Floating balloons can add an extra touch of charm to your upcoming wedding, party, or special event. But before you start filling up those balloons, you need to decide whether you should rent or buy a helium tank. The truth is that there are pros and cons to both options, so it’s important to weigh them carefully before making a decision. If you want to know what we think, keep reading to uncover expert insights and valuable tips.
What to Know About Renting Helium Tanks
So, you have an event coming up, and balloons are on your checklist. Whether you’re thinking of a sea of balloons overhead or just handing them out, you’re going to need helium. Here’s a rundown of what to know about renting helium tanks.
Sizing It Up
The first thing to know is that helium tanks are available in different capacities:
- Small Tanks: These tanks are good for smaller events, as they can fill about 50 x 12″ latex balloons.
- Large Tanks: For those bigger occasions, there are tanks that can accommodate over 500 balloons.
It’s all about figuring out how many balloons you’ll need and picking the right tank for the job.
Breaking Down the Costs
As you would expect, smaller tanks cost much less to rent than larger tanks; here’s a good idea of the price:
- Small tanks: Typically around $80.
- Large tanks: Closer to $450.
This covers the helium inside. Remember, there’s also a rental fee, which might be daily or monthly, depending on how long you need it.
Deposits and Extras
Expect to put down a deposit, usually between $100 and $200, which you’ll get back when you return the tank. Make sure to ask if equipment like valves or nozzles is included. If you’re thinking about mylar balloons, they need a special nozzle, so check on that, too.
Transportation and Mobility
Moving the tank around? Consider renting a cylinder dolly. It’s an added expense, but it simplifies transporting the tank. Alternatively, some suppliers might deliver, but if you’re picking up, be clear on the return deadline to avoid extra fees.
Buying Helium Tanks
Not keen on the whole rental process? Buying a disposable helium tank might be right up your alley. Here’s what you need to know:
Convenience is Key
Unlike the process of renting, buying a disposable tank is straightforward. No need to find a local supplier, pay hefty deposits, or return tanks. You buy it, you use it, and you recycle or dispose of it appropriately.
Where to Buy?
Popular retail stores like Walmart or Target stock them. Or, for those who prefer the convenience of e-commerce, online orders are an option. Do you want to know the best part? These tanks typically come with a nozzle already attached, so there’s no added expense there.
Complete Kits vs. Stand-Alone Tanks
For those concerned about balloon specifics, some kits provide a complete package: a tank, 30 assorted 9″ balloons, and even some white curling ribbon. Alternatively, you can buy just the tank and source balloons separately, whether they’re latex or foil. A standard 14.9 cubic feet tank will fill about:
- 50 x 9″ latex balloons
- 27 x 11″ latex balloons
- 27 x 18″ mylar balloons
Depending on the supplier and what’s included, prices can vary. Generally, you can expect to shell out around $70 for the balloon kit or a slightly larger tank that’s sold without balloons. And if you’re shopping online, don’t forget to factor in the costs for shipping!
Longevity and Storage
Ensure the tank’s valve is securely closed to prevent any helium leaks. A well-sealed tank can last months, handy for sporadic balloon needs, like creating an occasional balloon bouquet.
Renting vs. Buying Helium Tanks: The Final Verdict
When it comes to helium tanks, it’s not just about filling balloons; it’s about efficiency, cost, and environmental responsibility. So, before you make the choice, consider these factors:
Renting may seem like a more significant investment initially, but it actually provides more helium for a lower price compared to disposable purchases. Hence, if you’re on a budget but need a significant amount of helium, rental might be the way to go.
Assess Your Needs
If your event requires inflating more than 50 x 9″ balloons or over 27 x 12″ latex balloons, renting is the clear winner. Not only does it offer better value, but it’s also more environmentally sustainable, as rental tanks are reused and refilled over time.
For smaller gatherings or one-time events where you’re inflating fewer balloons, disposable tanks can be a convenient choice. Alternatively, consider having balloons filled at a local party supply store.