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.

86 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.

    • Interesting point Al. I do have a water softener, so that is quite plausible.

      • Stopped using the humidifier. Took about 6 hours for the flames on my stove to return to 100% blue

      • Mary Croson on February 29, 2016 at 9:39 pm said:

        We just purchased an ultrasonic humidifier & noticed the flames turned yellow. We noticed, as others did, that when we turned it off, the flames eventually went back to blue. We do not have a water softener, but I will try the distilled water…hopes it works! The humidity monitor I purchased shows the humidity to be perfectly normal right now so I don’t have it on…and the flames are blue! So happy to find this post…saved me some time, trouble & expense!

    • I used regular tap water and had the same problem so i don’t think its the softener.

  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!!

  16. Thanks!! This solve our problem as well!!

  17. Thank you so much! I had actually called the gas company to come out and look. That morning, I turned off our humidifier and by the time they got here, the flames were blue. We turned it back on for bedtime and sure enough the flames were orange again. We thought the gas company was playing a cruel joke but it was definitely our humidifier. Whew!

    Does anyone know if having orange flames is actually harmful in any way? It doesn’t seem like it but I thought I’d ask.

    • There’s nothing harmful about having orange flames due to excessive moisture in the air. I believe it just means the flames aren’t burning as efficiently (and possibly hot).

      • I noticed orange flames a couple of nights ago while cooking burger on the stove, medium flame. I set the timer for 3 min after flipping the burger once, and before the timer went off, a very loud pop like a gunshot went off. The cover for the handle weld on the inside of the pan had exploded off! What a scare! It may be coincidence, but I think yellow flames could burn hotter.

        By the way, what happens if you turn your humidifier off for a decent length of time and the problem persists? My vaporizer has been off 5 hours, without an appreciable change in the flame color. Any suggestions for tomorrow morning, when it will be about 16 hours sans humidifier, if the flames are still orange?

        • Hi Ann. In my experience, if you leave the humidifier off for a day, the flames will go back to blue.

          • It’s been about 18 hours since turning off my vaporizer and the flames are back to blue. This occurrence seems bizarre, but I can’t assign the yellow flames to any other cause. I’ll let you know if it happens again, and I’m NOT using the vaporizer. BTW, I had the gas guy out the day after I noticed it–no help at all. Thanks, Chris!

  18. Thank you! We just got a humidifier and I have noticed the exact same thing. You have saved us from a big concern.

  19. Thank you for the info. We just got an ultrasonic humidifier about a week ago, and I had noticed once burner burning orange, but tonight I noticed they are all affected (I had not been using the stove for a few days.)

  20. Whew! I turned on humidifier last night in the upstairs bedroom, and today morning noticed the orange flames. I have a GE range and read the manual about gas-to-air ratio. Decided to look online for similar problem before I called the guy who installed range. Glad I googled first. Thanks man, you just saved me some dough,

  21. Gee, this is almost fun. I have a terrible cold and bought a humidifier last night. When I went to turn on water for coffee this morning I noticed the orange flame…then noticed it on my gas fireplace and figured something was up with the gas company deliverance. Got online…googled “why are my gas stove flames orange?” and got this. Thanks for the peace of mind. Way cool.

  22. FilmYorkCity on January 12, 2015 at 10:26 am said:

    Thank you for this post! This happened to me to! I wonder what’s the chemical reaction that causes the flames to burn orange? I also put a purifying tablet into my humidifier. Do you think the chemicals that purify the water can cause this? Or is it just the extra moisture.

  23. Simon B on January 14, 2015 at 8:36 pm said:

    Thanks Chris. I have this problem and use an ultrasonic humidifier. Do you know if other humidifiers, for example, the ones that I have a heating element, also cause this problem?

    • I would imagine that any humidifier would act the same way, as it is putting more moisture in the air. But I’m certainly not an expert on this topic, so I don’t know for sure.

      • Try putting distilled water in the humifier. I still think the issue is the sodium in the water from the water being softened either by the homeowner or the water company.

        • I had this problem and I used ordinary tap water in an area where the water tends to be hard, so softener is not the difference.

