How Much Propane Does a Pool Heater Use?

Enjoying a relaxing swim throughout the summer is a huge perk of owning a pool heater. If you choose to heat your pool with propane, you might wonder how much fuel a propane pool heater consumes. Here’s a quick guide to help you estimate propane usage for your pool heater.


Several factors influence how much propane your heater uses, such as:

  • Heater BTU rating: Propane heaters with a higher BTU (British Thermal Units) value output more heat, but also use more propane. A typical residential pool heater ranges from 150,000 to 400,000 BTUs.
  • Pool size: Larger pools require more energy and more propane to reach the desired temperature.
  • Ambient air temperature: Colder air means the heater works harder to maintain warmth and bring the pool to the desired water temperature.
  • Pool cover usage: A well-maintained pool cover significantly reduces heat loss, minimizing propane consumption.


Estimating Propane Usage

As a rule of thumb, it takes one gallon per hour per 100,000 BTUs to operate. A 400,000 BTU propane heater would burn around 4 gallons of propane per hour. It takes one hour to raise your pool’s temperature by 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a 15,000-gallon pool and want to raise the temperature by 20 degrees with a 400,000 BTU propane heater, it would take about 10 hours to heat and use around 40 gallons of propane.


That said, a 100-gallon propane tank would last around 25 hours for a 400,000 BTU heater, and a 250-gallon tank would last around 63 hours. However, this could be impacted by the factors mentioned above, and what power level your propane pool heater is on.


By understanding these factors, you can enjoy a warm pool while keeping your propane costs manageable. Whatever your needs are, Fairclough Propane is happy to supply your home with propane so you can enjoy a comfortable swim. We offer prompt will-call and automatic delivery for homes and businesses in Northern New Jersey, and you can even schedule deliveries and pay bills online! Check out our propane services here, and contact us for more information.