How Much Propane Does a Heating Stove Use?

On average, a propane heating stove uses around 65,000 BTUs per hour. The exact amount of propane consumed by a heating stove depends on various factors, including the stove’s BTU rating, usage time, and the size of the space being heated. By understanding the technical specifications and monitoring your stove’s usage, you can accurately estimate the propane consumption and plan your refills accordingly.

Understanding Propane Consumption Rates

The amount of propane a heating stove uses is primarily determined by its BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating. A BTU is a unit of measurement that represents the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Propane BTU Content

One gallon of propane contains approximately 91,500 BTUs of energy. This means that a stove with a 65,000 BTU per hour rating would consume roughly 0.71 gallons of propane per hour (65,000 BTUs / 91,500 BTUs per gallon).

Stove BTU Ratings

Propane heating stoves typically have BTU ratings ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 BTUs per hour, with some high-end models reaching up to 65,000 BTUs per hour. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat the stove can produce, and the more propane it will consume.

Stove Usage Patterns

It’s important to note that stoves are rarely used at their highest setting for extended periods. In a real-world scenario, a stove’s usage would depend on factors such as the size of the space being heated, the outside temperature, and the stove’s efficiency.

Calculating Propane Consumption

how much propane does a heating stove use

To estimate the propane consumption of your heating stove, you’ll need to consider the stove’s BTU rating and the duration of use.

Example Calculation

Let’s say you have a propane heating stove with a BTU rating of 31,000 BTUs per hour. If you use the stove for one hour at its highest setting, it would consume approximately one gallon of propane (31,000 BTUs / 91,500 BTUs per gallon).

Real-World Scenario

However, in a real-world scenario, the stove may not be used at its highest setting for the entire duration. For example, if the stove is used for an average of 2 hours per day at a rate of 30,000 BTUs per hour, it would consume approximately 0.67 gallons of propane per day (30,000 BTUs x 2 hours / 91,500 BTUs per gallon). Over a month, this would amount to around 20 gallons of propane (0.67 gallons x 30 days).

Propane Tank Considerations

The size of the propane tank can also affect how often it needs to be refilled. A standard 20-pound propane tank holds approximately 4.7 gallons of propane. If a stove uses 20 gallons of propane per month, a 20-pound tank would need to be refilled every 2-3 weeks.

Factors Affecting Propane Consumption

Several factors can influence the amount of propane a heating stove consumes:

  1. Stove BTU Rating: Higher BTU ratings generally mean higher propane consumption.
  2. Usage Time: The longer the stove is used, the more propane it will consume.
  3. Space Size: Larger spaces require more heat, leading to increased propane usage.
  4. Outdoor Temperature: Colder temperatures will require the stove to work harder, consuming more propane.
  5. Stove Efficiency: Well-maintained and efficient stoves may use less propane compared to older or less efficient models.

Monitoring and Optimizing Propane Consumption

To get a more accurate estimate of your stove’s propane consumption, it’s recommended to monitor its usage over time. This can be done by keeping track of the propane tank refills and the duration of use.

Additionally, consider using a programmable thermostat to regulate the stove’s usage and optimize propane consumption. Regular maintenance of your stove can also help ensure its efficiency and longevity, further reducing propane costs.


By understanding the technical specifications, calculating the propane consumption, and considering the various factors that affect usage, you can effectively manage the propane consumption of your heating stove. Regular monitoring and optimization can help you plan your propane refills and save on energy costs.

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