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Why Is The Flame Of Propane Gas Blue?

propane flame safety iowaDid you ever stop to wonder why the propane gas flame you see on your cooktop is the color blue? That’s a good thing because it means all is well as far as combustion goes.

When the ratio of fuel to air is correct, there is enough oxygen for the complete combustion of propane. Complete combustion and a blue flame mean that your propane is burning at its full heat, so you aren’t wasting any expended energy.

What Yellow Or Orange Flames Mean

Orange or yellow propane gas flames mean that the propane is not being completely burned. When these color flames occur on the burners of a propane cooktop, the cause is usually related to a burner being out of adjustment or blockages in the air inlet, such as from small, burnt food particles.

This results in decreased fuel efficiency. Check out the difference in temperatures. In complete combustion with a blue-colored flame, the temperature of a propane flame is 3,596° F.

However, with a yellow or orange flame, the flame’s temperature decreases to 1,832° F. With only half the heat energy now at your disposal, you’ll probably notice difficulties caused by uneven temperature when cooking. For example, you likely won’t be able to achieve even browning or searing when cooking a meal.

This same inefficiency will result in higher energy bills if a yellow or orange flame is present in your home’s heating or water heating system. Who wants to wash clothes, cook, bathe, clean or heat your home using only half of propane’s power?

Even more importantly, yellow or orange flames can pose a safety risk. The incomplete combustion that causes these off-color flames can lead to a carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

So, if you are seeing yellow or orange flames, or notice a build-up of soot or carbon around your burners, contact your propane service contractor as soon as possible and get the problem corrected.

Please read more propane safety tips.


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