4 Reasons to Fill Up Your Propane Tank Now

Why Risk a Run-Out or a Price Spike?

propane delivery iowaAs summer transitions into the fall, we always advise propane customers to start the heating season off with a full tank. Early fall is the perfect time to schedule your propane delivery.

Here are four reasons why this is a smart idea.

  1. Demand drives up propane prices and that demand is usually highest when temperatures drop. However, propane prices can also rise in the summer months, when people hit the road with their campers and RVs. Early fall squeezes between these two periods of peak demand – meaning it’s often the best time to save money on your propane tank fill-ups.
  2. Although sudden cold snaps can happen in the early fall here in the Hawkeye State, these aren’t as common or as severe as the drops that can happen in late autumn and early winter – which means that odds are, there won’t be a sudden big rush on local propane supplies (and the rising prices that typically come with it).
  3. Your family will be prepared for any weather. A sudden change in weather can pinch propane supplies quickly, leading to possible delivery delays and occasionally no-heat emergencies as people scramble to fill their tanks. Schedule your propane tank refill in the early fall and you’ll enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your family will be safe and comfortable in any weather.
  4. You can enjoy all your home comforts. Whether you like to cook on your propane grill on a beautiful autumn weekend, cozy up to your propane fireplace or lounge on your porch warmed by your propane patio heater, you’ll need to fill up on propane to enjoy the comforts of home in the months to come.

Securing Your Propane Supply

Getting propane delivered to your tank whenever you need it may seem fairly easy. But for propane suppliers, planning is more complex, and the process often begins a year before deliveries even reach customers. Plus, supply chain issues have added an extra layer of complexity to the mix lately.

Knowing the volume of fuel that each customer will need represents a key component in creating a supply plan, which includes storing away enough fuel. Customers can help out by contacting their propane dealer long before winter arrives to discuss their anticipated propane needs.

Your propane dealer is committed to supplying you with reliable propane deliveries throughout the year. If you have questions or want to discuss your propane supply, please get in touch with your local propane dealer.

Remember the 80/20 Rule

For safety purposes, your propane tank will never actually be completely full. Here’s why.

The propane in your tank is stored as a liquid. The liquid changes to gas before it leaves the tank. That’s why it’s called liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

Like any liquid, propane will expand when its temperature rises, such as when the sun is shining directly on your tank. The difference with propane is that it expands a lot, and quickly –its volume increases nearly 17 times the volume of water over the same temperature increase.

This is why your delivery driver needs to leave extra space in your tank to allow propane to safely expand. The extra space in the tank provides a cushion against the pressure that builds up in a tank.
Aboveground propane tanks are typically filled to about 80% capacity. As an example, a 500-gallon tank filled to 80% will safely hold 400 gallons of propane.

This is often called the 80/20 rule. Keep in mind that the amount of gas in the tank doesn’t actually change during periods of expansion and contraction–only its density does.

Propane gas expansion is also the reason why you should never paint your outdoor propane tank a dark color since dark colors will absorb more heat from the sun.

Read more about propane safety.

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