Skip to main content

Fact vs Fiction

As a regular reader of our blog, you may be able to spot the truth from fiction very easily. If you're not sure or you're surprised by the answer, then you'll want to check out the dedicated blog post for that topic. Ready to test your knowledge? Let's go!


1. Mini-loons can be inflated with helium
Verdict: Mostly false

Many people reasonably believe that all balloons are designed to float. However, this is not the case with mini-loons. If you're unfamiliar with this term, allow me to define it simply. Mini-loons are foil balloons typically seen on sticks and included in flower arrangements. Though some are larger, they're known for ranging between 2" and 16" in size. They're available in several shapes and designs like most balloons. Recently, they've become more popular for the assortment of letters, numbers and words they're available in. Pinterest and Instagram have highlighted these trends and it's not uncommon to see these words placed above the cake table or inside a photo booth. Do not confuse these balloons with the large letters and numbers, which do float. But keep in mind that the smaller versions are seldom designed to float with helium. So why don't the smaller varieties float? In production, a different type of foil is used and it becomes too heavy for the helium to lift the balloon. If the balloon is labeled as "air-filled," it requires air inflation only. Mini-loons have special uses and advantages of their own. For example, if you'd like to hang the balloons from the ceiling or affix them to a wall, you don't need them to float. If your heart is set on seeing them float though, stay away from air-filled balloons.

Related: The Miniloon, The Miniloon: Re-Visited


2. It's okay to inflate balloons a day or two in advance of the party/event.
Verdict: True, depending on the type of balloons

Latex balloons generally have a far shorter float life than foil balloons. A standard 12" latex balloon will only float for 10-12 hours. By the end of that time frame, the balloon will have become dull and smaller. Smaller latex balloons will deflate even sooner and larger ones will float longer. For example, a 36" latex balloon can float up to 2-3 days. Foil balloons of any size, on the other hand, can float up to 2-3 weeks or longer! So the answer to this one is, it depends on the type of balloon you're using and the time of your event.

Related: The Float Life of Balloons


3. Rubber-tipped inflators can be used to inflate both latex and foil balloons.
Verdict: True

And don't let anyone tell you otherwise! We have customers who prefer to use dual inflator attachments, one for foil balloons and one for latex balloons. We even sell these particular inflators in our store. The generic rubber-tipped inflator will inflate both types of balloons though. So if you're looking to save some money, you can definitely get by with the economy inflator. In fact, it's the only kind we use to inflate hundreds of foil and latex balloons for customers year after year.

Related: Not All Valves are Created Equal


4. Vinyl balloons cost less.
Verdict: Mostly false

Vinyl balloons are popular with car lots and apartment complexes, as well as a few retail storefronts. The helium shortage of 2012-13 and the concurrent rising prices of helium at that time gave rise to the vinyl balloon. They are a popular choice because of the idea that they are less expensive than traditional balloons. And while that may have been true at the time, we did the math. And unless you're an individual who plans to purchase only a few, they are actually more expensive when purchased in large quantities.

Related: Vinyl "Balloons"?


5. Helium has an expiration date.
Verdict: False

"How long will the helium last?" is a common question around here. Helium has no expiration date or timeframe that it must be used by. It does not lose it's capabilities over time, unless contaminated or exposed to another substance, which changes it altogether. In a cylinder, the helium will remain until it is used up. And because there is a finite amount of helium in each cylinder, it depends on your usage that determines how long the helium will last. A large cylinder contains enough helium to inflate approximately 400 12" latex balloons. If you're a commercial account, you might inflate 400 balloons in a week or two, while an individual using helium for private use may take up to a year to empty the cylinder. Using larger balloons will also utilize more helium at a faster pace just as smaller balloons will lengthen your usage time. Of course, there is always the chance that your valve develops a leak, in which case the helium could seep out overnight without any use. To avoid this, always close your valve when you are done inflating.

Related: Helium Valves and Balloon Inflators: Use, Care and Safety




Written by: Miriam E. Medellin



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The HX Loyalty Program

Are you someone who throws parties often? Do you often have get-togethers and gatherings at your home on weekends? Do you love decorating and find yourself being asked by others to help decorate their events as well? If so, then you'll love this!

Chances are you have a lot of fun, but you might also be spending more than you need to on balloon decorations. Disposable Balloon Time kits are popular at several retail outlets due to their portability. We think they're great for small, infrequent events and you can learn more about them here. However, if you find yourself hosting or decorating for several events throughout the year, it may be beneficial to purchase your own small cylinder.

The HX Loyalty Program How does it work? Well, in a nut shell, you buy a small cylinder from us and we'll continue to refill it at a reduced cost. If you were to bring us an outside-sourced small helium cylinder, we could fill it for $50. However, if you purchase one of our small cylinders, w…

Inflated Balloons

If you've looked at our information chart on helium rentals and come to the realization that you simply don't need to inflate that many balloons, then you may want to purchase them inflated. We do not deliver inflated balloons, but we can sell them to you assuming you have a vehicle that will accommodate your desired amount. Likewise, we can also inflate balloons you have purchased elsewhere. However, if you plan on buying and transporting inflated balloons. please plan accordingly. Think Float Life For starters, keep in mind that balloons have a finite lifespan, or "float life." However, as a general rule, latex balloons should not be inflated any earlier than the event date. There are exceptions such as 36" latex balloons, which will still be up from one day to the next (though smaller in size). Alternatively, foil balloons may be inflated days in advance with little to no change as they float longer. As of now, we are closed on weekends. If your event happen…

Helium Cylinder Refills

At Helium Xpress, we can and do refill helium cylinders. However, there are certain criteria that must be met for us to legally and safely do so.

Please note if you purchased a Balloon Time kit from a store such as Party City or Walmart, these tanks are disposable and cannot be refilled. If you have an industrial cylinder, please continue to determine your refill eligibility.

Who Owns the Cylinder? This may sound like a trick question, but it's not. The answer to this question provides us with valid and important information regarding whether or not we can refill your cylinder. You might believe you are the owner of the cylinder because it's been on your property for as a long as you can remember, it has a self-made tag with your business name on it or because you personally paid for the cylinder. However, in some cases, it's still not your cylinder. This is why it's very important to purchase helium cylinders from a trusted source. Let us explain.

Business owners typi…