What Size Propane Tank Do I Need? (Read this to find out!)
Updated: Nov 16, 2020
More and more Americans are deciding to buy their own propane tank.
Why is this?
Because when you own a propane tank, you no longer experience the limitations of leasing a tank from a particular company.
You can shop around for the best pricing on propane and avoid contracts, fees, and minimums from propane companies.
You even have the ability to customize your tank so that it’s not an eyesore on your property.
So what’s holding you back from purchasing your own propane tank?
For many people, it’s all the questions they have about the different tank sizes:
How big is a 500-pound tank?
Is a 150-pound tank enough for my home?
How much will it cost me to get my tank refilled?
We understand that making a purchase with so many questions isn’t very comfortable. That’s why we’ve written this article addressing the most common questions about propane tank size.
In the end, you’ll have the information you need to make a good decision and make a wise purchase!
Let’s get started!
Common Propane Tank Sizes
Propane tanks are measured by their weight - how heavy the tank is when it is full. The propane within a tank is measured in gallons.
In other words: if you want to know how much propane a tank holds, the gallon number is more important than the weight number.
However, after a tank exceeds 420 pounds, this rule changes, and propane tanks are measured strictly in the amount of propane they hold.
Many people also want to know the actual dimension in feet and inches of propane tanks. So, let’s take a look at common sizes and their dimensions.
20 lb propane tank
Twenty-pound tanks are quite common, though they are never used to heat homes. They are most commonly used to fuel an outdoor grill or for other small home projects.
18 inches tall and 12 inches in diameter
Holds 5 gallons of propane
100 lb propane tank
These tanks are still commonly used for cooking but are also used quite often as sources of fuel for gas dryers.
48 inches tall and 18 inches in diameter
Holds 25 gallons of propane
420 lb propane tank
Tanks of this size are primarily used as fuel for hot water heaters, fireplaces, or home appliances, but rarely for whole-home heating.
54.5 inches tall and 30 inches in diameter
Holds 96 gallons of propane
(Note: Any tanks exceeding 120 pounds can not be kept directly against any building. The 420 pound take would need to be stored a distance away from your home.)
250-gallon propane tank
The 250-gallon container is our first tank that is horizontal instead of vertical. These tanks can support appliances and are sufficient for heating systems in modestly sized homes.
7 feet 10 inches long and 30 inches in diameter
Holds 200 gallons of propane
500-gallon propane tank
These tanks are primarily used for providing power for a central heating system. Once filled, they can usually supply power to a home for a half year (depending on the home’s square footage).
9 feet 11 inches long and 37.5 inches in diameter
Holds 400 gallons of propane
1000 gallon propane tank
Now we are getting into the big fuel containers. 1000-gallon tanks are almost always used for large industrial and commercial projects, though they are sometimes used for home heating.
16 feet long and 41 inches in diameter
Holds 800 gallons of propane
How Long Will Propane Heat My Home?
Space is only one of the significant considerations when it comes to propane tank size.
You don’t want to have to purchase propane every couple of weeks, so you also need to consider what size of tank you need to last you for a while.
Several factors influence how long a tankful of propane lasts:
First, what are you using the tank for? If you are using propane only to heat your home, it will last longer than if you are using it for heat, plus power to appliances.
Second, how big is your home? A bigger home requires more energy to heat, and therefore, uses propane more quickly.
Third, how efficient is your home? Homes that are well insulated and have quality windows and doors require much less heat energy since they lose heat to the outdoors.
While we can’t answer those questions for you, we can share some key propane usage statistics.
An average home furnace burns 500-1,200 gallons of propane per year.
An average homeowner uses between 200-300 gallons of propane per year for hot water.
That means an average-sized family living in a moderate house that uses propane for heating and hot water probably wants a 500-gallon propane tank.
But everyone has slightly different needs when it comes to the amount of propane they need. Just make sure you know how much propane you need per year, and choose a tank that you won’t have to fill up more than once or twice per year.
(For a more detailed look at this, read our blog: Buying A Propane Tank - The Ultimate Guide).
Costs To Fill A Propane Tank
And the final question: how much will you pay to fill up various sizes of propane tanks?
This question is difficult to answer because propane prices fluctuate between suppliers, geographic areas, and seasons of the year.
In general, though, the price of propane hovers around $2.00 - $2.75 per gallon. Companies offering refills may charge as much as $3.25 - $4.00 per gallon.
If you own a propane tank, the process gets simpler.
Call around and ask propane suppliers what their propane prices are. Then multiply that number by the number of gallons of propane your tank holds.
The result is a number close to the amount you will pay each time you fill up your propane tank.
If you are ready to buy a propane tank in Southeast PA, contact the team at Affordable Tank Services by calling 717-548-3926.
We offer a variety of tanks for sale as well as ongoing tank services. If you are uncertain which tank size is best for you, just give us a call. We provide free estimates and advice for each unique situation. When you are ready to install your propane tank, we are only a call away!
Experience the freedom of finding the best propane pricing and customer service in your area by having Affordable Tank Services install your complete propane setup.
Call us today at 717-548-3926. We look forward to hearing from you!