallon propane tank will last for any size home.

Example: Let’s say we have a 1,500 square foot house and use a 250 gallon propane tank for heating. We know it holds 200 gallons of propane when full, and we need about 0.341 gallons of propane per square foot to keep our home warm. Let’s first calculate how much propane we need to heat the 6 cold months;

how much propane (6 months) = 1,500 square feet × 0.341 gallons / square foot = 511.5 gallons

This means we would need a total of 511.5 gallons to heat an average 1,500 square foot home. This is 6 months of propane.

Now, there are 200 gallons in a 250 gallon propane tank. If we needed 511.5 gallons for heating, we would need to refill the propane tank twice per season. What’s more, we can now calculate how many months/days a 250-gallon propane tank is good for:

How long will a 250-gallon tank last? = (200 gallons / 511.5 gallons) × 180 days = 70.4 days = 2 Months, 10 Days, 10 Hours

here you have it; A 250 gallon propane tank will be able to heat an average 1,500 square foot home for more than 2 months.

We have calculated how long this size of propane tank will last for different home sizes. Here is the full count table:

House Size (Square Footage): How long will a 250 gallon propane tank last?
500 square feet 7 months and 2 days
1,000 square feet 3 months and 16 days
1,500 square feet 2 months and 11 days
2,000 square feet 1 month and 23 days
2,500 square feet 1 month and 12 days
3,000 square feet 1 month and 5 days
3,500 square feet 1 month
4,000 square feet 26 days

You can use this table as a good estimate of how long a 250 gallon propane tank will last.

For other residential tank sizes, you can refer to the following articles:

If you have any questions, or are having difficulty calculating all of these, you can send us a comment below and we’ll try to help you as much as possible.

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