BTUs and gallons of propane


A gallon of propane is 91,502 BTUs. A heater’s description lists that it produces 58,000 BTUs of heat, but no time frame and most heaters say BTU and not BTU/hr. I want to know how many gallons of propane are needed to run the heater for a given time period.

Can this be calculated from this information?

In: 0

You need to know the efficiency of the heater as well. Different configurations of heaters can extract or release the energy in the propane with different degrees of efficiency – because some of the propane to be burned might instead be lost through incomplete combustion, depending on how the heater is designed. But once you know that, it’s just Propane Usage = Propane Heater Capacity (In BTU/h) / (91,452 BTU Per Gallon × Efficiency (%) / 100). You can probably also just assume that the heater is around 90% efficient if you want a rough estimate

If the heater just says BTU, it usually means BTU/hr. So divide your BTU/hr by your BTU/gallon and you’ll have gallons/hr (ignoring any losses/inefficiencies). Though the amount of gas should probably be given directly as BTU because the energy content per gallon varies based on pressure and temperature.