Why Keeping Your Fuel Tanks Warm Gives You More Gas
Liquid Propane (LP) heaters are great for outdoor activities and camping trips, convenient and a good source of warmth in cold weather. When it’s extremely cold outside and temps drop below freezing – when you need a heater the most – is of course when cold can negatively impact LP tanks.
One major aspect of LP that many people overlook is the importance of keeping the propane tank warm.
Inside your LP cylinder or tank, the propane is boiling, creating a vapor (gas) which your heater, or BBQ grill, burns for heat. This is very similar to boiling water creating steam. LP boils more vigorously when it is warm, more efficiently creating vapor. The colder in temperature the cylinder or tank gets, the less vapor is produced, and therefore the pressure which pushes the vapor into your heater drops. If the vapor pressure becomes too low inside your tank, your heater will not function properly. It will usually start with sputtering and then shuts-off, especially on a breezy day.
That is why tanks that become too cold are a frustrating challenge. You’ll still have LP in the tank, but unfortunately without enough pressure from the vaporization process, your portable heater flame no longer burns as it should. You replace the tank with a full one and it works again for a while, but you will end up needing and hauling more LP tanks with you because you are replacing the cold tanks more often.
Since maintaining the temperature of the tank is critical, Heat Hog 9,000 BTU and 18,000 BTU units were engineered with a tank warming dock. The dock design allows residual heat from the heating plaque to flow into the back of the unit where the propane is stored, keeping the fuel tank(s) warm.
Warm LP tanks mean you can get more out of each tank, and you haul less of them with you, all while you stay warm!
Tips to protect your propane supply in storage during the winter:
- Store your propane tank and propane cylinders outdoors or indoors in a garage or structure at least five to ten feet away from your home – not in your living area or garage attached to your home (please consult local codes).
- Ensure the tank is turned off and disconnected. Store it in a secure and upright position on a sturdy, level surface like a piece of wood or slab of concrete.
- Ensure it is in a well-ventilated, open area that receives direct sunlight (if outdoors). Make sure it is in an area that’s clear of electrical tools and flammable or combustible materials.
- If storing outdoors, do not cover with an insulated blanket, for example. This keeps in the cold within the tank and keeps sunlight from getting in. Ensure they kept free from snow and ice.