Propane tanks selling out as many look to warm their patios over winter

An unexpected consequence of the pandemic is hitting some Valley residents as they head outdoors and try to keep warm — a propane shortage.

To fuel outdoor heaters, you need lots of propane.

Canyon State, an Arizona propane retailer, says they've been slammed with demand this winter for propane tanks. They're keeping up but demand is slowing things down for some suppliers.

At Barry’s True Value hardware store in north Phoenix, getting propane tanks delivered has been a challenge for the last several weeks.

"Right now we call them every day. 'We're out, we're out,' and they say, 'OK, we got you on the list,'" says Sam Bellamy with Barry’s True Value about getting more tanks from their supplier.

Not too far from the hardware store, a gas station will fill propane tanks brought in, but they don’t have filled tanks to sell.

"Usually did not have problems past winters, but this winter's been a problem," said Azi Naseri with Caspian Chevron.

The demand has spiked as it appears the COVID-19 pandemic is driving people to their patios where they are grilling more and using tanks to fuel patio heaters.

If you're planning to need a tank in the future, the advice is to call ahead to make sure they're in stock.