4 Different Propane Tank Sizes & Their Common Uses

Posted by Chris Kauffman
| May 2016

The most common propane tank sizes:

  • 100 Pound (lb) Propane Tank
  • 100 Gallon Propane Tank
  • 500 Gallon Propane Tank
  • 1000 Gallon Propane Tank

Learn what size propane gas tank is best for you

The most common propane tank sizes for residences include 100lb tanks, 100 gallon tanks, and 500 gallon tanks. But what size is best for your home depends on usage. Whether you’re just getting started with propane heating or you’re moving into a new place where you’re not quite sure how much you’ll need, it’s good to re-evaluate what size propane tank you need.

Choosing the right size propane gas tank can save you money. There are several propane tank sizes to choose from, so let’s figure out which is right for you.

Try Our Propane Calculator: Calculate How Much Propane You Need to Heat Your  Home

Propane tank sizes typically used in the south eastern Pennsylvania homes we serve range from 100lb at the smallest to 500 gallon for larger homes. Larger tanks are available, but they are usually used for commercial purposes.

Top 4 most common propane tank sizes and their usage:

100lb Propane Tank

For Mixed Heating Systems

100lb propane tanks are great for mixed heating systems or residences with limited propane usage.

  • Common usage: 100lb propane tanks are commonly used for cooking and drying clothes. 
  • Placement: Above Ground 
  • Volume: 23.6 gallons 

100 lb propane tank

100lb propane tank


100 Gallon Propane Tank

Heating Smaller Homes with Propane

Small residences that use propane for whole house heating often have a tank of at leat 100 gallons (not pounds).

  • Common usage: Whole house heating and gas cooking range for small residences and mobile homes. Many mobile homes use two 100 gallon propane tanks to heat their homes. 
  • Placement: Above Ground 

100 Gallon Propane Tank

100 gallon propane tank


500 Gallon Propane Tank

Heating Larger Homes and Appliances

Many homes with 1,500+ square feet choose to upgrade to a 500 gallon propane tank. Because it holds more, homeowners don't have to fill up as often. 

  • Common usage: Fueling propane furnaces, gas fireplaces, gas ranges, gas hot water heaters, and gas clothes dryers. Homes often use propane to fuel 2 or more appliances.
  • Placement: Above Ground or Buried Underground

500 gallon propane gas tank

500 gallon propane tank


1000 Gallon Propane Tank

These extra large propane tanks are most common for agricultural customers and commercial businesses. Although rarer for residences, these are not unheard of. With a higher one-time investment, you’ll have greater control over when and where you fill up your tank. If you consistently buy at a low price, the savings can add up within a few years.

  • Common usage: Fueling businesses, agricultural machines, and large homes 
  • Placement: Above ground or Buried Underground

1000 gallon propane gas tank

1000 gallon propane tank


The right tank size also depends on how much propane gas your appliances use. In addition to the furnace, remember that dryers use 15-25 gallons of propane per year, gas ranges 25-50, and hot water heaters between 200-300 gallons depending on the size of your family.

Things to Consider When You Choose Your Propane Gas Tank Size

Propane doesn’t go bad with time

If you have a good place to store your propane tanks, you could hold the gas for many years before using it. This is a huge advantage over diesel and other standard fuels that eventually go bad in storage. Although the pressure seals of propane tanks can become faulty, this is less likely if they are stored correctly.

How often you use propane and what you use propane for

There are two schools of thought regarding the right propane tank sizes. Generally, you’ll use your tank only during the winter, and it’ll sit idle all through the warmer months, so you can save on the cost of gas by choosing the smallest tank that will meet your needs. This is common when you have limited space for your tank or can’t use underground storage to conserve space.

On the other hand, if you have a large budget or like being “prepared for anything,” a larger tank may be appropriate. Homeowners who choose to buy a larger tank will be able to fill up on propane when prices are at their lowest and might not have to fill up again during the winter.

Square footage of your home and the total BTU of propane gas appliances

Using the square footage of your home and the total BTU load of all your appliances, you may be able to get a good estimate of your average propane use in a year. This is becoming easier as more appliances integrate “smart” technology to measure and reduce your usage. Generally speaking, though, a close estimate will be fine for most homes.

You should upgrade your propane tank size if your usage increases

Propane makes it easy for you to scale your usage up or down as your needs change. Don’t be too worried about making the “wrong” choice. After the first year, you’ll have a much clearer idea of your needs and can refine your heating approach to save even more money.

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Chris Kauffman

About the Author

Chris Kauffman

Chris is the Vice President of Kauffman Gas. He is the fourth generation of Kauffmans involved in the daily operations of Kauffman Gas. He helps lead the team in delivering propane gas and top quality service to customers in Chester County, Lancaster County and parts of Delaware County, Pennsylvania.