Predictions are always a challenge. And that’s especially true of trying to predict how much propane you’ll use this summer.
There are so many variables, especially is you have several propane appliances. And now that we’re spending more time at home because of the COVID-19 outbreak, you may see a surprise increase in your propane usage.
That spike may cause you to think you may have a propane leak. If you do 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. Reminder: 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.
But that increase in your propane usage (and your propane bill) is probably not being caused by a leak. The most likely cause is that you underestimated how much propane you and your family have using.
One problem that can cause is that you don’t realize you may be running low on propane and could have 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! We use our computer systems to track your propane usage, while factoring in outside elements like the weather pattersn and will automatically schedule a delivery to your home before your run low.
Don’t want any surprises in your propane bill? The best way to achieve that is by signing up for our EZ Pay budget plan! Your propane costs are spread out over 12 even, monthly payments.
But, back to the questions at-hand. Here’s some information to aid you in keeping better track of your propane usage this summer.
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. Between more hot showers, more running of the dishwasher, and more laundry, company visiting for a few days can raise 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 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.
Want to make sure you’ll always have the propane your home needs? Contact PitStop Fuels today to enroll in Automatic Delivery, or, to take advantage of other convenient payment options like AutoPay, our Budget Plan, and more.