Thinking About Buying A Home with Propane Heat?

Posted by Laura Bretz on 12/19/14 4:21 PM

You’ve been shopping around the housing market for a new home. You come across a really nice place, but there is one problem… it heats with propane energy. You have no idea about residential propane, what you should know, or what you should look for.Blog_1_homeFirst things first, inspect the tank. If you’ve bought a new home and a tank is on the property, check the tank for a sticker or something to identify the company servicing the tank. If there are not any stickers, open the dome and look for anything identifying the name and number of the propane company. The dome will be above ground for buried tanks.

In-ground vs Above Ground Propane Tank

Some people do not like the fact that they have a huge eye-sore of a propane tank sitting on their property. Propane tanks are able to be buried underground for this reason. Generally, if you are in need of a large, high-gallon, propane tank, you might want to consider putting it underground. Of course an above ground tank will cost you less to install than one in the ground.

Renting or Owning a Propane Tank

One of the most important decisions to be made about the tanks that store your propane is whether or not you should own that tank or rent it. Owning a tank can come at quite a cost, but will pay for itself if you use a lot of propane or if you like to shop around for the best price. A leased tank is cheaper, the company that owns it will maintain it, you will be put on scheduled-delivery, but you will be locked-in to that company when it comes time to fill it and leased tank contracts often give the propane company legal right to enter your property to inspect the tank. If you wish to choose another supplier, the company that owns the tank will charge you for its removal.

Size of your Propane Tank

The size of the propane tank is determined by a number of variables. These variables include, but are not limited to:

  • Total Sq. Footage of the home
  • Propane appliances installed in the home
  • Geographical location – smaller homes in colder climates will use larger tanks
  • Total BTU load – BTU is a measurement of propane consumption

Finally, when selecting the size of tank to use keep these facts in mind. All tanks are considered completely filled at 80% as a preventative safety measure. When heat is added to propane, it expands. To compensate for that expansion, tanks are generally only filled to 80% max capacity. A larger tank will allow you to buy larger quantity of propane when it is cheaper. The larger tank will allow you to better “play the market” if you want to keep an eye on how the prices are fluctuating. To add to that, the larger tank will allow you to prepare farther in advance for winter weather and sustain heating during longer than average cold spells. Ultimately, size depends upon BTU load.

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Topics: Propane, Energy, HVAC