Cold weather can be the bain of your life when you are a balloon business owner! In fact any extreme of temperature has its challenges. In this blog we are going to look at what effect the cold has on balloons and most importantly what you can do to minimise the problems in your business and keep your customers happy!
I will never forget the first time I went to deliver a balloon in the cold of winter. As I stepped out of my front door the balloon literally seemed to deflate in my hands! I couldn’t believe it! Had I caught it on something on the way out?! How could this be happening just as I was going to deliver!!! I quickly ran back indoors to inspect the balloon but it seemed to be firm again a few minutes later… I stepped outside again only for the exact same thing to happen! Now I was in a state of shock! What should I do? Attempt to make the delivery and hand over a shriveled up balloon hoping it would inflate again when I got there or ring the customer and cancel? I know from talking to balloon business owners after the last few years it’s a situation many of us find ourselves in when first starting out and can come as a bit of a shock! So let’s look at why it happens and what we can do to prepare for this situation…
Why Do Balloons Deflate in the Cold?
Whether you fill your balloons with helium or air you are essentially filling them with a form of gas. Lots of molecules are needed to fill the capacity of the balloon. These molecules are susceptible to temperature. If they get cold the molecules will get smaller and if they get hot the molecules will get bigger. There is still the same number of molecules in the balloon but their change in size means the volume they occupy changes too. They also lose energy and tend to stop whizzing around and clump together in one place. This is why when a foil balloon gets cold it appears to shrivel up around the edges as if deflated… the molecules of the gas inside have reacted to the cold, contracted, and clumped together making their volume much smaller than the amount to fill the capacity of the balloon. When you take them back indoors where it’s warmer the molecules react to the temperature, expand and start whizzing around again so increasing their volume and filling the balloon to capacity again.
The molecules of air are much bigger to start with than the molecules of helium which are tiny. Both can be affected by the cold but helium is affected much more so than air.
Why Don’t Balloons Always Re-inflate Fully When Warmed?
All balloons are porous – this means they have tiny microscopic holes in their surface through which gases can escape. You can’t see them but they are there… That’s why all balloons will deflate over time and can’t float forever! Latex balloons are more porous than foils or bubbles but eventually, the molecules of the gas inside will escape and the balloon will deflate. Helium molecules are much smaller than air molecules so can escape through the tiny holes much easier than air molecules. This is why air-filled designs last so much longer than helium-filled balloon designs.
When gas molecules come in contact with the cold and they shrink in size it makes it so much easier for them to escape through the tiny holes in the balloon. The longer they are in the cold the more molecules that can escape. If a balloon is left out in the cold for too long before being brought back into the warm the number of molecules in the balloon will have reduced. Even though the molecules will expand again there will be less of them so the balloon does not completely re-inflate to the same size it was before it was taken into the cold.
This can affect air-filled designs and helium-filled designs but helium is already much smaller so they are far less likely to “plump” back up if left out in the cold too long before coming back into the warm.
What Effect Can the Cold Have on Your Balloon Designs?
Apart from the fact it can cause your balloons to shrivel there are other things to consider when taking balloon designs out into the cold. The cold doesn’t just affect the balloon itself but also other aspects of the design.
Preparing Balloons During Cold Weather – Top Tips
Now we understand why and how the cold affects balloons let’s look at what we can do to reduce the problems, reduce the stress and ensure we have happy customers. It all starts with the preparation of the balloon design.
Transporting Balloons in Cold Weather – Essentials.
Preparing Your Customers to Look After Their Balloons
Customers don’t understand balloons – they most definitely don’t understand the effect of temperature on balloons! It’s essential you prepare them so they know how to look after their balloons or you will get a message complaining their balloons have deflated!
I hope you found this blog post useful! If you are looking for more advice and top tips to running your balloon business and avoiding the common pitfalls that cause stress and loss of money check out Starting a Balloon Business: The Ultimate Guide – It’s packed full with oodles of advice and top tips to help you start and grow a balloon business!
Feedback helps me stay motivated and keep creating posts to help you in your business so please comment below and let me know your thoughts and any top tips you might have on dealing with cold weather in your business!
Until next time.. Stay Amazing!
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