Does Propane Go Bad in Cold Weather?

Don’t lose pressure in your home propane tank.

propane Calvert County, MD The nights have become outright glacial in Calvert County and across Maryland, and the afternoons are pretty frosty, too. Winter in the Mid-Atlantic brings its share of household maintenance issues. Heating oil can gel in outside tanks. Exterior pipes can freeze and even burst.

But what about propane? Does propane freeze, lose combustibility or otherwise “go bad” in colder weather? The team at Q-Dog Quality Discount Oil & Gas is happy to give you tips to get the most from your propane equipment this winter.

Will propane freeze in cold weather?

While propane does have a freezing point, it isn’t one we will reach in this part of the country — or anywhere on Earth!

Propane’s freezing point is -306.4°F. The lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth was −128.6 °F at a research station in Antarctica in 1983. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Maryland was -40° F in Oakland in 1912. That’s warmer than propane’s boiling point. So, you don’t need to worry about propane freezing in your outdoor tank.

Freezing weather can still affect propane tanks and equipment.

Even though your home’s propane won’t freeze on icy days, your tank, fuel lines and equipment can still be adversely affected by cold temperatures. Propane contracts when it’s cold, which means it will take up less space in your tank. This contraction can create a loss of tank pressure. If your propane tank’s pressure drops too far, it can prevent fuel from reaching the burners of your furnace, boiler, water heater and other gas-fired products. You could end up with a cold house and non-functional appliances.

How to prevent low propane pressure.

At Q-Dog, we strongly suggest that you keep your propane tank filled to at least 30% during the heating season. You can find your propane tank’s gauge under a dome hood on top of your tank. It has numbers telling you the percentage fill, not the number of gallons in your tank. If you find that your tank is at or below 30% on a winter day, please get in touch with our team right away.
Want to avoid having to contact Q-Dog altogether? Enroll in our free automatic delivery option. With this program, our team tracks your home’s propane usage based on your customer history and the current weather. Then, we schedule a propane delivery before you run low. This no-stress, no-fee option prevents unexpected run-outs and low-pressure issues.

There are other ways to reduce the likelihood of a propane tank pressure problem. If there has been snowfall in your area, be sure to clear away any snow from the top of your tank so sunlight can reach it. This will keep your tank warmer throughout the day. You can also turn down your thermostat whenever you’re asleep or the house is empty. This simple act reduces how often your heating system cycles, meaning you’ll use less fuel and save money throughout the winter.

If you’re interested in free automatic propane delivery, reach out to Q-Dog today.