How Long Do Propane Heaters Last?

When compared to natural gas and electric patio heaters, propane patio heaters are the most expensive to operate.

The price of propane gas is expressed in dollars per gallon. A 20lb propane tank, or around 4.7 gallons of fuel, is typical of a portable propane patio heater.

A 20-pound propane tank can last up to ten hours and costs $15 to $20 to fill, resulting in an hourly cost of $1.5 to $2. The cost of using a conventional 40,000 BTU patio heater is around $1.70 per hour.

How long can a 20-pound gas tank keep a heater running?

The amount of propane you’ll need for your particular application will be determined by factors including fluctuating outside temperatures, the size and setting of your heater, and whether or not your workstation is insulated or otherwise protected from the elements.

Outdoor spaces, such as a deck or patio, provide unique issues when it comes to heating. Patio and portable heaters function to raise the ambient temperature of a small area, rather than an enclosed place like a garage or workspace, because the location is open to the weather. On the maximum setting, most patio heaters emit around 40,000 BTUs per hour, which means a 20-pound propane tank will give upwards of 10 hours of heat.

How long can a propane heater run on a single tank of propane?

If you have a patio heater, it is most likely propane-powered. The most popular propane tanks are 20 pounders, however 30 pounders can also be found in some outdoor patio heaters. We’ll figure out how long a gas tank will last on a patio heater.

To accurately determine how long a 20 pound propane tank will survive, we must consider the following two factors:

  • BTU capacity of patio heater. Small patio heaters produce 10,000 BTUs of heat, whereas giant patio heaters produce 50,000 BTUs of heat. The propane tank will be drained significantly faster by the 50,000 BTU patio warmer than by the 10,000 BTU heater (5-times faster, in this case). Patio heaters can last anywhere from 7.57 hours to 37.86 hours on a 20 pound propane tank, depending on the BTU capacity (more in the table further on).
  • Efficacy of propane combustion. Propane does not burn at 100% efficiency in a patio heater. The majority of propane patio heaters have an efficiency of 80 to 95 percent. In our calculations, we’ll assume we’re dealing with a patio heater that has an average efficiency of 90%.

Because of the latter aspect, an outdoor gas heater that lasts 10 hours in theory will only last 9 hours in practice. This is due to the fact that 10% of propane’s energy content is squandered.

First, we’ll figure out how many BTUs a 20-pound propane tank can hold. Then we’ll calculate how long propane patio heaters with a heating capability of 10,000 to 50,000 BTUs will last. All of the times (for all heating capacity) are listed in the table below.

On a 20000 BTU heater, how long will a 20lb propane tank last?

Propane is a common fuel choice for folks who cook outside, whether on a camping vacation or just on a Sunday afternoon barbecue. A large 20lb propane tank is great if you are camping with your family or a large group and plan to carry a propane tank. But you’re probably wondering how long a 20-pound gas tank will last.

The 20lb Propane tank will last 21 hours at full burner flame when used with a standard 2-burner camping stove with a 20,000 BTU output. With a 20lb tank, this is the most usual equipment.

The run time will vary substantially if you use other devices with differing BTU rates. The run time of a full 20lb propane tank at most common BTU ratings is summarized in the table below.

If you want to utilize your propane tank at different BTU rates, I’ve designed a simple googlesheet tool to calculate the run time. Here’s where you can find the calculator.

Is it possible to use a gas heater indoors?

Yes, propane heaters may be used indoors! Propane heaters come in two varieties: indoor and outdoor. Indoor variants are made to be safe to use inside. If you opt for an indoor model, you can expect a warm and secure environment. Otherwise, you’ll need to keep your gas heater outside or in a garage with plenty of air and a carbon monoxide detector.

There’s a compelling reason to double-check the propane heater you purchase. The smoke produced by indoor and outdoor propane heaters is handled quite differently.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be caused by using an outdoor-only gas heater without adequate ventilation.

Is a propane heater safe to use in a garage?

Home automotive garages might be the coldest area in your house due to concrete floors, little to no insulation, and drafty doors. On frigid days, keeping your garage warm might be difficult. Because few households have their garages connected to their home heating systems for safety reasons, using a space heater to work on your car or other project while it’s chilly makes the most sense. Propane heat is a cost-effective and safe way to heat your garage without breaking the bank. A shop heater with a rating of 45,000 to 75,000 BTUs per hour can be used in a small garage of 1,000 square feet or less. Larger garages will require a forced-air propane system with a BTU output of 60,000 BTUs per hour or more.

On a 20-pound tank, how long will a Mr Buddy heater run?

Two 1 pound propane cylinders provide 3-12 hours of heat, and two 20 pound propane cylinders provide up to 220 hours of heat with optional hose attachments.

What should you do if your propane tank runs dry?

Allowing your propane tank to run out of gas is never a good idea, not just because it will disrupt your heating service (which will cost you money to restore), but also because it poses serious safety threats to your propane-powered home.

If you let your propane tank run empty, these are four things that could happen. It’s simply not worth the risk, as you’ll see:

  • If your propane tank runs out, your appliance pilot lights will go out, which can be deadly if not handled appropriately.
  • When air and moisture enter an empty tank, rust forms, masking the rotten-egg odor of propane and making it more difficult to identify a leak.
  • When you run out of propane and leave a valve or gas line exposed, you risk a leak when you recharge the system.
  • In order to meet federal code standards for propane use, you must engage a competent technician to perform a leak test (which you must pay for).

The good news is that you can prevent all of these issues with Carroll’s FREE Automatic Propane Delivery! Sign up today and you’ll never have to worry about refilling your propane tank again (it also benefits us by minimizing the amount of emergency fills we have to schedule…which is why we give it out for free!).

How long can a heater operate on a 5 gallon propane tank?

For every 1.1 liters of propane, we receive one therm (= 100,000 BTU). A normal 5 gallon tank has a capacity of about 4.7 gallons. A full tank would therefore contain 427,000 BTUs. On high, a 40,000 BTU propane heater like SunGlo or Patio Comfort can run for 10 hours and 40 minutes on a single tank. On high, a 46,000 BTU EvenGLO can burn a tank for 9 hours and 15 minutes. Pyramid heaters have input rates of up to 66,000 BTUs (to compensate for some heat deficits), thus a propane tank would only last 6 hours and 30 minutes. Sometimes the exchange tanks aren’t completely full. Some propane exchange tanks, I’ve been told, only hold 15 pounds of propane. Weighing it will reveal this. The weight of 4.7 gallons of propane is approximately 19.9 lbs. The tare weight of an empty propane cylinder is about 17 pounds. So, if you buy a propane tank, it should weigh around 37 pounds when fully loaded. Buying propane at a refill station is normally less expensive, but it takes longer.