Updated: Aug 8
4 Signs Of A Furnace Gas Leak That You Need To Know
Gas furnaces are a popular choice for heating homes, especially and we see a lot of them in our area. While they offer an efficient way to heat homes, like any other appliance, they can develop issues over time. One of the most dangerous problems related to furnaces is a gas leak.
We have found several natural gas leaks in homes built within the past few years. A few were close to our Garlington Rd. location here in Greenville, SC. If you currently own a home in this area that has been built in the last four to six years and that uses natural gas for heating, cooking, and/or other services we encourage you to have a licensed technician inspect your gas system.
Here at Blue Ridge Heating & Air we are always striving to keep families safe and comfortable in your homes. We are also here to raise awareness in regard to the safety of HVAC operations. Understanding the symptoms of a gas leak from a furnace is crucial to ensure the safety of your household.
What To Do If Your Furnace Is Leaking Gas
First and foremost, if you suspect a gas leak, take immediate action. Determine what kind of gas leak it is. If your Carbon Monoxide detector is going off, turn the heating system off right away, open the windows in your home, and consider leaving the house temporarily. Call a contractor immediately.
If it's a major gas leak, turn the system off, and then do the following:
Evacuate everyone from the home right away.
Do not use any electrical appliances, switches, or your cell phone as it may cause an ignition.
Once outside and at a safe distance, call your local gas company or emergency services.
Do not return to the house until you receive an all-clear signal from a professional.
If you are unsure about a leak but still concerned, learning how to check for a gas leak on a stove can offer some insights, but always prioritize safety and call a professional to confirm.
4 Signs Of Gas Leaks
1. Carbon Monoxide Detector Going Off
Carbon monoxide is a silent, odorless killer. If your detector goes off, it's one of the most undeniable furnace gas leak symptoms. Even if you don’t smell gas, the presence of carbon monoxide is a significant sign that there might be a problem with your furnace. Do not ignore this warning.
2. Strange Smells
While natural gas in its organic state is odorless, utility companies add a distinct sulfuric odor (often described as rotten eggs) to make leaks detectable. If you catch a whiff of this smell, especially near your furnace, it's a strong indication that there might be a leak. There are often smells in the very beginning of the season when you first turn your system on, so don't be alarmed. If it persists, call a contractor right away.
3. Hissing Noises
If you hear a hissing noise coming from the vicinity of your furnace, it's a telltale sign of a possible gas leak. The sound usually indicates that gas is escaping from a small opening, and immediate action is required.
4. Soot Stains Around Your Furnace
Black or brown soot stains around your furnace or on the walls can indicate incomplete combustion, which can result from a gas leak. While soot can also occur for other reasons, it's essential to consider a gas leak as a possible cause and investigate further.
How common are furnace gas leaks?
While modern furnaces are built with numerous safety features, gas leaks are not unheard of. Issues such as corrosion, faulty equipment, or improper installation can lead to leaks. However, with regular maintenance and inspection, potential problems that cause a gas leak can be identified and fixed before they pose a threat.
Symptoms Of A Gas Leak From Your Furnace
Is it ok to smell a little gas from the furnace?
No, it's not okay. Any smell of gas, however faint, is a cause for concern. Even a minor leak can result in severe consequences, including explosions or exposure to harmful chemicals. It's essential to address any gas smell immediately and call in a professional to assess the situation.
Can you get sick from a small gas leak?
Absolutely. Exposure to gas, even in small amounts, can cause a variety of health problems. Some of the symptoms include dizziness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, prolonged exposure can lead to unconsciousness or even death. Besides, even if the gas doesn't make you immediately sick, it increases the risk of fires or explosions.
Can a furnace leak cause a fire?
Yes, a furnace leak can absolutely cause a fire. If the leaking gas comes into contact with something that can ignite it, an explosion and a fire can certainly occur.
How long does it take to fix a gas leak?
Fixing a gas leak can take anywhere from an hour to days. It depends on how serious the gas leak is, and which part of the furnace is leaking. Sometimes it can be as simple as replacing some screws, but it could go as far as replacing the entire furnace.
Fixing Gas Leaks In Greenville, SC, and Brevard, NC
Understanding the symptoms of a gas leak from a furnace is vital for the safety of everyone in your household. If you notice any of the furnace gas leak symptoms mentioned, take immediate action and ensure your home gets inspected by professionals. Regular maintenance and being alert can prevent potential hazards and ensure your furnace operates safely throughout its life.