Residential Propane Tanks

Above ground residential propane tank

Propane has historically been known as a rural fuel but is increasingly becoming an alternative to electricity in metropolitan areas. People are choosing propane as an energy source in new home construction both in and around towns and major cities. Residential use is fairly predictable and will fluctuate primarily with weather and winter heating demand.

Residential Tank Sizing Overview

Different parts of the United States are subject to different climates with weather patterns varying by region. Colder climates will naturally require more fuel for heating while warmer climates will have less of a need for heating. This is probably the most important factor in selecting a tank for residential use. Keep in mind that your propane company will more accurately size the tank for you according to your needs but it of course helps to have a better understanding of LP Gas tank sizing and selection.

Selecting Propane Tank Size

Propane tank sizing for residential home use is fairly straightforward. Your propane company will work with you to determine the optimal tank size for your home and family. Several things go into tank size selection. These variables include but are not limited to:

  • Total square footage of the home
  • Propane appliances installed in the home
  • Geographical location - smaller homes in colder climates will use larger propane tanks
  • Total BTU load (BTU's of all installed propane appliances)
  • Pool heater - propane heated pools are high BTU appliances

Residential tank sizes will vary between climate regions with larger tanks being placed in cooler climates. LP Gas tank size can be matched to the residential demand requirements within a reasonable degree of accuracy. The sizing of the tank will be based upon the average heating load and demand for the region/area and is better left to the propane company you're working with.

Tank Size, Weather and Propane Markets

Interestingly, propane tank size can be used as a tool to help avoid price spikes in the petroleum markets by increasing the available storage volume through the installation of a larger tank. Larger tanks allow customers to buy larger quantities of propane during periods of lower prices and "ride out" the price spikes to some extent. For instance, if a propane consumer uses 400 gallons a year and they have a 250 gallon tank, they will require two fills per year whereas a consumer with a 500 gallon tank using the same amount will only require one fill per year. The consumer with the larger tank can better "play the market" if they keep an eye on what propane and/or petroleum prices are doing. Additionally, consumers with larger propane tanks can prepare farther in advance of winter weather and have the ability to sustain their home heating and comfort during longer than average periods of cold weather. If the tank location area permits, the benefits of a larger tank outweigh the costs, which can be quickly recovered. Selecting a larger size propane tank protects your comfort and can minimize home heating costs. For more information about the costs associated with residential tanks and heating, see Propane Prices.