Posted: August 6, 2018
It’s not always easy to estimate your propane usage in the summer, especially if you have a number of propane appliances that are working quietly behind the scenes (a propane water heater or propane patio heater, for instance). Occasionally, you might even suspect you have a propane gas leak due to propane usage that you didn’t expect.
Of course, if you suspect you have a leak, you need to do a leak test right away (if you don’t have propane leak detectors installed in your home, we highly recommend them) – and if you smell propane, you need to leave the house immediately and follow all propane safety instructions.
Most of the time, however, you won’t have a leak – you simply underestimated your propane usage. Fortunately, our friends at propane101.com have a solution for that: a handy guide to calculate summer propane usage that takes into account common appliances at typical usage levels.
Since you’re probably not running your appliances at 100 percent capacity all day long, the table below estimates propane usage for running them at 25 and 50 percent capacity for 2 to 6 hours a day.
As you’ll see, the estimate of potential propane used varies from 1.2 to 7.2 gallons a day – a substantial range. It’s easy to see how a few extra loads of laundry and hot showers could result in using much more propane than you think. Here’s an example:
For a gas range, dryer and water heater at 25 percent capacity 2 hours per day:
220,000 BTU/hr (total for all appliances) ÷ 91,547 (BTU/gallon for propane) = 2.4 gal/hr
2.4 gallons x .25 (25% capacity) = .6 gallons (per hour)
.6 gallons x 2 hours = 1.2 gallons
This number can then be used to calculate more intensive use of propane appliances:
If you add a propane pool heater to the mix (at 425,000 BTU/hr), operating for one hour per day at 75 percent capacity, it adds about 3.5 gallons per day to your usage:
425,000 BTU/hr ÷ 91,547 = 4.64 gal/hr
4.64 x .75 = 3.48 gallons
As you can see, pool heaters use a lot of gas – a big reason why we highly recommend using a swimming pool cover to retain as much of your pool’s heat as possible.