Can Balloons Stay In The Cold?

by Ann Mifsud


It is a well-known fact that when balloons are subject to hot conditions, they will not last long. But when it comes to exposing balloons to the cold, it is somehow a bit trickier. Do they deflate as they do in hot environments?

Rubber and foil balloons, both air-filled or helium-filled, will become saggy in the cold. The reason they “deflate” is not necessarily because air or helium has escaped from them. More often, it is because air and helium molecules in balloons get smaller and lose energy in chilly surroundings. So they occupy less space.

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Having said that, if you need to expose balloons to cold conditions, here’s what you can do to preserve them as much as possible.

Contents in this article:

To get a fuller picture of how to keep balloons from deflating and popping, go to this guide and learn what you can do to prevent your balloons from doing so in different kinds of weather.

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1. At what temperature do balloons “deflate”?

Balloons start to become saggy and look deflated when the temperature drops to 50° to 45°F (10° to 7°C) or below. In freezing conditions, the volume inside balloons will immediately decrease by 10%.

Whether transporting or setting up your balloons in these conditions, you need to know what you can do to reduce the adverse effect cold temperature has on balloons.

Our first recommendation is to inflate balloons on site and as close to the event as possible. Let’s say that your celebration will be held indoors in winter. With this suggestion, you will not be exposing your balloons to cold temperatures.


Balloon Pump

If you’re going for air-filled balloons, get a balloon pump to save you lots of time and energy.

If you want to inflate your balloons with helium, you can get home a helium tank and fill them there and then.

You might also find balloon companies in your area that will be ready to come with their helium equipment and fill the balloons on site for you.

If you have no option other than to expose your balloons to the cold, let’s see what else you can do.

2. Can you put balloons outside in winter?

If you’re planning an outdoor event in cold weather, you would naturally have no other option than to put your balloons in the open.

Our main recommendation in this scenario is to blow up the balloons on site. Fill the balloons with the same cold air where you’ll be setting them up. Do not inflate these balloons by mouth. You’ll be filling them with warm air and thus defeating the whole scope of blowing them up outside. A balloon pump is necessary here.


Helium Tank

The same goes for helium-filled balloons. If you fill them outside in the cold, you’ll be able to pump in more helium that has already been compressed by the cold.

Caution: Be careful not to move these “cold” balloons to a warmer environment. The gas inside them will expand and thus risking bursting them.

3. Will balloons be ok in a cold car?

The answer here depends if you will be transporting the balloons for a short trip or whether they will be left in a car, say overnight.

If you need to transport your balloons in cold conditions, check that your vehicle is warm before you get in the balloons. Plan your trip so you won’t take unnecessary time, stuck in traffic, for example. Also, if you don’t have the keys to the venue where you’ll be taking the balloons, ensure that someone is inside to open up for you. Like this, you will reduce the time the balloons stay in the cold.

Find more tips to transport balloons safely, here.

Then, when it comes to leaving balloons in a car overnight, while they can safely remain intact in moderate temperatures, it’s not a good idea to leave them for that long in the cold.

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Get them elsewhere inside, somewhere where the temperature is milder. If you want the balloons hidden away, try a dry basement or under a staircase, but not in a car outside in cold weather.

4. What can you do to revive balloons “deflated” by the cold?

If your balloons have already been exposed to the cold and look saggy, there is still hope to bring them back to their original shape.

Generally speaking, balloons will gain their former shape once they are exposed afresh to warmer conditions.

However, leave this solution as a last resort since this is not always the case. When molecules become smaller due to the cold, they have more room to escape through tiny microscopic holes in the balloon wall. So, being filled with fewer molecules, the balloons will not get to their original shape when warmed up.

For better results, it is better to adhere to the recommendations presented earlier in this article.

Keep your balloons indoors in stable, moderate temperatures and away from direct heat or cooling sources. Plan the most appropriate time frame to inflate your balloons for optimum results.

Conclusion to whether balloons can stay in the cold

The main take in this write-up is that when balloons are left in the cold, they tend to become droopy. This happens because the gas molecules inside them shrink, thus lessening their volume.

We have recommended that it is better to avoid cold conditions by inflating the balloons on site, thus not having to transport them in the cold. We have proposed how to plan the journey better if this is necessary. You can also find the best way to inflate balloons that will be set up for an outdoor event in cold weather. We also advise how you can revive “deflated” balloons that were left in the cold.

Finally, if you want to learn more about balloons, check out all other articles in this series by clicking on any title below.

Hi I'm Ann

Hi I'm Ann

Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea.  Discover more...

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