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Why Does Propane Burn Blue?

Written on: June 26, 2023

A Blue Flame Lets You Know Your Propane Is Burning Safely and Efficiently.

fire flame colors Chatham county, nc People often ask why the flame is blue when they burn propane. After all, when you burn logs in a fireplace, the flames are usually red and yellow. While it might seem unusual, it’s actually a good thing. When you see a blue flame on your cooktop burners or the pilots for propane appliances, it means your propane is burning at maximum efficiency, and more importantly, safely.

Why Are Blue Flames Better?

When propane gas burns with the correct ratio of fuel to air, there is enough oxygen for complete combustion of propane. The gas molecules in the flame are ionized and the propane flame is blue—as it should be. The blue flame means that your propane is burning at its full heat so you aren’t wasting any fuel!

What Do Orange Flames Mean?

If you see orange or yellow flames on a propane burner, it’s a sign of a problem that can become a serious safety issue if you ignore it. It means the propane on those parts of the flame is not being completely burned. The incomplete combustion that causes these off-color flames can lead to a carbon monoxide buildup in your home—which can be deadly if not corrected promptly.

If you see orange flames on your cooktop, the cause is often simply spilled or burned food blocking parts of the burner on your range and causing incomplete combustion. If cleaning your cooktop doesn’t solve the issue—or the orange flames are in another appliance or a gas fireplace, contact us immediately.

In addition to potential for carbon monoxide buildup, orange flames mean that you’re only getting about half the heat from the flame. 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. When it comes to home heating or water heating, that drop in efficiency will show up in your bills. It will also affect your cooking—timing will be off, and you won’t get a good sear on that steak, or a nice crust on those hash browns.

The Bottom Line

Propane has a stellar safety record, thanks to strong government regulation and high industry standards. And when your systems and equipment are working properly, and your propane is burning efficiently, you know how easy and comfortable it makes your day-to-day life. Propane gives you environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and cost-effective home heating and water heating. You get to cook with a range that provides instant temperature control and even cooking. Propane fireplaces give you cozy comfort with none of the work or mess of a wood-burning fireplace. Outdoors, propane is a much more effective and affordable option for pool and spa heating than electricity. You can also use propane for your grill, firepit, insect trap, and more!

Find out why so many businesses and families just like yours in Chatham County rely on us to keep them comfortable with an always-reliable supply of propane. Let us show you what a difference propane can make in your home or business. Contact PFM today.