The Best Time of Year to Refill Propane Tanks

May 30, 2024 / Back to Blog

Propane is an essential energy source for many households and businesses, used for heating, cooking, and even powering generators. However, the timing of when you refill your propane tank can significantly affect your costs and efficiency. Understanding the best time of year to refill your propane tank can help you save money and ensure you have an uninterrupted supply throughout the year.


Understanding Propane Demand and Prices


The price of propane is influenced by the principles of supply and demand. During periods of high demand, such as the winter months, propane prices tend to rise. Conversely, during periods of lower demand, such as the summer and early fall, prices tend to be lower.


Winter Demand Spike


Winter is the peak season for propane usage due to the increased need for heating. During this time, propane prices typically rise because of the heightened demand. Households that rely on propane for heating will find their consumption increases significantly, leading to higher costs if they need to refill their tanks during this period​​.


Summer and Fall Savings


Summer, particularly early fall, is considered the best time to refill propane tanks. During these months, the demand for propane drops as the need for heating decreases and outdoor activities like grilling and camping do not consume as much propane as indoor heating does during winter. This period of lower demand results in lower prices for propane, making it an economically advantageous time to refill your tanks​​.


Optimal Refill Strategy


Refilling your propane tank when it is around 20-30% full is recommended. This practice ensures that you do not run out of propane unexpectedly and can take advantage of lower prices. Waiting until your tank is completely empty can lead to several issues, including the potential for gas leaks, rust, and the need for additional inspections and maintenance​.


Safety Considerations


Maintaining your propane tank at a minimum of 20% capacity is crucial for safety reasons. If the propane level falls too low, it can cause the pressure inside the tank to drop, leading to inefficient operation of propane appliances and potential safety hazards. Propane tanks are designed to emit a distinct odor, similar to rotten eggs, when the gas level is low, serving as a warning to refill the tank promptly​.


Planning for Seasonal Changes


By planning your propane refills around the seasonal price fluctuations, you can manage your propane expenses more effectively. Here’s a breakdown of the best strategies for each season:

  • Spring and Summer: As the weather warms up, the demand for propane decreases. This period is ideal for topping off your tank to ensure you have a sufficient supply heading into the colder months. Additionally, summer is a great time to take advantage of promotional offers and discounts from propane suppliers​. 
  • Fall: Early fall is the optimal time to refill your propane tank. Prices are still relatively low, and you can avoid the rush and price hikes associated with winter demand. This timing ensures you have a full tank ready for the winter months, providing peace of mind and cost savings​. 
  • Winter: If you find yourself needing a refill during the winter, try to schedule your deliveries during milder weather periods to avoid emergency fees and delays caused by severe weather conditions. It’s also beneficial to sign up for a budget billing plan, which spreads your propane costs evenly throughout the year, reducing the financial burden during peak seasons​. 


Refilling your propane tank at the right time of year can lead to significant cost savings and ensure you have a reliable supply of propane throughout the year. By refilling during the low-demand periods of summer and early fall, you can take advantage of lower prices and avoid the higher costs associated with winter refills. Additionally, maintaining your tank at a minimum of 20% capacity is crucial for safety and efficiency.

For the best propane services and reliable deliveries, consider signing up for Collett Propane services. Our team of professional propane technicians is dedicated to providing you with high-quality service and expert advice. Visit our website or contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you manage your propane needs effectively.