There are multiple sizes of propane tanks for homes. You can even tie two tanks together. The question is, what is the correct amount of propane that you need for your particular home?
Let’s take a Goldilocks-like stroll through propane tank sizes to consider which tanks are too small, which tend to be too big, and which are just right for most residential homes.
Don’t Fall for a Small Tank
Small tanks are convenient and come in many different sizes. In addition, handheld tanks can be used for specific purposes each season. For instance, a 5-gallon cylinder is suitable for a grill. An 8-gallon one can fuel an RV or power a construction crew.
When it comes to homes, there are larger “small” tanks to choose from as you shop around. These can hold anywhere from 25 to 100 gallons.
Small tanks are perfect to use if you only need a limited amount of propane for specific activities, such as running a single appliance. However, if you’re looking to use propane in multiple ways in your home, you need a bigger tank with a larger capacity.
A Large Tank Can Be Overkill
Some tanks can get to be as large as 1,000 gallons or more. These supersized containers are useful for commercial operations and massive homes with abundant square footage for those who are living large.
However, typical residential homes in colder climates tend to use at most 1,100 gallons of propane each year. That makes refills tricky with a 1,000-gallon tank since a home would need to purchase several hundred gallons more than they need in the short term on every second or third refill.
Medium-Sized Tanks Are Just Right
For most residential homes, a 325 to 500-gallon tank is just what the doctor ordered. They’re ideal for homes that use propane for heating and appliances.
Remember, a propane tank is never full. You can only fill the tank to around 80% capacity to leave room for expansion and retraction. This means a 500-gallon tank only really holds 400 gallons.
This is a perfect middle point. A tank can last for multiple months at a time on average. Homeowners also don’t have to pay for constant fill-ups that come with a smaller tank while avoiding the bank-breaking cost of filling a 1,000-gallon tank all at once.
Other Propane Tank Considerations
The size of your tank is just one aspect. If you want to switch to a propane-powered home (which is worth the investment due to the benefits you’ll reap), you want to be fully aware of all the nuances of housing a propane tank on your property. Here are a few extra questions to ask yourself:
- Should you rent or own your tank? There are pros and cons to each option depending on your situation.
- Where should you put your tank? Regardless of its size, your tank will be a big white eyesore (unless you’re proud to rep that bad boy on your property and show it off to the neighbors). Do you want it tucked behind your home? Can you bury it to keep things safer and more aesthetically pleasing?
- Do you know how to read a propane tank gauge? It’s important to check your propane tank gauge from time to time to know when you need a refill.
- Are you set up for long-term maintenance? Make sure you have a propane service contract with a quality provider to keep your tanks safe, functional, and efficient over time.
From the size of your tank to its location, refill frequency, maintenance, and more, plenty of considerations come with heating with propane. The good news is that you don’t have to figure things out alone. In fact, it’s always a good idea to call in the professionals when installing propane for your home.
Once you find a propane size that is just right for your needs, you can have the heat to cook porridge and stay warm indoors, where you’re less likely to encounter a few bears as Goldilocks did. You’ll get more use out of the right propane tank and avoid replacing it sooner when it’s the perfect capacity for your residential property.
It really helped when you elaborated on purchasing the right-sized propane tank for our lifestyle. My sister needs to buy a propane tank since her house’s past owner took the one that came with the house, so I believe she’d benefit from reading your tips now. I appreciate your insight on how small tanks are better for a single appliance, but you’ll need one with a larger capacity for a house.