How Long Do Helium Balloons Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 To 3 Days

Helium balloons make a great prop to be used in birthday parties, weddings, celebrations, or any such occasion. Helium balloons generally float up in the air if not tied to a sturdy source. The reason behind that is that the density of the helium gas is lighter than that of normal air. 

How Long Do Helium Balloons Last?

Taking a rough estimation, an average helium balloon would last for about 2 to 3 days. However, the actual time for how long helium balloons last can be less than 2 days or even more than 3 days. The reason behind that is that the life expectancy of helium balloons depends on a couple of factors. Among some of the factors, the major two factors which determine the life expectancy of a helium balloon are the size of the balloon and the type of helium balloon.

Firstly, talking about the first major factor that determines the life expectancy of a helium balloon is its size. For a helium balloon of size ranging between 9 inches to 12 inches, its life expectancy is about 8 hours to 12 hours. If the size of the helium balloon is in the range of 12 inches to 18 inches, it will last for about 18 hours to 24 hours. If your helium balloon is quite huge and falls under the size category of 19 inches to 24 inches then it will last for as long as 24 hours to 48 hours. Lastly, if the helium balloon is of any size ranging between 24 inches to 36 inches or to any size larger than that, then the balloon would easily last for about 2 days to 3 days.

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Size Of Helium BalloonsTime
9 to 12 inches8 to 12 hours
12 to 18 inches18 to 24 hours
19 to 24 inches24 to 48 hours
24 to 36 inches2 to 3 days

Why Do Helium Balloons Last That Long?

The size of the helium balloon is one of the major factors to be considered if wanting to know the life expectancy of that balloon. The reason behind that is that as the size of the balloon increases, the amount of the helium gas to be filled inside the balloon also increases. And thus the helium balloons would be having a greater life expectancy.

However, another factor to be considered to know the life expectancy of the helium balloon is the type of balloon. There are majorly two types of balloons, that are, latex helium balloons and foil helium balloons. Latex balloons are the normal balloons that are majorly used by filling normal air as well. These balloons have a rubber-like texture and are stretchy. When not filled with air or helium, these balloons are constricted and quite small in size. Moreover, when they start getting filled with air, these balloons gradually start expanding in size. On the other hand, foil helium balloons are majorly the balloons that are used in parties and other such occasions. These balloons are shiny in appearance and plastic-like in texture.

Based on what type of helium balloon it is, its life expectancy can be determined. A latex helium balloon would last for about a minimum of 8 hours and a maximum of 2 days. While on the other hand, a foil helium balloon would last for as long as 3 to 5 days or even weeks. The reason behind that is that latex helium balloons are porous, as a result the helium slowly and slowly escapes out of the balloon, thus resulting in a shorter life of the balloon. 

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However, talking about foil helium balloons, they comparatively have a longer life expectancy because helium cannot escape out of the foil. However, due to some leakages or holes in the foil, the helium balloon exhausts after some time.

Conclusion

If you are trying to figure out how long the helium balloon lasts at your party then you must consider two major factors, that is, the size and the type. The bigger the size of the helium balloon, the larger will be the life expectancy. Moreover, foil helium balloons will last longer as compared to latex helium balloons.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576599001460
  2. https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/6842553
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