Choosing the right size propane tank is a critical starting point for your propane investment. If you have the wrong size tank installed, your budget will suffer.

You may think it couldn’t happen to you. However, countless people install the wrong size residential propane tanks in their homes every year.

However, with our handy propane tank guide, you’ll find the size that’s just right. Keep reading for tips about buying the correct size propane tank.

Why Is It Important to Pick the Right Size Propane Tank?

This guide is devoted to helping you pick the right size propane tank. However, you may be wondering: why is it so important that I pick the right size?

The right size propane tank can help you save on your energy bills by controlling how often you need to fill it up.

While buying a tank that is too big isn’t too much of a disadvantage, buying a tank that is too small will affect your budget because you will need deliveries more often. Also, since you’re buying a smaller quantity of propane, the cost might be slightly higher.

Propane Tank Sizes

Before you can figure out what size tank you need, it’s important to know what sizes are available. Use our guide to figure out exactly which one of these you should buy for your particular home needs.

20 Pound Tanks

One of the most common residential propane tanks is the 20 lb. tank, which is the size of the tank you hook up to your propane gas grill or for other modest residential energy needs, like a fireplace.

20 lb. tanks are not used for home heating or anything else that is large scale, but the benefit is that you can purchase several tanks to have on hand for backup, and you can have them refilled at any propane retailer.

33 Pound Tanks

33 lb. propane tanks are relatively specialized. They are used almost exclusively to power certain vehicles, including forklifts, although they can fuel any vehicle that relies on autogas.

Because of the focus on powering vehicles, a 33 lb. propane tank may not be the best choice for most residential homes. However, people with farms or large tracts of land where you might need to use specialized vehicles may find such tanks very useful.

100 Pound Tanks

100 lb. tanks are a good choice if you have smaller appliances or heating devices that use propane. For instance, many people rely on 100 lb. propane tanks to power their gas cooking ranges, as well as their indoor fireplaces.

These tanks are obviously much larger than the 20 or 33 lb. tanks, but they are still small enough to be relatively portable.

Remember, the more items in your home that are fueled by propane, the more likely it is you will need a larger propane tank. Keep in mind that the bigger tank, the stricter the local safety and installation regulations may be. You will want to keep tanks of this size at least three feet away from your house.

420 Pound or 100 Gallon Tanks

420 lb. tanks are large enough to be used for a variety of commercial purposes. However, these tanks can have many residential uses as well.

They work well as a heating solution for your home, for instance. They can also power emergency generators and are a great way to heat a swimming pool if you have one. If you intend to use your fireplace a lot, these tanks are also suitable for that purpose.

Just so you know, some homeowners and professionals refer to 420 lb. tanks as “100 gallon tanks” because that is how many gallons this size tank can hold.

500 Gallon Tanks

The 500 gallon tank is the most common size propane tank for residential propane use. It is often used for home heating, generator powering, cooking, pool heating, and more.

The primary benefit of this larger tank is that you can go that much longer without having to get it refilled. And when you are buying more gallons of propane, you can often get a slightly lower price rate for buying in bulk.

Typically, a home needs to be at least 2,500 square feet and use propane for multiple appliances for a 500 gallon tank to be the best choice. And you must determine whether you want to install this tank above or below ground.

1,000 Gallon Tanks

Long story short about the 1,000 gallon tank? It does everything that the 500 gallon tank does, but it is twice as big.

That means this tank is also suitable for heating homes and pools and for powering generators. However, because this tank is so large, you should not buy it unless your home is at least 4,500 square feet.

1,000 gallon tanks are also popular for agricultural uses.

What’s the Verdict?

With all that being said, the question remains: what size residential propane tank do you actually need?

It all comes down to how large your house is and how many things will need to use propane. Smaller homes with fewer appliances need smaller tanks; larger homes with more appliances and items like heated pools are going to need much larger ones.

Residential Propane Tanks: The Bottom Line

Now you know all about how to buy the best residential propane tanks. But do you know where to buy them?

At Kauffman Gas, we are all about making propane easy and affordable. To see how we can help fit your budget, check out our budget plans today!