          • Pattie Huey on January 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm said:

            It’s not the moisture making the flames blue. It is the mineral content in the water being put into the air. Water has minerals in it, when it is defused into the air via myst the minerals will travel all around the home. The orange flame you are seeing is the minerals being burned. To make the flame less orange use a distilled or filtered water.

  24. Thx very much, was cooking on stove and flame turned yellow…wife was cleaning iron, creating a lot of steam…and I have seen this other times and it would disappear and I would wonder why…now I know….Now I’m curious that if we buy distilled water and use that in her iron if the flame would still turn yellow…..because we do use a water softener and she uses tap water in her iron….

  25. Andy T on January 17, 2015 at 9:48 am said:

    Awesome! Thanks for the help!

  26. patrick on January 18, 2015 at 1:56 pm said:

    I just had the same problem. This saved me a lot of trouble, I was concerned I had a gas leak. Thanks. I would suggest opening a window in kitchen while cooking if burners are going to be on a long time carbon dioxide is being produced when the flame is orange.

  27. Thanks for saving me a service call!

  28. Louann on January 21, 2015 at 6:52 pm said:

    I just discovered the same thing. Interesting since I had 2 humidifiers running in my house. The air here is very dry and everything metal was shocking me therefore started up the humidifiers.
    Now not sure what to do since we need the humidity.

    • I wouldn’t worry about the yellow in the flame. We run our room humidifier, and put up with the yellow-ish flame on the stove. It doesn’t cause a problem.

    • Follow what Al says, use distilled water in your humidifiers. Chris discovered the Cause But Al found the reason.

      If humidity is the Reason, then people who live in the tropics, where humidity can go as high as 90%, will perennially have yellow flames on their range cookers. Al is Right, it is most likely the added minerals in the air from the tap water in your humidifier.

      By the way if this Really Works, write to me (thelonelee@gmail.com) and let me know for I have been drinking distilled water for over 3 decades AND Never took a day of Sick Leave for the same period working.

      Ps: No, I do not sell distillers nor anything for that matter. Just want to share experiences, that’s all.

  29. Great information. Thank you! My range flames went from blue to blue-yellow about 3 weeks ago. I was concerned and thought of calling the gas company until I read your post. I bought a humidifier about 3 weeks ago. Now it all makes sense.

  30. Stumbled upon your Blog – b.c. of this post – wow! Never would have thought a humidifier was causing the change – we have the old-time gas stove heaters in our bathrooms and they were so orange it was a spectacular sight…thanks again

  31. Is it safe to leave the humidifier on or turn it off?

  32. Noticed the problem with a ventless gas fireplace that always had blue flames. The pilot turned orange and when fully on, all flames were bright orange. Had just turned on humidifier for daughter with croup. Thanks for saving me an expensive service call.

  33. OMG! You solved my problem completely. We just started using an oil diffuser – a small container that puts out a nice smelling mist after you put water and an essential oil in it. Sure enough – that mist caused all the burners to have that awful orange flame. Turned off the mister and everything back to blue. YEAH! Makes me want to celebrate. Thank You.

  34. Laura Joviala on February 17, 2015 at 7:05 pm said:

    Thanks so much. I wondered if that we’re the cause because I just got the humidifier yesterday and had never seen an orange flame on the stove until now. Glad I found your post! Thanks for taking the time!

  35. Dakota Fannie on February 18, 2015 at 5:47 pm said:

    Oh sure. Blame it on the duck…

  36. Frank Gaydos on February 18, 2015 at 6:21 pm said:

    Yep, I noticed the same thing last year. I have the ultrasonic humidifiers. Yellow as can be, no harm, no foul.

  37. Ive used humidifiers during heating season for years and just recently got a new one and that was around the time this started. Thanks for putting my mind at rest

  38. Mathew on March 11, 2015 at 1:12 pm said:

    Wow thanks a lot, that’s the exact same problem we had. We were running a humidifier all night and in the morning we noticed the same yellow flames. Also today it was raining outside as opposed to sunny for the last week. Thanks

  39. Paul

    Thanks so much! The last time this happened we had to put in a new wall heater. This time i knew it had to be another cause. Reading your explanation saved me from calling the gas company who would have red-tagged the stove and heater – if like other gas companies they didn’t know that the cause of the yellow flame was simply humidity.

