Will the Cold Affect the Quality of my Propane?

A full propane tank can solve winter pressure problems.

propane Denville, NJ How low do you think the coldest temperature ever recorded in New Jersey was?

All the way back in 1904, Riverdale clocked a glacial -34°F! That’s pretty darned cold. At that temperature, diesel and heating oil start to gel. But what about propane?

Freezing weather can cause automobile startup problems and send struggling boilers and furnaces into full-on breakdowns. It’s reasonable to wonder whether your home propane’s quality could deteriorate in the cold winter weather. Dixon Energy can help you know the risks.

Will propane freeze?

Propane’s freezing point is -306.4°F. Not only is that way lower than New Jersey’s historic low temperature; it’s also much colder than the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth (−128.6 °F in Antarctica in 1983). You don’t need to worry about propane freezing in your outdoor tank.

Can cold weather affect my propane’s quality?

Your propane won’t deteriorate in any way in an outdoor propane tank. (Propane has an unlimited shelf life.) However, frigid weather can present issues with tank pressure.

Propane contracts in cold weather, meaning its volume decreases, and it takes up less space in your tank. This contraction can lower the internal pressure of your propane tank. Your tank gauge reading will likely drop, making it seem like you have less propane than you do. In periods of sustained extreme cold, this loss of tank pressure can prevent fuel from reaching the burners of your gas-fired equipment.

There are some simple ways to ensure your tank pressure stays consistent through the winter:

  1. Keep your propane tank filled to at least 30% throughout the heating season. Even better, you can enroll in Dixon Energy’s no-fee automatic propane delivery schedule. We’ll handle all the planning for you and ensure your tank level never drops too low.
  2. When we’ve had blustery winter weather, clear away any snow from the top of your tank. This will let the sunshine warm up your propane tank and minimize the volume contraction inside.
  3. Reduce your overall propane consumption by investing in a programable thermostat like the RedLINK smart thermostats from Honeywell that we install. With these devices, you can lower your indoor temperatures when you’re away from home or asleep. These adjustments will slow your fuel usage and can reduce your winter energy costs considerably.

Your Dixon Energy Winter Checklist

While you’re thinking about your wintertime comfort, here are some other ways you can make sure your home heating system is functioning at peak efficiency:

  1. Check your furnace’s air filter monthly and clean or replace it if it’s dirty.
  2. Check your vents and make sure they are clear and unobstructed.
  3. Schedule your annual heating system maintenance to ensure that your equipment is running safely and efficiently. If you have a Dixon Energy service plan, your tune-up is included!

Dixon Energy has kept households safe and warm in Denville and throughout northern New Jersey for over a century. Reach out to us today for a propane delivery or equipment service.