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Propane Usage

Propane is a versatile, efficient, and popular home energy source. With its multiple types of uses and eco-friendliness, it is easy to see why many homeowners choose propane as their primary home heat source. If you’re considering propane as an energy solution for your home, one of the first decisions you’ll make is about the tank itself: Do you go with an above-ground tank or an underground (or below-ground) propane tank? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dive in and explore which might be right for you.

How Will You Use Propane?

Shipley Energy delivers propane when you need it.
Between tank types, it’s crucial to understand the varied uses of propane in your home.


Propane is a popular choice for home heating. It burns cleanly and efficiently, ensuring you keep warm without the high costs or environmental impact of others. 


Many chefs and homeowners prefer propane-powered stoves for even heating and precise temperature control.

Water Heating

Propane heaters heat water twice as fast as electric ones, offering energy savings.

Outdoor Use

From BBQ grills to patio and even pool heaters, propane is a go-to choice for outdoor living.

Backup Power

Propane-powered generators can keep your home running during power outages.

Different Propane Tank Types

Shipley Energy above-ground and below-ground propane tanks
Understanding the diverse uses of propane in your home will help you gauge the size and type of tank that fits your needs.

What is an Above-Ground Propane Tank?

An above-ground tank is a propane tank that sits on the surface, usually in your yard or beside your home. They’re visible, easily accessible, and can be moved with the right equipment.

  • Appearance: They’re typically silver, white, or another light-reflecting color, designed to deflect the sun and reduce pressure build-up from heat.
  • Installation: Above-ground tanks are straightforward to install, needing a solid, flat surface and proper clearances from windows, doors, and other structures.
  • Size Variability: They come in various sizes, from small 20-pound tanks for grilling to 1,000-gallon tanks to fuel large homes.

What is an Underground (Below-Ground) Propane Tank?

An underground or below-ground propane tank is buried beneath the ground. Only the dome, where connections and valves reside, is visible above ground.

  • Appearance: Since they’re mostly hidden, they don’t alter the aesthetic of your yard.
  • Installation: Installation is more involved, requiring excavation. However, once installed, they’re protected from the elements, potentially extending their lifespan.
  • Size Variability: Like above-ground tanks, they come in various sizes, though homeowners typically choose larger tanks because of the installation effort involved.

Differences Between the Two Types of Tanks

  • Visibility: The most apparent difference is visibility. Above-ground tanks are more prominent, while underground tanks are discreet, only showing a small dome.
  • Installation: Above-ground tanks require less effort, while underground tanks require digging and careful placement.
  • Maintenance Access: Above-ground tanks are more accessible for maintenance, whereas underground tanks might need some digging for comprehensive checks.
  • Lifespan: Underground propane tanks can have a longer lifespan since they’re protected from the weather and potential physical damage.
  • Space Requirement: Above-ground tanks will take up yard space, while underground tanks free up that space.


Thank you for reading chapter 2 of our propane homeowner’s guide! If you would like to learn more feel free to read our other chapters.

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