Gas Furnace Safety Tips
Gas heaters are generally well calibrated machines that provide your home’s heating needs. These units don’t necessarily require much upkeep other than the regular changing of filters and dusting off some of its components. Unfortunately, there are instances when a gas furnace poses danger not only to itself but also to your home and your home’s occupants. Case in point, when your home starts reeking ‘rotten egg’ smell this is usually a sign of a gas leak and must be handled immediately.
The Rotten Egg Smell
Homeowners need to understand that gas itself does not have any smell nor does it have any color. The reason why we smell that distinct putrid smell is because gas companies add a chemical mix called mercaptan for detection purposes only. The rotten egg smell serves as a warning for homeowners that something has gone amiss with their furnace and that it needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Also, the smell automatically keeps homeowners on their toes as they obviously won’t be able to just sit around and disregard the smell.
Other than the foul smell that a gas leak brings to your home, there are other indicators that you can also take note of. For one, a hissing sound coming from your gas line is an unmistakable indicator that your pipe is punctured or leaking. Another indicator includes having dead vegetation in a wet area along the underground gas pipeline or percolating ground outside the home. Any of these indicators should prompt the homeowner to shut off the main supply and get some immediate help from the utility company.
What To Do If You Smell Gas
If the gas you smell is coming from the furnace, it is important to leave the house the soonest time possible without attempting to switch off some lights or turn off some appliances. Note that gas and electricity are a very dangerous mix and a very simple static could ignite the leaking gas.
As soon as you are safely out of your home, immediately call the utility company to get the issue addressed. Warn your neighbors to keep a safe distance from your home and avoid lighting up a cigarette or igniting a fire anywhere near your home.
Possible Reasons for Gas Smell
The rancid smell emanating from your furnace is usually caused by a leak along the pipelines from the tank to the gas heater itself. Corrosions, punctures, or loose fixtures could cause the furnace to leak dangerous gas. Although the repairs for these cases are mostly relatively minimal, it should still be performed by a licensed professional due to the risks associated with it.
Minor Smell Around Appliances
Every now and then, homeowners also get to experience some minor gas smell coming from their home appliances because of the pilot light going out. In cases like this, it is important that homeowners are aware of any home equipment that makes use of a pilot light and where the pilot light is located. Before re-lighting the pilot light, make sure that you turn the gas off and allow some time for the gas to disperse before reigniting. If the gas smell remains even with the pilot light on, it is time to call the experts and call them quickly. This can turn into a disaster if not dealt with accordingly.
Any issue involving natural gas leaks require immediate attention of professionals. Never risk your safety just to do some further investigation or repair on your own. As they say, it is always better to be safe than sorry.