The pig. The propane tank is one of my biggest frustrations, living where and how we do. Last winter, our first winter here, we flew through a tank of gas with little awareness of what we were doing or how energy inefficient our house was. It was two days before Christmas 2009 that I panicked because our tank was almost empty and we were going out of town. They rushed a out to fill us up and drain us dry in one fell swoop. It still makes me shudder to think of the bill we received after that. They also suggested we schedule our next fill for early February 2009, just six weeks from then. Ugh.
I vowed then to do my best to be as independent of propane as possible.
It was December 10th 2010 that we finally thought we should call to have them fill the tank. After months of learning to seal cracks, plastic windows, install storms and burn wood (as well as thaw an occasional pipe) we have cut our propane use by a massive percent, using only 60% of our tank in nearly a year's time.
Since December 10th, when they filled our tank to 85%, we have used 6% of our tank. At this rate, I'm predicting we'll make it at least another year before needing a refill, especially if we can figure out (with aide from our maintenance man) how to heat the house without propane, which includes an elaborate scheme to heat the pipes/water heater/furnace with kerosene and the house with water. Hm. We'll see...