How Much Propane Will I Use?

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One of the most common questions we get when someone is purchasing a propane appliance or using propane in a home for the first time for their primary heat, is “How much propane will I use?” Of course, there is no standard answer. It’s not like purchasing a vehicle and comparing fuel economy. However, there is a way to estimate your usage based upon the BTUs of your propane appliance.

There are 91,500 BTUs in a gallon of propane. You can use this number to calculate how much your appliance will use by knowing the BTU value of your appliance. For instance, if the BTU of your new Barbeque Grill is 60,000 and you use all burners on your BBQ for 1 ½ hours, you will use approximately a gallon of propane. (60,000 BTU/hr x 1.5 hours = 90,000 BTU).

Here are some average BTU values of propane appliances:

  • Pilot light (on a fireplace or hot water heater) – 600 BTU or .16 gallons per day
  • Dryers range from 18,000 – 30,000 BTU
  • Range burners range from 500 BTU – 18,000 BTU
  • Modern boilers range from 100,000 – 200,000 BTU
  • Tankless water heaters (also know as On-Demand Water Heaters) average between 75,000 – 180,000 BTU
  • Fireplaces can vary but average 35,000 BTU or approximately 3 hours of burn time per gallon.

If you are using propane as your primary heating source, there will also be many more factors that affect your usage such as insulation, room temperature setting, and window efficiency.