The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

Propane Usage In The Summer: What Is Normal?

summer propane usage maineGuessing how much propane you’re going to use in the summer is usually tricky.

That’s especially true if you have a number of propane appliances working long hours in the background, out of sight and out of mind, like your propane water heater.

You may even worry that you have a propane leak because of the increase in propane usage.

If you suspect a propane leak, have your system tested immediately. And if you don’t have propane leak detectors installed, we highly recommend that you do.

As always, if you smell the distinct rotten-egg odor or propane, get everyone (including the pets) out of the house immediately and follow all propane safety instructions.

But most of the time, the cause of your increased propane bill isn’t a leak. You just underestimated how much propane you’ve been using. We’ve put together a that can help you keep better track of your propane usage this summer.

How to estimate your summer propane usage

Since you are probably not running all your propane appliances at 100% 24 hours a day, The example below 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. Just a few extra loads of laundry and some more hot showers because you had guests stay over for a few days can jack up your propane usage way more than you’d think.

Here’s an example of how propane use can vary:

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:

  • 25% capacity for 6 hours = 3.6 gallons per day
  • 50% capacity for 2 hours = 2.4 gallons per day
  • 50% capacity for 6 hours 7.2 gallons per day

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 recommend using a swimming pool cover to help retain as much of the pool’s heat as possible!

Another appliance that can throw a wrench into your propane usage guesswork is a propane generator, since 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.

Want to make sure you always have propane when you need it? Sign up for our Automatic Delivery service!