While the weather is getting less and less predictable, you can still all but count on winter getting quite cold here in Southern Maine. But, with the fuel prices on the rise, you might be wondering what to expect when it comes to how much propane you’ll need to get through the rest of the season.
There are a lot of variables that can affect how much propane you use over the heating season. But without a crystal ball, is there a way to calculate just how much propane you use in your home?
There are three main things that influence your propane usage levels. Those are:
1. The weather.
2. The specifics of your home and its applicable appliances.
3. Your day-to-day lifestyle.
Looking over your propane statements from the past year or two—while keeping those factors in mind—is a great way to start. You’ll be able to see how your use fluctuates and it can give you an idea of the bigger picture.
This is the one area where you have the least control. If the winter brings record lows and extended cold snaps, you’ll use more propane than if the season is average or mild.
Is your house well insulated and less prone to drafts or heat loss? Is your heating equipment new, well-maintained, and highly efficient, or decades old? Do you have a propane-fueled space heater that you use more often when it’s cold? These all have a direct correlation to your fuel usage.
Additionally, if your home is a weekend or vacation getaway, you’ll use far less propane than someone using a house full time.
Finally, your lifestyle plays a role. The main factor is how warm or cool you like to keep your rooms. But other things can affect your fuel use, too, including spending more time at home, or being away for a few weeks for an extended trip. If more people were spending more time at home last winter comparted to this winter—for home schooling or remote work—your propane usage may be lower this year as opposed to last.
While all these factors come into play, there are also some general guidelines you can apply to give you a rough estimate. On average, a propane furnace for a single-family home in our neck of the woods burns between 500 and 1,200 gallons of propane annually for heating. Heating water uses between 200-300 gallons of propane per year.
This chart shows how much propane different equipment in your home can use. While these estimates are yearly averages, these appliances will probably use far more of their total propane during the “winter” months—November through February—as compared to the other seasons of the year.
|Heating Appliance||Gallons Used Yearly|
|Propane Water Heater||250|
|Propane Clothes Dryer||20|
Check out this article from propane101.com to learn about some of the factors that can cause you to use more propane than usual.
You can also look at the average annual usage by factoring in the square footage of your home. It is important to note that when using this method, you consider that some homes are more—or less—energy efficient than others, which directly affects usage levels. Nonetheless, below are average usage calculations based on how many square feet your home is.
At Pitstop, we are always looking for ways to make winter easier. Our EZ Pay Budget Plan keeps heating bills predictable and eliminates the pain of bigger winter bills. We’ll spread propane costs across 12 months, based on your average usage. Instead of several big bills over a few months, you’ll get predictable bills and pay one level amount every month, even if stretches of extra-cold weather cause you to burn more fuel.
No matter how much propane you use, when you’re on automatic delivery you can eliminate the worry, hassle, and expense of running out of propane. We calculate your needs using algorithms based on the weather and your household’s typical propane usage. It allows us to accurately predict when you will need fuel and provide convenient and reliable automatic delivery. In addition to eliminating the hassle of watching your tank, this convenient option saves time and money, too. There’s no need to schedule and wait for propane deliveries, and you avoid the expense and hassle of pressure testing and relighting due to an empty tank.
Whatever your propane needs are this season, the friendly pros at Pitstop Propane and Fuels are standing by and are ready to serve you. Need more information? We’re happy to answer all your questions. Contact us today!