It’s time to channel your inner Hank Hill because we’re about to sit down and talk about propane and propane accessories. Whether you’re just trying to stay warm during the colder months or you believe in your soul that gas stoves cook better, you’re likely using propane somewhere in your home.
However, when your old gas tanks sputter out, how do you go about choosing propane tanks to replace them? Here are seven factors that you should consider when you start your search:
1-) It’s All About the Money
As with any purchase for your home, your budget should be your first consideration. You need to sit down and consider how much you’re willing to spend when choosing propane tanks. How much you can spend will determine the type, size, age, and availability of propane tanks you have to choose from.
Comparing tank prices between retailers is a great way to start browsing once you have your budget in mind. That way, you can ensure the best deal.
However, we must caution you to avoid buying during peak usage seasons, as that can end up spiking your price point. It’s better to buy in summer when there’s less demand than in winter.
2-) Size Matters
When choosing propane tanks, size matters. If you don’t pick a tank big enough for your needs, you’ll find yourself constantly running out of gas, and choosing one that’s too large is a recipe for wasted money.
You need to know how much propane your home uses. If you only have a propane grill, then your needs will be different compared to someone who’s powering a water heater, stove, and dryer with gas. In addition, you need to know if your home has enough space to house the tank you buy.
3-) Age Is More Than a Number
Look, we understand the desire to save money by getting a used propane tank. However, there can be benefits and risks to getting an older tank. Older tanks are more likely to have unresolved mechanical problems that may prove expensive or impossible to fix.
However, some propane users prefer using older tanks, as any tank older than seventy has thick steel walls. These thick walls make them heavier and less portable, but more durable and longer-lasting. Make sure you research your seller and the tank itself thoroughly, as the last thing you want is to invest in a tank too old to work.
4-) Is This Tank Board Certified?
Many propane tanks have a National Board number or U1A report which can tell you the specifications of each tank. You can track down these specs on a national file, but you may need to pay a fee to access them. Tanks certified by the National Board have much higher value and can be used in more areas than those without certification.
The U1A also serves as a tank’s birth certificate, letting you see when and where it was manufactured and certified. While propane tanks can be re-certified, it can be a pricey process.
5-) Where Is the Tank Going?
We touched on this briefly when discussing the size of the tank, but another factor that you should consider when buying propane tanks is the tank’s location. Is this tank going inside your home or outside of it?
While experts strongly advise you not to store propane tanks inside to mitigate the risks of a gas leak or explosion, barring a state law, nothing prohibits you from doing so. Some states may have laws dictating when and where you can install a propane tank, so you need to ask before you begin your installation. The last thing you want to deal with is a pile of legal fines on top of the installation fees and other costs.
6-) Check That Expiration Date
Did you know that propane tanks, like perishable items, have expiration dates? Well, you do now! This applies more if you’re exchanging tanks or buying one used as opposed to a new one, but you should always check your expiration dates. Propane tanks are generally certified to last around twelve years in the United States when freshly manufactured.
If you purchased an older or re-certified tank, that certification lasts for five, seven, or twelve years. How long it’s good depends on the type and method of recertification.
7-) To Refill or Exchange? That Is the Question
If your current propane tank is lacking fuel at the moment, you may wonder if it’s better to refill the tank or exchange it for another. It depends on what you’re willing to pay, and whether or not your current tank is damaged. While programs like the Lowes propane exchange can cut down on the cost, propane tank exchanges are usually the more expensive option.
You’ll usually get less propane in your tank if you exchange it versus if you refill it yourself. However, it’s more convenient than searching for a refill station and you’ll get a new, clean tank that’s been put through a thorough inspection. However, refilling the tank yourself can save on your costs in the long run, so it’s up to you which option works better.
Choosing Propane Tanks: Let’s Review
When choosing propane tanks, there are many factors that you need to consider. Location, size, age, and cost are the main things that any homeowner adding or replacing a propane tank should think about. However, there’s no substitute for seeking a professional’s opinion.
If you found this article about finding the right propane tank for your home helpful and would like to read more home improvement content like this, check out our blog each day for more!