Propane can be an important part of winter activities, whether it is used for heating or for holiday cooking. However, it is important to know how to safely care for your propane tank in cold weather.
Where to Store Propane Tanks in the Winter
You should never store a tank inside your home, including in your basement or garage. Propane tanks should always be stored in a well-ventilated outdoor area regardless of the season.
Can You Leave a Propane Tank Outside in the Winter?
Though the temperatures outside may drop, you don’t need to worry about your propane tank freezing. Propane does not freeze until it reaches an extremely low temperature. However, the tank should not be in contact with snow or moisture as it could cause rust to your tank. You should still take certain steps before storing your tank for the season to ensure it maintains its integrity during the winter months.
How to Store Propane Tanks in the Winter
If you’re not planning to use your tank for a while, you’ll want to take these steps before you put it away for the winter:
- Disconnect your tank from your grill and ensure your tank is fully turned off.
- Always check your propane tank, valves, and hose for signs of tears or leaks. You can detect leaks by using an ammonia-free soap and water mixture on the tanks, hose, and valves to look for bubbling, which indicates there may be a leak. You should not keep a tank that is leaking.
- Consider using an EZGO® Propane Tank Holder and Stabilizer or tankfoot to keep your propane tank upright while storing or transporting. Also, it helps keep your tank away from snow and ice. This will keep it in working condition for longer. You may also want to keep your propane tank under an awning or plastic tarp for additional protection.
Winter Propane Grilling and Heating Tips
Chilly weather doesn’t have to mean the end of grilling season, especially if the winters are mild near you. Keep these tips in mind if you’re not packing away your propane tank for the season:
- Always check your tank for leaks before grilling. You should never use a tank or hose with a leak.
- Ensure you have enough propane. If you’re running low, find a refill station nearby.
- You’ll need to stay warm if the weather is chilly, but avoid wearing flammable materials, loose clothing, and scarves.
- It may take longer than normal to heat up the grill in cold temperatures. Keeping the lid shut when cooking as much as possible, and clearing away snow and ice nearby will help keep the cooking temperature stable.
- Frying a turkey for the holidays? Check out our guide to frying a turkey safely!
Outdoor propane barbeques are not intended for indoor grilling. These grills create a large amount of carbon dioxide build up when used indoors. However, if you are looking for those grill marks during the winter season, there are grill pans that you can use on your stove.
In terms of heating, there are indoor propane heaters. These are typically mounted on walls and have automatic shut-off switches that keep you safe. As long as the product is used with the manufacturer’s recommendations you’ll stay cozy and safe. Outdoor heaters are unsafe for indoors use.
How Safe are Propane Tanks?
Propane tanks are extremely safe. Tanks are designed with the consumer in mind because of the easy turn-on and off valve, the pressure relief valve for self-regulating in extreme temperatures, and tanks are very durable, and are manufactured and certified for 12 years. Propane itself is very safe because it’s non-toxic.
Following these propane safety tips will keep you warm and your stomach full this winter. With over 1,100 locations for propane tank refills and free tank inspections from certified team members, U-Haul is the top choice for your propane needs. We also have propane autogas stations across the country and offer propane tanks, parts & accessories, grilling accessories, and outdoor space heaters. Fill up your tank today at your local U-Haul location!