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About that Flame: Cooking with Gas

A healthy, properly burning flame on gas appliances should be blue in color, sometimes with a tiny tip of yellow, with a little light blue triangle at the center. This blue color flame indicates that there is safe, efficient and more complete fuel combustion. Regardless of whether the appliance is a gas cooktop, furnace, fireplace, etc. you always want to see a blue color flame.

A gas flame appearing yellow or orange in color or behaving with pops of yellow or orange indicates an improper ratio of oxygen for combustion. Often this improper combustion is temporary and could be caused by dust particles or a dirty burner that needs cleaning. If the flame continues to burn yellow or orange, this could be a more serious problem that requires professional help. Incomplete combustion could cause too much carbon monoxide (CO) to be produced, for your families safety, contact a qualified professional for a professional to check.

Too much carbon monoxide produced from a yellow or orange-colored flame could result in CO poisoning. Initial symptoms of CO poisoning mimic the flu and can vary depending on the air concentration of CO and duration the CO is breathed in. Warning signs include: headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and disorientation, muscle weakness or fatigue, shortness of breath, sleepiness, chest tightness, redness of the skin and confusion. A CO problem should be suspect if you experience the following:

  • Flu-like symptoms are not accompanied by fever

  • Symptoms occur or get worse following the use of a fuel-burning device

  • More than one person in the home becomes ill at the same time

  • The symptoms disappear after leaving the house or area

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