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Why Does My Gas Flame Burn Blue, Yellow and Orange?

Customers that use natural gas for cooking are used to seeing a blue flame come out of their burners.  But what happens (or why) does that flame turn yellow and orange?  For that matter, as a customer, should there be any concern?

First, let’s look at why a natural gas flame is blue to begin with. Natural gas is mixed with air before reaching the flame, a process known as premixed combustion. This allows the gas to burn clean into mostly carbon dioxide and water vapor.  The result is the blue flame you see every time you fire up your stove for cooking.

What causes a flame to turn yellow or orange?  The first case would be moisture in the air, normally caused using a humidifier. While running, it is possible that when using the stove, your normal blue flame could change color. Turning off the humidifier normally will correct this change and the flame will go back to being blue.  The color change in this situation is not considered dangerous, but in other cases, it may be an issue that needs to be investigated.

If you have contaminants in your burners or improper gas pressure can cause the blue flame to change color.  The result in this case could lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide, which is deadly because it cannot be seen or smelled by a person in the home. Please give us a call if you suspect you have any issues with your gas delivery or have a safety concern at 302-454-0317.

For information and safety tips check out the Delmarva Power website at