Thousands of homes in Virginia and beyond run on propane heat — if yours is one of them, knowing how much fuel you need to keep on hand is essential. Running out suddenly, particularly in the middle of a long winter, is inconvenient, expensive and can potentially cause damage to your heating system. To help our customers make more informed fuel choices, on this page, we’ve prepared an overview of the average propane use for a typical Virginia home.
Factors to Consider
Propane has many uses in the home — from heating to powering stoves, dryers and other appliances. How your home is set up and how much you use each appliance will all affect your average monthly fuel needs. Here’s a rundown of typical propane usage rates for some of the most common home fixtures:
- Furnaces: 1 gallon per hour
- Water heaters: ~1.5 gallons per day
- Fireplaces: 1 gallon every 3 hours
- Gas cooktops: 5-10 gallons per month
- Dryers: less than 1 gallon per day
These numbers are just averages and may vary significantly from home to home and year to year. In colder weather, your furnace will need to work harder and will consume more fuel. As well, larger households will require more hot water and will likely use other appliances more, too — all factors that drive up propane usage.
Finally, newer and better-maintained appliances will be more fuel-efficient than older models that haven’t been as well taken care of. Tankless propane water heaters have a life expectancy of 20 years, so you’ll get plenty of use out of an investment in a new system, and you’ll have hot water on demand — a feature many homeowners love during the winter months.
Tips for Monitoring Your Propane Fuel Supply
The above numbers won’t mean much if your tank goes empty. Any tank is permanently set will have a gauge on it so that you can monitor your fuel supply. If you want peace of mind that your tank will have fuel when you need it, Foster Fuels can help with our autofill program. With autofill, our friendly staff will check on your propane level periodically and give it a fill when needed. When your fuel needs decrease in the summer, you can also take advantage of our summer sale pricing and save on fuel for the colder months ahead.
Some things to remember when monitoring your propane fuel usage is that colder weather causes tanks to lose some of their internal pressure, which in turn may result in the gauge reading inaccurately. At Foster Fuels, when we check your propane levels in the winter, we use appropriate correction tools to get a more precise reading.
Of course, the best way to avoid these issues altogether is to fill up well ahead of the winter season. That way, you’ll save yourself the hassle and stress of monitoring your propane usage — and avoid the expense associated with emergency service.
Your Partner for All Your Propane Needs
Foster Fuels works with customers to ensure they always have enough fuel on hand. We do this by scheduling deliveries in advance and providing ongoing monitoring throughout the winter. Our autofill program takes the guesswork out of fuel ordering entirely — with it, we take care of top-offs on a set schedule that ensures you never run out.
Want to learn more? Keep browsing our website or get in touch with a representative today.