Why Does A Propane Flame Burn Blue?

Learn More About the Science Behind Propane Combustion

color of propane new jerseyThere are a lot of good things about having propane in your home.

One benefit is its outstanding versatility. It can heat your home or water, cook your meals, give you easy comfort with a propane fireplace, provide space heating, and more.

Propane also offers energy efficiency that is superior to electricity, so you’ll save money on monthly energy costs.

You also get added security because your propane supply is always right at your home, on-site, in your propane tank. And with reliable propane delivery from Blue Flame, you’ll never have to worry about not having enough propane!

Benefits aside, there are some things you need to know about propane and propane safety. Today, we’ll talk about propane’s blue flame and why the color of your propane flame is something you need to be aware of.

Why Does the Color of Flame Matter?

Propane, like many other gases, is colorless before it ignites. When it burns, however, it most frequently generates a flame that differs from that of wood or oil.

Gas and air must be combined in the proper proportions for complete combustion to occur. Because molecules of propane are ionized, a blue flame indicates that adequate oxygen is available for this sort of combustion.

If the propane is properly burning, with complete combustion and a blue flame, it indicates that you’re not wasting any propane.

Why is a Yellow or Orange Flame a Problem?

When a propane flame is yellow or orange, it indicates that the fuel isn’t being completely combusted. This can happen, for example, if spilled charred food clogs parts of the burner on gas cooktops.

The temperature of a propane flame in complete combustion is 3,596 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of an orange or yellow flame is 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit. When a flame is orange or yellow, you’re getting only about half the heat. That dramatic difference in the temperature can have a big impact on your cooking, like not being able to get a nice sear on your steak. It will also take longer for water to heat for a shower. That kind of inefficiency can also drive up your energy costs for water heating or whole-home heating.

If your propane equipment generates yellow or orange flames, get in touch with a professional immediately. In the worst case, flames that are not blue can cause carbon monoxide to accumulate in your house, and that’s something that CAN NOT be ignored.

Do you have questions about propane safety? Need a system tune-up or diagnostic? Get in touch with us today and we’ll gladly help.