Can Propane Freeze?

Propane tank in the snow

Propane is great at keeping you warm through the long, cold Delmarva winter. But how well does propane itself handle frigid temperatures?

In general, propane deals quite well with the cold, but it does have some problems as temperatures head down the thermometer. Here’s why: When propane is stored in your tank, it’s a liquid under high pressure; to burn, it must vaporize and expand. As temperatures drop, however, so does pressure inside the tank – to the point where eventually the pressure may be too low to effectively power your propane heating equipment.

When we say extreme cold, we’re not kidding: propane turns to a liquid at -44 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, you should take some precautions if you own a propane-powered home in an area that experiences cold winters like we do.

To avoid pressure problems during cold weather extremes:

  • Order propane when your tank is no less than one-quarter full to keep positive pressure inside the tank (and prevent inconvenient, costly, and potentially dangerous propane runouts).
  • Clear snow away from your tank quickly after a snowfall.
  • Keep the regulator free of snow and ice.
  • Turn down the thermostat in your home – Decreasing the temperature in your house will lessen the time your system/appliance operates, permitting the pressure in the tank to build.

Some other extreme weather propane tips:

  • Clear snow and ice from propane tank regulators, vents, piping and valves to prevent damage that could cause a gas leak.
  • Remove snow and ice from appliance vents, flues and chimneys to allow the gas to vent properly.
  • Place a flag, pole, or stake next to your tank that is tall enough to be seen over the expected snowfall and drifts; this will help you find the tank in heavy snow.
  • Turn off the main gas supply if an appliance fails to light or if a gas leak is detected.

Winter is coming to Delmarva – do you have enough propane to keep your family safe, warm, and comfortable in the cold months ahead? Fill up today with propane from Poore’s!