    • cindypip on March 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm said:

      I know,right? It was so easy for a quasi-luddite like me to find this solution, can you really believe that gas companies don’t know this? C’mon!

  40. kickinback on April 10, 2015 at 10:32 pm said:

    Very happy that I decided to do a quick check thru Google to see what the problem was with my yellow/orange flames all of a sudden. You saved me a huge service bill! Thank you, Thank you!!
    I turned on a humidifier this morning, but before doing so the flames were blue. Late this afternoon
    I notice the flames had changed color. Such a simple fix.

  41. In the video the guy says it’s the silver, it’s not. It’s the particles the humidifier is moving around the house, you can create the same effect dustng.

  42. Thanks… Be nice if the sellers of essential oils and diffusers would be kind enough to warn us!!

  43. Pingback: Orange and Yellow Flames on a Gas Range – What Causes Them? | Point & Click Appliance Repair

  44. You just saved me A LOT of money and headache on a technician, I’m sure of it! Our gas company just left, scratching his head and suggested I call a service company. Thank you for sharing!

  45. Just bought a humidifier and used filtered water (from a water softener). Next day the flames were yellow/orange. Saw this web site and turned off the humidifier and waited for a few hours and the flames were back to blue. Went out and bought distilled water. Used the humidifier and no problems now. I’m spreading the word! THANKS

  46. Holy @!$@ Batman …Wow … i just googled this and yes I recently started using a humidifier. Thank you for the accurate answer!!

  47. Thank you for your post. I got a splash of water on my frying pan. Then, a few moments later, I had orange flames. Now I’m glad I know why and that I have nothing to worry about.

  48. BrianS on January 22, 2016 at 4:28 am said:

    Thank you for your post. Yep I experience the same yellow flames, I need to do some testing to understand better since it doesn’t make sense to me because when it rains for days non stop the humidity level is very high (more than what a humidifier can put out), so that should cause yellow flame but it never did. So I find it hard to blame the humidity as the cause, possibly the ionic concentration from humidifier is the culprit (need to do some testing). Now I wonder how good it is to breath this ionic air from humidifier!

  49. Big question: Is it dangerous? I have a small humidifier in my downstairs rec room. When I run it, it causes the flames in my gas fireplace to turn yellow. I don’t care about the color, but I would like to know if it is safe (my sense is that it is safe).

  50. LOL I learned about this is our horribly insulated kitchen that’s like standing outside with a roof basically,and it started raining and all of the sudden my flame on the range went mostly orange and I panicked and tested them all and they were all that way,and I had to finish cooking,so I went through,near the end it returned to like 70 blue 30 orange. Well,after some research,I saw a few people with the humidifier conclusion,so I went and tested the range and it was solid blue. What had happened to me was the flame went orange literally when it started raining outside,and as the rain got better so did the blue return. And testing it later when the rain stopped,it was normal.

  51. Maagah Lion on March 13, 2016 at 10:28 am said:

    I’ve had the same stove and lived in the same location since 2009 and today is the first time I’ve noticed that on all 4 burners the flames are partially yellow. (The ratio is more blue than yellow on all four). But that’s where the similarity stops. We do not have and have never used a humidifier. We also do not use essential oils or diffusers (sp?), nor were we doing anything that we’ve not done in the past with the stove on. Could there be other causes/reasons?

  52. Had a boiling pan of water near the stove for about 30 minutes on and off today (allot of steam) and noticed my burners went orange/yellow, went online and found this answer, glad I did too as I was expecting a problem.phewwww.

  53. Cindy on March 27, 2016 at 2:08 am said:

    I don’t think that distilled water is the answer. I used distilled water for about a month and ended up with my ultrasonic humidifiers clogged with mold and slime. Manufacturer said not to use distilled water, but didn’t give a reason. Now I know the reason! Big mess, and took lots of cleaning to get all of the mold removed. I have such hard water that I’ve started useing 2/3 tank of distilled + 8 drops of Clorox per gallon of distilled water, then top off the tank with tap water. (Plain tap water in the humidifiers leave a thick dust of minerals all over my furniture and floors.) So far, that mixture is working well, but still have orange flames on my cooktop.

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