Propane tank size guide

HVAC Logo IconBy Tom MoorAugust 1, 2023

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Propane tanks aren’t just for grilling. There are many uses for propane gas, including heating your whole home.

Considering buying a new propane tank and not sure what size you need? We’ll give you the lowdown on propane tank sizes below.

We’ve got you covered whether you need a propane tank for your space heater or your whole-home heating system. Want the short version? Check out our propane tank size chart

propane tank outside of house

Propane tank sizes for homes and commercial use

Larger propane tanks are typically buried underground near your home. When they’re nearing empty, you can pay a propane delivery company to refill the tank.

120-gallon propane tank uses

A 120-gallon propane tank is typically used to power multiple gas appliances in a home. This can include things like a clothes dryer or water heater.

250-gallon propane tank uses

Like a 120-gallon tank, a 250-gallon propane tank can fuel several home appliances.

350-gallon propane tank uses

A 350-gallon propane tank can power the heating system for a home smaller than 2,500 square feet. It’s the most common size for this use. Alternatively, you can use it for multiple large gas appliances.

500-gallon propane tank uses

500-gallon propane tanks are usually for mid-size and larger homes (2,500-4,500 square feet) and are the most popular for residential use. They can fuel the home’s heating system plus several gas appliances.

A 500-gallon propane tank can also be used commercially by businesses like restaurants or dry cleaners that rely on multiple large gas appliances.

1,000-gallon propane tank uses

A 1,000-gallon tank is used for heating and appliances in extremely large homes (more than 4,500 square feet). They’re also used for commercial and agricultural installations with high-volume gas needs. 

Not sure what size propane tank you need? Connect with an HVAC expert who can help.

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Propane tank sizes for grilling and other small appliances

Smaller propane tanks are typically sold by weight. But a 20 lb. propane tank actually weighs more like 37 lbs.

When you buy a 20 lb. propane tank, you’re buying 20 lbs. of propane. The tank itself weighs an additional 17-ish lbs.

These smaller propane tanks are typically portable. You can exchange them for a new full tank when they’re empty.

20 lb. propane tank uses

This is the size propane tank you’ll see at the gas station or in front of the grocery store. It’s commonly used for things like:

  • Grilling 
  • Patio heaters
  • Mosquito traps
  • Small vented heaters (learn more about vented propane heaters here)
  • Commercial buffet food warmers

30 lb. propane tank uses

This size propane tank is generally used to fuel:

  • Camper and RV appliances
  • Space heaters
  • Forklifts (33 lb. tanks specifically)

40 lb. propane tank uses

This propane tank size is commonly used for:

  • Commercial grills
  • Construction heaters

100 lb. propane tank uses

100 lb. propane may seem heavy, but they’re considered portable. They can be picked up and exchanged for a new tank when they’re empty. They’re not usually buried underground like some larger tanks.

100 lb. propane tanks fuel a single home appliance, such as a:

  • Clothes dryer
  • Kitchen stove
  • Fireplace
  • Water heater
  • Generator
  • Pool heater

Propane tank size chart

Tank sizeCommon uses
20 lbs. (4.5 gallons)Grilling, patio heaters
30 lbs. (7 gallons)RV appliances, space heaters
33 lbs. (7.8 gallons)Forklifts
40 lbs. (9.4 gallons)Commercial grills, construction heaters
100 lbs. (25 gallons)Single home appliance (e.g., clothes dryer)
120 gallonsMultiple home appliances
250 gallonsMultiple home appliances
350 gallonsHeating system for a small home or multiple home appliances
500 gallonsHeating system for a large home plus home appliances or small commercial uses (e.g., restaurant)
1,000 gallonsLarge commercial or agricultural installations

Confused? Talk to one of our gas heating experts now.

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