How to safeguard your home for winter
Here are three important steps for keeping your home and family safe this winter
1. Understand your home’s propane system
Winters in high snowfall areas can be some of the most magnificent, but they can also be some of the most challenging. Accumulated snow and ice have the potential to damage your propane system. While you can’t predict the first snowstorm or hazardous weather condition, you are in the best position to take measures to plan for them.
If you are not familiar with your propane system, take a few minutes to review it. Identify core components – tank, regulators, meter, piping, and supply valves – as well as any appliance vents. Be sure you know where your gas supply valve is located, in case you need to close it in the event of an emergency.
2. Prepare before the first snowfall
Mark your tank and regulator
It is important to mark your tank and equipment to enable emergency and propane service personnel to locate it at all times. You can mark your tank with a brightly colored stake or flag taller than the maximum anticipated snow depth. Also mark your secondary pressure regulator or meter. It is usually near the side of your home. (See photo below.) Check local ordinances about marking tanks and regulators and follow any rules applicable to your jurisdiction.
Have an adequate supply of propane in your tank
In high snow areas, roads leading to your home might not be accessible for delivery, particularly during a snowstorm. It is recommended that you establish a regular delivery schedule, such as Ferrellgas’ Auto Fill service. When you sign up for this program, Ferrellgas will estimate your propane usage based on our advanced computer system and automatically schedule a delivery when our system indicates you need a refill.
3. Take action during and after snowstorms
Keep snow and ice from accumulating on propane equipment
Snow or ice accumulation can potentially cause parts of your propane system to crack or break, resulting in a gas leak. It is your responsibility to make sure that all propane pipes, valves, regulators, and tanks are clear of snow and ice. You can do this by gently brushing away any snow or ice that has accumulated. If you must use a shovel, use extreme caution around all equipment. If you notice any buildup that cannot be removed easily, contact Ferrellgas. DO NOT attempt to remove snow or ice by kicking or hitting equipment.
Keep vents clear
Appliance vents and chimney flutes must ALWAYS be clear of snow or ice. Some homes may have “direct” vents, which are close to the ground. Improper venting can cause carbon monoxide to become trapped in your home, resulting in serious illness or even death.
Clear driveways and pathways to propane tanks
Please remember that a propane delivery truck needs at least a 10-foot-wide path to be able to deliver fuel to your home. Also, keep the tank area and a path to the tank free of snow. When plowing, snow blowing, or shoveling, do not push or pile snow around your tank, meter, regulator, or piping.
Tips for vacation homes and rental properties
A vacation or second home in a high snowfall area requires special attention because you may not be at home to clear snow and ice after a winter storm. For your safety and the safety of others, we recommend designating a responsible person or party, such as your property management company or a snow removal service, to monitor your propane system regularly while you are away.
Leave tank monitoring to the professionals
One way to guarantee you have peace of mind about your vacation home is choosing our SmartFill service. With this digital tank monitoring system, we’ll be able to track your propane level everyday so that your deliveries will be forecasted and scheduled as needed. Because it’s all taken care of by Ferrellgas, there’s no hassle or worry on your end.
Additionally, an optional temperature monitoring feature can be activated to detect any dramatic change in your indoor temperature. If an unusual change occurs, a notification will be sent to your local Ferrellgas team and to you without delay.
To learn more about how our convenient SmartFill service works, visit this page.
Remember, Ferrellgas is here to help
In high snowfall regions, a little advance planning can go a long way. Consider your needs before the start of the winter season and make your plans accordingly.
Propane is a safe, reliable, and efficient fuel that will provide you with comfort during what the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting will be a “polar coaster” winter season. The measures you take to protect your system will help ensure its safety, as well as that of your family and home.
If you have questions about anything above or would like to schedule a fill, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the propane professionals at your local Ferrellgas office.