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Why Does Propane Burn Blue?

Written on: December 18, 2023

Learn about propane safety

propane flame wisconsin Before igniting, propane gas is colorless. However, when it burns, it emits a distinct hue unlike that of other combustible materials like wood or oil.

When the air-to-fuel ratio is balanced, there is sufficient oxygen for thorough combustion. The flame’s gas molecules become ionized, resulting in a vibrant blue color. The presence of a blue flame indicates complete combustion, ensuring that your propane burns safely at maximum heat and eliminates wastage.

Why the flame should not be yellow or orange

If you notice orange or yellow flames on your propane burner, it indicates that the gas is not burning efficiently. This issue commonly arises on a propane range when spilled food and debris obstruct the burner. By ensuring proper cleaning and maintenance, you can maintain optimal performance and prevent such color flames.

Improper combustion can result in propane wastage, ultimately increasing your energy expenses. In complete combustion with a blue flame, the temperature of a propane flame is 3,596˚ Fahrenheit. With a yellow or orange flame, the flame’s temperature is 1,832˚ Fahrenheit. Cooking with only half the heat generated by an oven’s heating element can significantly impact your dishes. It may result in uneven temperature distribution in your pan and prevent you from achieving that desirable browning or searing effect. Quick-cooking foods, such as stir-fry, may not turn out as well. Additionally, the presence of orange or yellow flames can lead to inefficiencies in your home’s heating and water heating system, ultimately resulting in higher energy bills.

Flames that have a yellow or orange hue can indicate a potential danger, signaling an inadequate supply of oxygen. This situation can result in the buildup of carbon monoxide within your home, posing health risks to those living there. If you observe yellow or orange flames in a propane appliance, please promptly contact your propane appliance service provider.

Propane safety best practices

When it comes to propane safety, the first and most important thing to know is what propane gas smells like. Propane is naturally odorless, but manufacturers enhance its safety by adding a distinctive smell using an odorant, typically ethyl mercaptan. This added scent plays a crucial role in promptly and effortlessly detecting propane leaks.

If you detect a potent and unpleasant scent reminiscent of rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray within your home, it is highly probable that there is a propane gas leak present. At that point, get everyone out of the house immediately without using light switches, phones, or anything else that can cause a spark. Once you are safely away, call 911 and Lakes Gas.

You can also protect yourself and your loved ones by installing both carbon monoxide detectors and propane gas leak detectors. This is because carbon monoxide detectors do not detect propane gas leaks, and vice versa.

One of the best ways to prevent propane gas leaks is by having your propane appliances regularly maintained by a trained service technician.

Become a Lakes Gas customer for safe, reliable propane delivery and service.