When temperatures drop here in Maryland, it sure is a great comfort to know you have a reliable supply of propane from Q-Dog to keep you safe, warm, and comfortable. But how reliable is propane as a cold-weather fuel?
In general, propane handles extreme cold extremely well, since it has a freezing point of minus 306.4° Fahrenheit. But some problems can develop as temperatures drop toward propane’s boiling point (minus 43.6°F): at this temperature, liquid propane can no longer vaporize, which is a problem because propane (which is stored in your tank as a liquid under high pressure) must vaporize in order to burn.
The good news is we’ll never get that kind of extreme cold here in Maryland, but it could get cold enough that the pressure inside your propane tank drops too low to effectively power your propane heating equipment.
To avoid that problem during cold weather extremes, be sure to order propane when your tank is one-third full to keep positive pressure inside the tank (you should do it anyway to and prevent costly propane run-outs!).
Some other extreme weather propane tips:
- Clear snow and ice away from your tank quickly after a snowfall; make sure to clear ice from propane tank regulators, vents, piping and valves to prevent damage that could cause a gas leak.
- 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.
- 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 propane tank’s fill valve 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.