Why Does A Propane Flame Burn Blue and Not Orange?

Propane Safety Information You Need To Know.

safe stove flame ohioIf you use propane in your home, you know just how much it can be of benefit in your day-to-day life.

Propane—a clean-burning fuel with many benefits such as its environmentally friendly properties and cost-effectiveness—is a great solution for home heating or water heating. Cooking with a propane range provides instant temperature control and even cooking. Propane fireplaces provide a cozy warmth that is both hassle-free and cleaner than traditional wood burning. Outside, propane is an effective and affordable alternative to electricity for pool and spa heating. You can also use propane to power your grill, firepits, and more!

Propane also boasts a stellar safety record, thanks to strong government regulation and high industry standards. However, it’s important for you to know about the potential hazards that still exist

Why Does Propane Have Blue Flame When It Burns?

Did you know that propane is colorless before it ignites? When it burns, however, it often produces a flame that is different in color than other materials like wood or oil.

When the correct ratio of fuel and air are mixed, there is enough oxygen for complete combustion. The blue flame should be visible as gas molecules in the propane flame become ionized.

If the propane is burning bright blue—it’s doing so with complete combustion, and it means you’re not wasting any bit of propane gas along the way.

Why Would a Propane Flame Be Orange or Yellow?

When the propane flame is yellow or orange, it means that the propane is not being fully combusted. For example, on a gas stovetop, the culprit may be spilled or burnt food that has blocked parts of the burner.

  • In complete combustion with a blue flame, the temperature of a propane flame is 3,596˚ Fahrenheit. With a yellow flame, the flame’s temperature is 1,832˚ Fahrenheit. That means you’re getting only about half the heat!

Think about how that can affect your cooking. You’re not going to get a good sear on that steak, or a nice crust on those hash browns. And with home heating or water heating, your energy costs could soar because of that inefficiency.

Make sure to contact your propane equipment service technician if you see yellow or orange flames. The incomplete combustion can—in the worst-case—lead to potential carbon monoxide buildup in your home, which is a very serious problem.

Have additional questions about propane safety? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re glad to help you!