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


Popular posts from this blog

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. The owner

Cylinder Sizes

We often get asked for height and weight measurements of helium cylinders. Whether you're renting or purchasing, it's good to know exactly what you're getting. It needs to meet your needs with regards to output, but in many cases, it also needs to be easily transported. If you plan to be mobile while using your cylinder, make sure it's something you're comfortable transporting. Will you be able load it into a vehicle unassisted? If not, will someone be available to help you? Do you plan on transporting it a lot or just occasionally? These are just a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on a cylinder size. Consider the following information to assist in your decision-making. Small Cylinder 55 cu. ft. Inflates approximately 65 12" latex balloons Stands 27" tall and is approximately 8.5" in diameter Weighs in at 26 lbs.* (aluminum cylinder) Medium Cylinder 125 cu. ft. Inflates approximately 200 12" latex balloons Stands

HX Loyalty Program for Large Cylinders

Chances are you've heard about or read up on our loyalty program. We've had such a great response to this program that now we're taking it one step further. Many of you asked if the program extended to large cylinders and we're happy to announce that now it does! Here's the breakdown... A large cylinder alone costs $300.00. You still need to fill it with helium and purchase a valve. We recommend purchasing a valve with a gauge so that you can monitor the amount of helium you have in your cylinder. This would cost $524.95. As you know, we granted massive discounts for small and medium-sized cylinders. And our newest program for large cylinders is no different. Now, you can purchase a large cylinder (full of helium) and a valve with a gauge for just $420! When you need it refilled, just pay $145*! Compare it to our other size options and see which one works for you . Written by: Miriam E. Medellin *Edited on July 24, 2019 to reflect price increase