Can Propane Gas Freeze?

How frigid winter weather affects propane tanks.

propane Cape May County, NJ We probably don’t need to tell you that sustained freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your home systems, appliances and other equipment. When the mercury bottoms out in Cape May County and other parts of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, cars have trouble starting, furnaces and boilers break down from overwork, and exposed pipes can freeze over.

Homes and businesses in this region sometimes have issues with heating oil, diesel and gasoline thickening in icy conditions. But what about the liquid propane in your outdoor tank? Can it freeze in the winter?

The Freezing Point of Propane

Propane can freeze — at about -306°F.

For reference, the coldest temperature ever recorded in New Jersey was -34°F in Bergen County on January 5, 1904. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Pennsylvania was the same day, and that was -42°F. In fact, the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was −128.6 °F in Antarctica in 1983.

None of those temperatures are remotely close to the freezing point of propane. The iciest temperatures ever reached in our service region are even warmer than propane’s boiling point.

All this is to say is that you do not need to worry about propane freezing in your propane tank.

How Cold Weather Affects Propane

Even though freezing propane isn’t a realistic concern for Blue Flame customers, some real performance issues can arise for propane systems in cold weather.
A primary concern for propane-powered households is tank pressure. Just like with any liquid, propane’s volume changes with outdoor temperatures. It expands when temperatures go up and contracts in the cold.

When we face days of sustained freezing temperatures, the volume of liquid propane in your tank can shrink considerably. The result is a loss of pressure, which, in extreme circumstances, can prevent propane from reaching your gas burner.

Luckily, there are some simple ways to prevent low-pressure issues in your propane tank:

  1. Never let your home’s propane tank levels drop below 30%. The best way to do this is to sign up for Blue Flame’s no-fee automatic delivery schedule. We’ll monitor your tank levels for you and schedule a propane delivery before you run low. You won’t need to worry about run-outs or low tank pressure.
  2. Remove snow from your propane tank as quickly as possible. This will let the sunshine reach the tank and keep it warmer.
  3. Use your thermostat to slow propane usage. Lowering the heat when you’re asleep or away from home can reduce the chances of your tank levels dropping below 30%. It will also lower your winter energy costs. That’s called a win-win situation!

Blue Flame is here for your winter propane needs!

There’s a reason that so many New Jersey and Pennsylvania families count on the Blue Flame team: we never leave you hanging. With a stable supply of premium propane and the most dedicated fuel delivery team in the region, we are always ready to answer your call when the weather is icy and you need propane.

Reach out to us to join the family of Blue Flame customers.