How long does a 500-gallon propane tank last for a home? (calculated)


Of all the residential propane tank sizes, the 500-gallon propane tank is the most common. When winter weather is hot, you should at least have an idea of ​​how long a 500-gallon propane tank lasts in a home.

Here’s the deal:

Can run 500 gallon propane tank from anywhere 1 month and 23 days To 14 months and 4 days, For exact times, see charts and graphs for different sizes of homes ahead.

500 gallon propane tank
A 500 gallon tank is a residential propane tank for homes. It can be installed underground, in basements or even in large garages.

An average American household consumes about 750 gallons of propane per winter. it means that a Average the american family will need it 2 full fills of a 500-gallon propane tank per winter (A 500-gallon tank holds a maximum of 400 gallons of propane; 80% safety rules).

How long does a 500-gallon propane tank last for a home?
On average, an American household burns 750 gallons of propane each winter. data source: US Energy Information Administration

We’ll take a closer look at the lifespan of a 500-gallon tank. This will enable us to work out more accurately how long 500 gallons of propane will last in homes with square footage ranging from 500 square feet to 4,000 square feet.

To figure out how long a 500-gallon propane tank is for your home, we need to take these key parameters into consideration:

  • the size of your house. Larger houses require more heating; A 500 gallon propane tank will run out quicker than smaller homes.
  • Heating requirements (location). Homes in North America require a higher BTU heating output than homes in South America. Example: A 500-gallon propane tank will last longer in Texas than in Chicago.
  • How harsh is winter? In harsh winters we will burn more propane than in mild winters. As we can see from the average US household winter consumption data for the 2010 to 2016 period above, the 2013-2014 winter was the harshest and we burned an average of 750 gallons of propane versus 830 gallons of propane in the standard winter.
  • The energy efficiency of your propane-powered heating appliances. For example, high-energy-efficiency propane furnaces with an AFUE rating over 90 will cost less propane for the same heating output than furnaces with an AFUE rating of 70. That means a 500-gallon propane tank will last longer.
  • 80% max. Propane Tank Rules.

How much propane do we burn per winter? (house size)

As you can see from the EIA data, an average American household burns about 750 gallons of propane each winter. We also know that the average square footage of a single family home is about 2,200 square feet (data is from) statista, period 2010-2019).

We can calculate how many gallons of propane we burn during the winter per square foot:

750 Gallon Propane = 2,200 Square Foot House 0.34 gallons propane per square foot

Based on this, we can calculate average winter propane usage for various household sizes (these are rough average estimates):

House Size (Square Footage): Propane Consumption (in Gallons):
500 square feet 170 gallons
1,000 square feet 340 gallons
1,500 square feet 510 gallons
2,000 square feet 680 gallons
2,500 square feet 850 gallons
3,000 square feet 1,020 gallons
3,500 square feet 1,190 gallons
4,000 square feet 1,360 gallons

Now we know how many gallons of propane will burn on average throughout the winter in different sized homes. We can use this data to calculate how long a 500-gallon propane will last:

How long does a 500-gallon propane tank last for various household sizes?

First, we need to figure out how many gallons of propane a 500 gallon propane tank actually holds. Intuitively we think it’s 500 gallons; It’s actually 400 gallons.

We only fill propane tanks to 80% of their respective full volumetric capacity. This is done for security reasons. If a propane tank is heated, the propane will expand and create pressure on the outer layers of the tank.

This means that a full 500-gallon tank holds 400 gallons of propane, It has completely energy content 36,600,000 BTU (100% efficiency).

Before we look at the table for how long a 500-gallon tank will last for homes of various sizes, let’s look at an example of how you can calculate it.

Example: How long does a 500-gallon propane tank last in a 1,500 square foot home?

Based on average estimates, we know that 1,500 square feet will burn through 510 gallons of propane over 6 winter months. We also know that a full 500-gallon tank holds 400 gallons of propane. Here’s how we can calculate it:

  • 510 gallons of propane will last 6 months.
  • How many months will a 400 gallon (full 500 gallon tank) last?

400 gallons × 6 months = 510 gallons 4.706 Months

This means that a full 500 gallon propane tank will last for 4 months and 6 days in a 1,500 square foot home.

We can use this principle to calculate how long a 500-gallon tank will empty for various household sizes:

500-Gallon Tank Longevity Chart

House Size (Square Footage): How long will a 500 gallon propane tank last?
500 square feet 14 months and 4 days
1,000 square feet 7 months and 2 days
1,500 square feet 4 months and 6 days
2,000 square feet 3 months and 25 days
2,500 square feet 2 months and 25 days
3,000 square feet 2 months and 11 days
3,500 square feet 2 months and 1 day
4,000 square feet 1 month and 23 days

Here is a graphic representation of these numbers:

How long will a 500 gallon propane tank last for a home?

Now, these are only estimates, based on statistical averages.

One important factor that can increase or decrease the specified amount of time for how long a 500-gallon propane tank will last is the energy efficiency of your propane-powered appliances. This usually means a propane furnace.

high energy efficiency propane furnaces (with an AFUE rating greater than 90) will require less propane for the same heating output. These fantastic units can prolong how long a 500-gallon propane tank lasts up to 25%,

If you have any questions about the count or longevity of a 500-gallon propane tank, you can use the comments below and we’ll do our best to help.

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