Why Does Propane Burn Blue?

Written By: on July 26, 2021

Learn More With a Quick Propane Safety Lesson on Propane!

blue propane flame arizona

If you use propane in your Northern Arizona home, you know that the benefits are aplenty! As a quick refresher, let’s name just a few:

While there are numerous benefits to utilizing propane gas in and around your home, you should still know about the potential hazards that exist.

Propane Burns With a Blue Flame. Why Is That?

Propane is completely colorless before it ignites, but when it burns it most often produces a flame that differs in color than other materials like wood or oil—in this case, blue.

For complete combustion to occur, gas and air need to be mixed in the correct proportions. A blue flame indicates that enough oxygen is available for a complete combustion as molecules of the propane are ionized.

To put it simply, if the propane is burning fully—with complete combustion and a blue flame—it means not a drop of propane is going to waste. It’s the exact thing—and color—you like to see!

Why Would Propane Flames Be Orange or Yellow?

When a propane flame is yellow or orange it indicates that the fuel may not be being fully combusted. This often results from spilled burnt food blocking parts of its burner on gas stovetops, for example.

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. You’re getting only about half the potential heat. Think about how that can affect your cooking. You won’t get a nice sear on your meat, and it will take longer for water to heat for making pasta.

That inefficiency can also drive up your energy costs for water heating or home heating.

If you have yellow or orange flames from your propane equipment, contact a service technician to address the safety issue. Flames that are not blue can subsequently lead to carbon monoxide buildup.

Do you have questions about propane safety? We’re here to help! Contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer them.