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Can Propane Freeze in Cold Weather?

Learn about the science of propane!

freezing point of propane north carolinaWith winter coming, you may be wondering how the cold weather impacts the propane in your home’s propane tank.

The freezing point for propane is -44˚ Fahrenheit. The average low temperature in January here in eastern North Carolina is 31˚. The record low is 13˚, set in 2015. However, some of the more remote parts of our service area can get colder than these temperatures.

It’s virtually impossible that your home’s tank of propane will freeze. With that fear out of the way, there is still a concern about propane and cold weather. Like all liquids, propane shrinks as the temperature goes down. The volume of propane inside your aboveground propane tank shrinks in severe cold. That shrinkage in pressure causes a loss of pressure. If the pressure within your tank falls too low, the gas inside your appliances, such as your home heating system and water heater, will not get the propane they need to operate.

We’ve put together some tips to help protect your propane supply no matter what winter sends out way. These suggestions are simple to follow, and they don’t come at the expense of comfort.

Don’t run low on propane

In the winter, your propane tank should be at least 30% full at all times. This ensures that there is sufficient positive pressure in the tank to deliver gas to your burner. You can rest easy knowing that your propane supply is secure with Automatic Delivery! We use your previous propane usage and current weather conditions to figure out when you’ll require a propane delivery and deliver it to you before you run out.

Let us get your propane delivered

When the weather is cold and inclement, the last thing you probably want to do is go outside. But it is necessary to protect your propane supply and we need safe access to your propane tank to make a delivery. After icy weather, remove ice or other obstructions from vents and flues to allow your appliances to vent properly and safely. When de-icing your driveway, make sure the cleared space is wide enough for our truck to drive in and that the path to your tank is safely walkable.

Give your heating system a break

Leave the heat on but set around 5˚ lower than you normally have it. This variation in temperature prevents your heating system from cycling on as often. The lengthier time between the heat being turned on allows pressure to build in the propane tank.

Enjoy the benefits of reliable, clean-burning propane in your home. Become a Parker Gas customer!