To a homeowner, the words furnace gas leak can create quite a few nasty emotions. Namely: panic.
The fear of noxious gasses, harmful liquids and deadly explosions that are often attributed to gas or oil is a very real one. One that is bolstered by horrific news stories, and social media shares. But, the experts at Jack Lehr prefer to avoid the scare tactics and clickbait. It doesn’t help either you, or us to make you afraid of gas!
Are gas leaks a real threat? Absolutely. Do they pose a risk of personal and property harm? Yes! However, the chances are low (very, very low. There were 20 documented cases of fatal leaks in 2011, if that tells you anything). Having said this, the threat of a leak is still quite real, and steps should be taken to ensure you prevent any possibility of leaks.
How Do I Prevent a Furnace Gas Leak?
Seems obvious, but of course the number one way to prevent leaks is to take preventative measures. These include:
- Ensure your furnace is in working order. If you’ve just moved into a home that already had a gas furnace, have it checked. If you live in a home with a very old furnace, have it checked. The condition and age of your furnace are crucial in assessing a potential threat.
- Proper maintenance. By proper, we mean by the hands of trained professionals. The majority of potentially harmful gas leaks are caused by improperly fitted furnace components, or general disrepair. The older your furnace gets, the more maintenance it needs! To be sure you’re safe, have a full maintenance performed at least annually.
- Avoid DIY gas furnace repair. We know we’re really driving the point about DIY work here (we even had an entire post dedicated to it!), but this is one of those situations where any mistakes at all can spell serious harm. Don’t be tempted!
Furnace Gas Safety Tips
Prevention is all well and good, but a ‘just in case’ plan is always a great idea. To ensure safety, be sure to:
- Install a carbon monoxide detector. And make sure it’s loud. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious threat, and you’re not likely to notice the gas when sleeping. Also, be sure this detector has a battery operated system.
- Keep an ear out for hissing. It might be your cat. Or, it might be pressurized natural gas escaping your pipes.
- Check your gas lines. If you have grass or other plant life near the gas line, keep an eye on it. A leak will kill these plants, and this can serve as a good indication that something has gone awry.
- Know the smell of carbon monoxide. Actually, this is a little deceptive. Carbon monoxide doesn’t actually smell like anything. But Mercaptan (Methanethiol), which is added to natural gas in small doses, smells like bad eggs, or more accurately sulfur. If you notice this smell, get out of the house and call an emergency number.
Solutions and Safety in the Greater Lehigh Valley with Jack Lehr
We take safety very seriously. Natural gas is an exceptional option for heating your home, and our experts trust it wholly. But, safety works best when respected. Take steps to protect your home, and your health by ensuring your furnace gets the maintenance and care it needs.
A furnace gas leak is potentially very serious, so let us ensure your furnace is in perfect shape! Contact our certified experts today to learn more about gas safety, or to set an appointment for your furnace maintenance today!