Why are the flames on my range yellow?

Last week I noticed that the flames on my LG gas range were more yellow than blue. Normally the flames are completely blue and clean-burning, so this concerned me. After a few phone calls, a utilities service visit and a bit of Google searching, I finally discovered the unexpected problem.

The concern

My main concern with the orange flames is that it indicates that the natural gas is not burning cleanly. My initial guess was that there was an improper gas-to-air ratio. I checked each of the elements, but all of them were seated properly and all of them had a bright orange flame.

The stove still seemed to cook things just fine, and I actually noticed that after about 20 minutes of cooking the flames went back to a more blue hue. However, a few hours later, when I needed to cook again, they would be yellow again.

I even called my local utilities company to report the problem and they sent out a serviceman. He had never seen anything like this before, and was concerned because yellow flames could indicate higher levels of carbon monoxide. The serviceman suggested that I call the stove manufacturer to have the regulator replaced.

The solution

Just before gathering my warranty card and purchase receipts in order to call LG tech support, I decided to do a final Google search to see if there were any answers online. During my search, I found this video and immediately my jaw dropped.

A HUMIDIFIER! That was the cause. A small children’s humidifier on the 2nd floor in my house. My daughter had been congested with a head cold and we had put a humidifier in her bedroom upstairs. After the humidifier had been running for a few hours, the humid air had apparently made its way downstairs and was now affecting the flames on my gas range.

To test the theory that the humidifier was affecting the colour of my gas flames, I turned off the humidifier for a few hours. Sure enough, my flames went back to blue. Then I plugged in the humidifier next to the gas range and turned it back on. Almost immediately, the flames turned to bright orange! (See my pictures below)

I would have never believed this if I didn’t experience it myself, but having a humidifier in your house can definitely affect the colour of your flames on a natural gas stove.

Why are my flames orange
Humidifier beside range

Please note that the above pictures were not modified in any way, and all settings, including white balance were manually configured to the exact same settings. Thanks to davespec25 for posting his video on YouTube and leading me to the solution.

21 Thoughts on “Why are the flames on my range yellow?

  1. Thanks for the post! I have the exact same problem. You saved my time, as I was planning go through the check list myself.

    • Same problem, flames turned very yellow on my natural gas range, my hot water heater, and my furnace. I took the humidifier out of the bedroom and now the flames appear less yellow, I will see what happends in a few days, if they get back to all blue. It is also very humid outside and has been for about 2 weeks in St. Louis area. Windows in our house have been wet in the mornings. But it is still humid and the removal of the humidifier has certainly helped thus far. I had GE Appliance serviceman out and he checked the pressures on the Gas Range and all was normal. He checked the furnace and hot water heater and determined it was a Gas Company issue. Gas Company “never heard of such a thing,” I am cancelling that appointment thanks to this e-mail string.

      • My gas company hadn’t heard of this before either. After I discovered the reason, I called them back to tell them and they were very thankful for the information. :)

  2. James D on January 7, 2014 at 11:17 pm said:

    Had the exact same thing happen. A small one room humidifier ran in a bedroom caused my stove to have the orange flames. It also turned the gas flames used in my fireplace to be completely orange vs blue and orange.

  3. Thank you! My problem is solved. I was so glad to fine this since I was having the same thing happen when using my small humidifier.

  4. Same thing happened on my stove…and gas furnace main burners. strangest thing. normally healthy blue flame turns orange.

  5. Holy cow! I called LG and almost got someone to come out to check on the orange flame problem. I decided to put it off so that I can search on the Internet. After I read your blog, I turned off all the ultrasonic humidifiers in the house. That was about 2:30PM.The orange flame problem didn’t disappear immediately. After I got home from work around 6PM, there were no more orange flames!!!

  6. THANK YOU! I HAD the gas company out and they could not come to any conclusion after two and a half to three hours.

  7. Melody on April 7, 2014 at 6:44 pm said:

    Thanks sooo much!! We have same issue and same humidifer and my girls are both congested.. Whew

  8. Bert P. on August 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm said:

    This is VERY HELPFUL !!! I’ve been working on steam boilers for 30 years and my first approach to this problem ( started yesterday ,after a drizzle here in the desert , the burner flame started to turn orange. From the technical point of view … this is incomplete combustion or something other
    than the fuel ( natural gas ) is burning ( like dirt , cooking oil , food stuffs ) . After cleaning every thing along the path ( with soft wire brushes ) , still there is orange-blue flame. Shut-off the AC system and run the fan only ( luckily the outside temp. is only 95 not 110F at this time of the year in the desert ). Open all windows and doors ( including the garage door ) for an hour. The flame turn to all blue again…… proving that there is little amount of oxygen in the combustion process.
    The CO and CO2 alarms are quite …… checked the battery and system … everything is OK.
    Last night we had a good rainfall ….( have to turn off the automatic irrigation system at least for today and perhaps tomorrow ). This morning the flame is again a mixture of orange and blue for all the burners. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for everybody for your postings …. now I know why. We’ve been using the room humidifiers ( four of them ) for almost 9 months and the flame is OK until yesterday and today and maybe tomorrow until the humidity outside is back to below 10 % ).
    The humidity near the cooling range is 80% !!!!! Can’t shutdown the humidifier for some medical reason!!!!!!!

  9. Thank you so much. I’m glad I kept on searching on google to find your answer. Saved me $ and time trying to figure this out. My gas burner started turning yellow the next day after using my humidifier.

  10. Linda Ingram on November 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm said:

    I am so glad I checked your post. I too just noticed yellow flames where they’ve always been blue. I was getting ready to get out the manual, take apart the burners, and contemplate calling the gas co with the same fears mentioned. Decided to google first. Guess what, I developed laryngitis las week, found my old humidifier and set it up in the bedroom. Would never have thought that was the problem!

  11. Thank you! We thought it was carbon monoxide and the Gas co wouldn’t be able to come out for weeks. So glad I just read this.

  12. Very glad I found this! I was cleaning the carpet in the room next to the kitchen and my wife noticed the flames on two burners on the gas stove were not as blue as normal. She thought we might have air in the line and I was about to open the top of the stove to see if there was a way to adjust the air to the burner when I paused to check the internet and found this. The moisture in the air from the carpet cleaning apparently caused the increased yellow in the flame. Thanks!

  13. Discovered the same problem today with ultrasonic humidifier. Most likely the problem is sodium in the softened water being used. Bet this won’t happen if you use distilled water.

  14. I just started using a diffuser, and noticed the saw problem. Should I stop or is there another solution?

  15. Amazing! First online search, and I came across this thread! I’m having exactly the same problem, and sure enough, we recently set up a cool mist humidifier in our bedroom! Thanks!!

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