Predictions aren’t as easy as those fortune-tellers at the county fair make it look.
And that includes trying to predict how much propane is normal for your North Carolina home in the summer.
There are so many variables, especially if you have several propane appliances. Those variables include weather, the condition and efficiency of your appliances, and how much time you’re spending at home. That last one especially applies to this summer, as many of us are home more.
Because of being home more, you may see an increase in your propane usage and thus your propane bill. You may think you have a propane leak. If you suspect a propane leak, have your system tested immediately. And if you don’t have propane leak detectors installed, we strongly recommend that you do. If you smell the distinct rotten-egg odor of propane, get everyone (including the pets) out of the house immediately and follow all propane safety instructions.
The most likely cause is that you underestimated how much propane you and your family have used.
With that miscalculation, you might not realize you’re running low on propane and thus risk a run-out. That’s an expensive hassle, between emergency delivery and the costs of having a mandated pressure test and having your propane appliance pilots re-lit.
You can avoid that by enrolling in Automatic Delivery with TankWatch! If you have a minimum of a gas water heater, TankWatch is free of charge! With TankWatch, we know exactly how much gas is in your tank via a wireless tank monitoring system! You can also monitor your tank using the My Tank App from your wireless device or cell phone.
We’ve put together some information to help you better understand your propane usage, and what can affect it.
You are probably not running all your propane appliances at 100% 24 hours a day. So we’ve set up an example which estimates propane usage for running them at 25% and 50% capacity for 2 to 6 hours per day.
The estimate for potential propane use can vary a great deal, between 1.2 and 7.2 gallons a day. If you have family or friends visiting for a few days, more hot showers, more running of the dishwasher, and more laundry can increase your propane usage way more than you’d think. Here’s an example of that:
For a gas water heater, clothes dryer, and range run at 25% capacity for 2 hours a day:
220,000 BTU/hours (the total for all the appliances) ÷ 91,547 BTU/gallon of propane = 2.4 gallons per hour
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 greater use of propane appliances:
If you have a propane pool heater (at 425,000 BTU/hour) that operates for one hour a day at 75% capacity, which adds about 3.5 gallons to your daily usage:
425,000 BTU/hour ÷ 91,547 = 4.64 gallons/hour
4.65 x .75 = 3.48 gallons
Pool heaters use a lot of gas. That’s why we advise that you use a swimming pool cover to help retain as much of the pool’s heat as possible!
If you use a propane whole house backup generator, your guesswork gets a little harder. That’s because you don’t know when or if you’ll be using it in a power outage, or for how long. Keep track of any time your propane whole house generator is in use so you can prepare for any spikes in your propane delivery bills.
Make sure you know the size of your propane tank when doing your estimates – it will help you have a good idea of just how much you have left.
Contact us to enroll in Automatic Delivery so you know that you’ll always have the propane you need!