How Long Does a 1-lb Propane Tank Last on a Buddy Heater?

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Propane heaters are a great way to help keep your home, office, or, more importantly, your camper warm in the wintertime. But do you know how long a 1-lb propane tank will last in conjunction with your buddy heater?

The short answer is, “it depends.” In regards to buddy heaters, size matters. There are two size options for your buddy heater one provides 9,000 BTU the second provides 18,000 BTU.

When using the 9,000 BTU version, you are looking to get two hours when set to high and five hours when set to low. The second larger option takes two 1-lb propane tanks and, on high, could last 2 hours again on low and 10 hours when on high.


How Can You Make it Last Longer?

Rationing how you use your heater will be the best resource for making the propane tank last longer. A secondary option, and maybe not one available to all, would be to optimize your insulation.

If you don’t have control over your insulation, then small fixes can make a big difference. Such as ensuring all windows and doors are sealed, keeping windows covered, and blocking off any drafts.

This, along with optimizing the timing of use, will make that tank last longer. Next, get your space to a warm temperature and turn off your heater until it cools off a bit. Don’t wait until it’s unbearably cold, and you’ll just end up having to run the heater longer.

In addition to rationing and insulation, wearing layers of clothing using blankets congregating in a smaller space will all aid in increasing the longevity of your 1-lb propane tank.


How Many Meals Can You Approximately Make on It?

An industry average for the use of the 1-lb propane tank on a gas grill is 1½ hours when used on continuous high heat. Now hopefully, the meals you need to make on a gas grill won’t take an hour and a half at one time to cook.

Past that, the variables to take into consideration for how many meals you could make would be infinite. Even an approximation might be on point for one and completely off for another. The temperature at which you must cook each meal needs to be considered.

How long each meal needs to cook will affect the propane usage. It might be easy to calculate how many meals you can make if you are making the same exact meal the same exact way every time. Other than that, the possibilities vary greatly.


How Can You Tell if a Propane Tank is Empty?

There are a few signs that a propane tank is empty. The first is that the tank is leaking. If the tank is leaking, it means that there is still propane in the tank.

The good news is you have propane in the tank, and the bad news, however, is you have a leak and need to address that immediately. Secondly, the contents inside a propane tank tend to slosh around audibly when shaken.

If you have a handheld tank, give it a little shake. If you can hear what sounds like water, then you have propane! Congratulations! If you hear only silence, then it’s time for more propane.


Can You Refill It Somehow?

No, but also yes. Firstly addressing why you cannot refill your 1-lb propane tank, The Department of Transportation writes the rules on all propane tanks that can be transported by rail and road.

There is a certain version of the quintessential little green canister that cannot, under any circumstances, be refilled. These particular tanks will be labeled as single-use or DOT-39. Propane is a liquid that is under very intense pressure when contained in propane tanks.

This pressure can expand rapidly when improperly handled, resulting in disastrous effects. That said, yes, there are certain little green propane tanks that you can personally refill.

This will include a larger tank, connectors, heating one take and cooling the other, and very precise steps. So again, you can refill certain propane tanks, but not single-use ones.


How Long will a Little Buddy Heater Run on Low?

As we mentioned earlier, both the 9,000 BTU and 18,000 BTU little buddy can continuously run on low for two hours. Keep in mind the 18,000 BTU version does have room for two 1-lb propane tanks. We always emphasize preparedness.

Testing your little buddy heater against your needs will give you a good insight into how long your heater will last on low. As close as you can, recreate the conditions you anticipate. Include the clothing or blankets you may be using.

Adjust how long you run your heater versus how long you have it off, and this will give you a good idea as to how long your little buddy heater will keep you toasty or at least keep the chill off.


Final Thoughts on How Long Does a 1-lb Propane Tank Last on a Buddy Heater

All in all, the combination of the portable indoor safe heater with the use of propane creates a nice little package. Too many times, folks are caught in an emergency and need a way to stay warm if the power is out.

The little buddy heater will provide that warmth without needing to be connected to the grid. This lightweight heater won’t add bulky weight to your setup if you’re camping. Propane directly connected to its heater means less room for electrical malfunction.

There’s nothing worse than trying to stay warm in the wilderness when all your electronic heating options have failed.

To close, if you decide to refill your propane tanks, make sure you are using the proper tank, or even better, seek the assistance of a propane professional! Happy heating!

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