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Annual propane usage can vary widely from one home to another


“How much propane will I use?” It’s a simple question and one we hear often. Unfortunately, it’s also not one of the easiest to answer.

Here’s why.

For starters, no two homes and no two families are the same. Consider for a moment a family of five with three teenagers known for taking long showers. Their propane water heater is likely to use more propane annually than a married couple without kids. But in this same scenario, let’s assume the married couple prefers to set their thermostat at 74 degrees during the winter months, but the family of five likes theirs set at 67 degrees. Without taking into account other important factors such as the square footage of each house, the type of insulation used, and the efficiencies of the furnaces involved, it’s safe to assume that the home with the thermostat set seven degrees higher will use more propane.

Despite the myriad of variables involved, we can offer some directional guidance about the amount of propane used by some of the more common propane-fueled appliances. You may be familiar with (or at least heard of) British Thermal Units, or BTUs. This unit of measurement describes the amount of energy needed to heat or cool one pound of water by one-degree Fahrenheit. Propane generates 91,500 BTUs per gallon per hour. With that information in mind, here are some estimated usage figures for some of the more popular propane appliances around the home.

Propane furnace – A dedicated propane furnace will likely be the largest propane-consuming appliance in the home. A typical HVAC furnace requires approximately 200,000 BTUs, or approximately one gallon of propane, per hour.

Tankless water heater – Generally the second-largest energy-consuming appliance in the home is the water heater. We recommend choosing a high-efficiency tankless option. This type of water heater uses approximately 40,000 BTUs per hour, or approximately a gallon and a half of propane a day.

Propane fireplace – The number and type propane fireplaces in a home can heavily influence the amount of propane used, but for this purpose we’re assuming there is a single propane fireplace that uses roughly 26,000 BTUs per hour, or approximately one gallon every three hours.

Gas cooktop & range – Gas burners respond immediately when ignited and offer greater temperature control when compared to an electric cooktop. That’s why the world’s top chefs prefer gas cooktops. Keeping in mind that some families prefer to eat out more than others (or fire up the grill using Blue Rhino), a gas cooktop that uses 65,000 BTUs per hour can consume 5-10 gallons of propane per month.

"Because there are quite a number of variables, it is difficult to predict the exact amount of propane someone might use in their home in any given year,” says Sarah Knight, Ferrellgas’ Vice President of Customer Experience. “But, for example, we could tell the average family of four living in the Midwest to expect to expect to use 1,500 gallons of propane or more annually. Our employees use Ferrellgas propane in their homes as well and can help their local customers understand what they can expect to use. Give us a call today!"

The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.


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