Courtesy Plumbing

What You Should Know About Gas Leaks

Gas-powered appliances and furnaces are common in many homes across the country. Many people prefer gas appliances and furnaces over electric appliances and furnaces because they tend to be a little more cost-effective to operate. Gas is clean, dependable, and affordable, however owning a gas appliance or furnace does come with a whole other set of responsibilities, and that is gas safety. Gas leaks can happen for a variety of reasons. Here is what you should know about gas leaks.

A Few Quick Facts About Natural Gas

Natural gas is odorless, so gas companies add a sulfur smell to it to alert people in the event of a gas leak.

  • Natural gas is lighter than air.
  • The natural gas industry employs nearly 400 million Americans.
  • Natural gas was first used in homes during the first century A.D. in Persia.
  • Britain was the first county to commercialize natural gas.
  • Natural gas emits 45% less carbon dioxide than electricity generated from coal.
  • Many power plants now use natural gas to generate electricity.

Safety is really important when it comes to running gas appliances and furnaces. Gas leaks can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, fire, and explosions. That is why it is really important to deal with gas leaks right away. Some signs that there is a gas leak include the smell of gas, the hissing sound of gas escaping, or if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous.

Gas leaks can occur because appliances and or furnaces are not properly maintained or installed, or sometimes with older appliances and furnaces. Gas leaks can often occur from a miss-fitted, loose, or broken gas supply line. This is one of the reasons why routine maintenance done by a professional is so important. A professional who is certified to handle gas will be able to check for gas leaks, replace any worn out parts, and properly clean and lubricate all of the mechanical parts.  

Safety Tips

  • Always seek professional help right away if you suspect a gas leak. Contact your gas company to let them know you suspect a gas leak.
  • Always make sure carbon monoxide detectors are working by changing out the batteries on a regular basis.
  • Always make sure you have a nice, strong, blue fire in your pilot. A pilot that goes out all the time is a good indication that your unit should be serviced by a professional.
  • Keep combustible items away from your furnace and water heater. Also, make sure you keep the area free from clutter to prevent fire.
  • Keep an eye out for soot or any black or brown scorched areas.
  • Make sure you have your furnace serviced once a year by a professional.

For more information on gas leaks and other home maintenance topics please check out the rest of our articles.