More about propane

thermometerLast year and this year, we got propane fill-ups in early November and right around New Years. Yesterday’s fill up was 330 gallons; last year’s was 327. This year was colder, though; 2448 heating degree days* as opposed to 2173. So we have, overall, used a bit less propane per heating degree day: 0.13 gallons vs. 0.15 gallons. That means that on Jan. 1, which had 45 heating degree days, we saved 0.9 gallons of propane over last year. That’s almost $2 saved. At this rate, we’d probably save 135 gallons of propane and $300 (minus the price of wood – about $50 so far this year) over the course of the winter.

We’ll see if fixing the leak has a noticeable difference. We’d normally get another fill-up the last week of February, so I’ll update at that point how we’re doing.

* Heating degree days (definition) can be found if you go to the Weather Underground forecast page for your town, scroll down to “Yesterday’s Official Weather and Almanac” and look for “Since July 1 heating degree days.” There’s also a column for normal and last year.



  1. Tom said,

    January 6, 2009 at 9:20 am


    Thanks for your data, gives me a sanity check on my calculations – I have a cottage on the St. Lawrence in Northern NY. I like to keep it above freezing inside when we are not there and have been trying to get a handle on my propane usage. Keeping the heat at 50F, I have found that I use about 0.2 gallons of propane per Heating degree day. We have around 4200hdd per year there. New house with good insulation & windows but the wind coming off the water can be brutal – lots of convective losses. Found some big air leaks in the basement that were masked by poorly installed insulation. Never ending battle.

  2. Emily said,

    January 6, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Tom- How many square feet is your house?

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