Experts estimate 630,000 gas leaks in homes every year. Unfortunately, gas leaks are dangerous and severe. If you don’t find and fix the leak quickly, it can lead to serious problems.
The question is, how do you know you have a furnace gas leak? While there are some obvious signs, you might not know how to look for them.
As a homeowner, it might be helpful to learn the signs. After all, learning the signs can help you spot the problem faster.
Here are four warning signs to watch for that can indicate a furnace gas leak.
1. You Smell Gas
The smell is one of the most common signs of a furnace gas leak. Most gas-powered furnaces use natural gas or propane as the energy source. A furnace burns the gas to create the heat it distributes to the home.
These gases have a smell. So if you’re near leaking gas, you’ll sense the odor. However, you might be surprised to learn that these gases don’t have a natural smell. Instead, gas companies place an additive in them.
Most people describe this as smelling like rotten eggs. It’s a sulfur smell that is there to alert you of a problem. More gas leaks would go unnoticed without this added scent.
So if you’re learning how to detect a gas leak, this is the first sign to understand.
It’s important to know that a minor furnace leak will only allow a small amount of gas to leak. Thus, you might only smell it if you’re standing next to your furnace.
However, if your system has a major leak, you might smell the gas permeating your house.
In either case, you must address the issue quickly. You can begin by turning off the gas valve to your home if you know how. However, contact an HVAC company immediately if you don’t know how.
The HVAC company can address the issue quickly, reducing the risks that gas leaks cause.
2. Health Issues
When you have a home gas leak, you’ll breathe in this gas. Unfortunately, this can make you sick. It can also make your pets ill and kill houseplants you own.
If you develop flu-like symptoms, you might ask, “is my furnace leaking gas?” After all, breathing in gas can cause flu-like symptoms.
It can make you feel nauseous, tired, and achy. It can also lead to dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. In some cases, it even leads to chest pain, nosebleeds, and other health issues.
If you have pets, they will usually experience symptoms before you do. You might realize there is a problem if your pets suddenly become sick.
Seeing your house plants die is another sign to look for, as this also happens from a gas leak.
Gas leaking into your home damages your indoor air quality. Of course, many things can cause poor indoor air quality, but most are not as dangerous as a gas leak.
If you have health symptoms like the ones listed here and suspect a gas leak, leave your home. Staying in the house with a gas leak can lead to serious health issues and even death.
3. Hissing Sounds Coming From the Furnace
Some homeowners detect gas leaks from hearing sounds coming from their furnaces. The most common sound you’ll hear from a furnace leak is hissing.
Hissing is a sound that results from air leaking from something. When gas leaks from a furnace, it can also resemble a hissing sound.
The hissing sound might not be loud, but it’s loud enough that you’ll hear it when standing near the furnace.
However, you might not hear this sound while the furnace runs. After all, the furnace motor and blower sounds are loud. Thus, you’ll only hear the hissing when the furnace is off.
If you suspect a leak, stand by your furnace when it’s not running and listen closely. Contact an HVAC company if you hear a hissing sound, as this likely indicates a gas leak.
Ignoring a sign like this is not wise; a gas leak won’t fix itself. Instead, it will worsen and could lead to severe problems.
For example, gas leaks cause health issues, as discussed. However, gas leaks can also lead to explosions. A gas leak explosion can destroy an entire house and those inside the home.
4. Carbon Monoxide Detector Alerts You
Every home that uses gas should have at least one carbon monoxide detector. After all, this detector will alert you if you have a gas leak. Therefore, you’ll know if you have a gas leak if your detector goes off.
Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of gas. In other words, your furnace creates carbon monoxide when it burns gas to heat your home.
This happens naturally with all gas-powered devices, including furnaces, dryers, and stoves. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is odorless. Thus, you won’t smell it.
However, a carbon monoxide detector senses it. Then, it alerts you when it senses a high-enough level. If this happens, you must address the issue.
The best thing to do is to leave your home and contact an HVAC company. They’ll know how to fix a furnace gas leak, beginning with identifying the leak.
A gas leak can occur from any pipe that transfers gas. It can also occur from valves on a furnace.
If your home uses gas, make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector, as this is often the first sign of a gas leak.
Get Help for a Furnace Gas Leak
Millions of homeowners use natural gas and propane for heating their houses. If your home has gas, know the signs of a gas leak. Then, you can address the furnace gas leak before it causes problems.
Contact us at Anton’s if you suspect a gas leak. We can locate the leak and fix it before it causes any problems or damage.