Let’s be honest: gas is never cheap. Even when it’s in the form of flatulence after eating a hefty serving of beans – it’ll cost you. When it comes to using propane, you want to know what you can expect when buying a tank of gas. You want to know if it’ll last months or years, so you’re not surprised when it runs out and you’re left in the cold in the dead of winter. As you prepare to buy a new 500-gallon propane tank, there are a few facts to learn about the average lifespan and how you can make it last longer to get more bang for your buck.
The Average Lifespan of a 500-Gallon Propane Tank
The best way to determine the average time a 500-gallon propane tank will last is by using an example. Let’s use the state of New York as an example, a northeast area that is all too familiar with the heating needs of the changing seasons.
The New York State government estimates that full-service residential customers use 1,110 gallons of propane annually. Dividing this number by 400 gallons (a “full” propane tank should only contain roughly 80% of its total capacity) comes out to just over three fills per year.
Further, consider the fact that the portion of the year when heat is generally considered a requirement is from October through May. Dividing those eight months by three fills comes to 2.6 months or just over 11 weeks between each refill.
Additional Factors to Consider
As one might expect, there isn’t a solid number for how long a 500-gallon propane tank will last because there are several factors to consider, along with things like home size and the length of the season. In addition, the lifespan of each propane tank refill is also impacted by the following:
• The severity of the weather each winter.
• The number of appliances that use propane in the household.
• The energy efficiency of a furnace and other propane appliances.
• If you have guests in the house for an extended period.
• If you have alternative heat sources to supplement with, like a fireplace.
Ways to Extend Your Propane’s Lifespan
You can add several weeks and months to your propane tank with a few simple steps:
• Use your thermostat correctly: Programming your thermostat to lower the house temperature while you sleep or are away can reduce propane usage. A high-tech smart thermostat can further learn your behaviors and improve your fuel efficiency (besides the fact that it looks cool on the wall).
• Weatherproof your home: Block cracks and crevices while sealing windows and doors. Install insulation. Make your home airtight to keep the heat inside where it belongs.
• Install a fire log or use a propane space heater: There are many benefits to installing a propane fireplace insert, which includes choosing where to heat your home. This allows you to keep unused rooms cooler, naturally reducing your fuel consumption.
• Dress warmer: You finally have an excuse to break out your Snuggie as you insulate your body and rely less on your propane tank.
Keeping Your Propane Tank Full This Winter
Estimating your propane tank lifespan is a helpful way to budget for your winter expenses so you can still plan on buying yourself a designer bag instead of faking it with a dupe. But, at the end of the day, you want to ensure that you have enough fuel, no matter the circumstances.
With the help of an expert, you can create a monthly budget billing plan to ease the pressure and ensure you’re warm from October to May — no exceptions.
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