How Long Will A 100 lb Propane Tank Last For Heating?

If you want to figure out the size of your propane tank, then you’ve come to the right place. First, you need to know that 100 pounds of a good, reliable canister can go a long way in the middle of a power outage. 

However, how long it goes depends explicitly on the ways your system is structured. This means that the heavier the load, the less time you have. But it can also be the opposite. 

If you’re using propane as a fuel source for heat, it will offer the sense of ambiance and warmth you’d typically get from a fireplace. However, this will be in exception of the mess of charred wood and ashes. 

This is why most homeowners prefer having a 100-pound propane tank because it lasts longer than smaller tanks. 

The amount of time you can expect a 100-pound propane tank to last when using it for heat highly depends on how often you use it. It also depends on the BTU of your fireplace. Research shows that a 100-pound propane tank holds approximately 23.6 pounds of propane when it’s full. 

Therefore, if your fireplace is 20,000 BTU and you use it for about 12 hours a day, the 100-gallon propane tank can last up to 9 days.

It’s crucial to know how long a 100 lb propane tank will last, especially during winter. That’s because this will help you prepare for worst-case scenarios. 

This post will show you how you can calculate the fuel appropriately.

How to Calculate Your Propane for Heating

The first thing you’ll need to do is find the label for your fireplace burner, where you can check for the BTU per hour. Alternatively, you can ask the dealer where you bought your fireplace. This information is vital for the calculation.

Remember, your propane or LP gas is sold by the pound or gallon. Therefore, you must convert the BTU usage into gallons or pounds of propane for each hour that you use your fireplace. 

For example, a 100-pound tank has a capacity of 2,160,509. Therefore, if your fireplace is 20,000 BTUs, you’ll need to divide the 2,160,509 by 20,000 to get the hourly burn rate. This will equate to approximately 108 hours. 

After finding the number, go ahead and divide the number of hours by the hours used. For example, if you plan to use it for 24 hours a day, this will provide you with approximately 4 days of use. But, if you use it for around 12 hours a day, it will go up to nine days.

Below is the equation:

2,160,509/20,000 = 108 hours

108 /24 = 4.5 days

108/12= 9 days

How Large is a 100-Pound Propane Tank?

Surprisingly, a 100-pound propane tank is the largest portable tank you can have. Its approximate weight is 70 pounds when it’s empty and can hold 100 pounds of propane or 24 gallons liquified. 

When the tank is full, it weighs approximately 171 pounds. It has a height of 46.5 inches and a diameter of 15 inches.

How to Calculate Your Consumption Rate

How long your 100-propane tank lasts highly depends on the rate at which your fireplace consumes the propane. It also depends on how often you use it. 

For example, one gallon of propane provides approximately 21,500 BTUs. This will weigh around 4 ¼ pounds, which equals 21,500 BTUs per pound.

Therefore, if your fireplace runs 26,000 BTUs per hour, then that means you will burn 1 pound of propane in 50 minutes. This will equate to approximately 3 ½ hours of burn time for every gallon of propane.

What Size of Propane Tank Should You Use?

Choosing the size of a propane tank to use significantly depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re only using the propane for heating, then a 100-pound propane tank is an ideal option to consider. 

But it’s not recommended if you’re using the tank for other appliances as well. Some of the choices you have for propane tank sizes include:

  • 120 gallons
  • 325 gallons
  • 500 gallons
  • 1000 gallons
  • 1450 gallons
  • 1990 gallons

You should also consider the size of the room you have in your yard and if you’re open to having an underground tank. Or whether you want to keep the tank above the ground. 

120 to 325 Gallon Tank

Having a 120-to-325-gallon tank is excellent if you’re using only a few appliances. For instance, if you’re using propane for your gas fireplace, the hot water tank, or your stove. It can be the right size for what you need.

500 Gallon Tank

If you want a heater that produces heat for your entire home instead of just one room, and you also use the propane for multiple household appliances, then consider choosing a 500-gallon propane tank. This will help you avoid filling up the tank too often, and it’s also suitable for heating a smaller home.

1000 Gallon Tank

A 1000-gallon tank is excellent for anyone who uses a large amount of propane throughout the year. This is the right tank size if you have a large home with multiple stories that you need to heat. It allows you to heat the entire house and even use propane-ran appliances without any issues.

1450 to 1990 Gallon Tank

Usually, you don’t need to have a larger tank than 1,000 gallons for use in a residential property. 

But there’s an exception if you have a larger home or two homes running from the same propane tank. You can also consider a large propane tank if you use propane for all appliances and heating.

What is the Cost of Propane Tanks?

It’s always important to know how much a propane tank costs. Especially if you want to purchase a large propane tank. Below are the estimated costs of propane tanks:

Tank Size (in Gallons) Cost for the Tank
5 $30 – $60
50 $350 – $700
100 $400 – $800
120 $400 – $8000
250 $500 – $1,000
500 $500 – $3,500
1000 $1,500 – $3,500
Over 1000 $1,700 – $5,000

How Much Does It Cost to Fill Your Propane Tank?

The cost to fill your propane tank depends on how large it is. Check out the estimated costs in the table below.

Tank Size (in Gallons) Cost to Fill
5 $15 – $25
50 $150 – $250
100 $300 – $500
120 $360 – $600
250 $750 – $1,250
500 $1,500 – $2,500
1000 $3,000 – $5,000
Over 1000 $3,500 – $7,000

The costs are estimates because propane usually costs $3 to $5 per gallon. This is according to the national average. But this price can be lower if you happen to find a good deal. Here’s an example:

If you have a 1,000-gallon tank, sometimes businesses can give you a discount of about 20 percent upon refill. This can cost between $2,400 and $4,000 instead of $3,000 to $5,000.

Don’t Allow the Fill Price to Phase You

Although it can be overwhelming to pay $3,000 to fill your tank, it’s essential to remember that a 1,000-gallon tank can last you anywhere between 1 and 2 years. 

But that will also depend on the consumption rate. For example, $3,000 for a year’s worth of fuel is nothing compared to the amount of money you would pay for electricity and heating within the same period.

The good news is that the above prices are based on worst-case scenarios. I think it’s better to be surprised by unexpected savings on the price of something rather than unforeseen costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Do You Need to Recertify a 100-pound Propane Tank?

A 100-pound propane tank needs to be recertified at least every 12 years. The same goes for every tank that is 100 pounds or less since they expire 12 years from the manufacturing date. If it reaches the expiry date, you have two options:

  1. Exchange the tank for a new one
  2. Have it inspected to requalify it for use for another 5 years

How Old Should a Propane Tank Be to Refill?

A propane tank should be no older than 12 years if you want to have it refilled. If it has expired, you’ll need to get it recertified or exchange it for a new one.

How Can You Tell How Much Propane Is Left in a 100-pound Tank?

The easiest way to tell the amount of propane left in your tank is by feeling it. The first thing you need to do is pour warm water on it and then run your hand on the side. 

You will feel the temperature cooler to the touch when you find the propane level. Once you find the level, you can mark it outside and write the date to track it appropriately. 

Wrap Up

The period a 100-pound propane tank will last will significantly depend on the BTU size of your fireplace. Additionally, it will depend on the rate at which you consume the propane. 

Having a high BTU unit will burn through propane faster than a lower BTU unit. What’s more, if you’re running your heater 24 hours a day, you’re bound to burn through more propane.

Hopefully, this post has helped you learn about how long a 100-pound propane tank can last for heating. 

Suppose you have any questions or feedback regarding this post. Then, please feel free to reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to help.