For urban and suburban dwellers, heating typically comes via natural gas or electricity providing through existing infrastructure. Yet, propane often serves as a heating source in rural areas. For anyone moving from an urban to a rural setting, this can create an unfamiliar challenge.
After all, one of the first things the propane company will ask you is how big of a tank you want. Anyone without experience with propane won’t know the answer or even how to find the answer.
If you’re considering a home that needs propane, keep reading for our sizing guide. It’ll help you pick the right tank.
Common Tank Sizes
Propane tanks come in several sizes. As a rule, propane companies talk about them in terms of weight, storage capacity, or both. Some common propane tank sizes include:
- 100lb/25-gallon tanks
- 200lb/57-gallon tanks
- 420lb/100-gallon tanks
- 500-gallon tanks
- 1000-gallon tanks
You can also get small propane tanks, but those are typically used in grills.
One major consideration in choosing a tank is the overall size of the house. A typical 2500 square foot home, for example, will probably use a 500-gallon tank. By that logic, a 1200 square foot home could get away with a 250-gallon tank.
How Will You Use Propane
Another consideration is how you will use propane. While home heating is one of the main uses, it’s not the only use.
Most natural gas ranges include a conversion kit for use with natural gas. Some clothes dryers and water heaters also use natural gas instead of electricity for heat production.
As a general rule, the more things you run with propane, the bigger the propane tank you’ll need. A 2500 square foot home that uses propane for heat, cooking, clothes drying, and water heating might find a 500-gallon tank gets the job done.
Location and Suppliers
Your location can play a role in both tank size and choosing a propane supplier. Let’s say you live way off the beaten path on a road that’s likely to become impassible in bad winter weather. You might opt for a larger tank as a precaution against getting cut off during winter storms.
You might also use this information as the basis for choosing a propane supplier located closer to your home. That supplier will likely know how to manage deliveries to your home than a supplier located farther away.
Using the Sizing Guide
The above sizing guide is just that: a guide. Your choice of a propane tank size must reflect the needs of your home.
The size of home matters, but so does the number of things using propane. A family of four will place fewer water heater and cooking demands on the propane than a family of six.
A home located on well-maintained roads won’t need the larger tank a more remote home might require.
Do you want more tips for the home? Check out the articles in our House section on our site.