If you use natural gas to power all or a portion of your home, it is important to recognize the signs of a gas leak. Not only can gas leaks contribute to explosions, but they can cause health problems or even death. Check out a few ways you can spot a gas leak in your home.
1. Smell the Air
Smelling the air is one way to check for a gas leak; however, if your natural gas is not burning correctly, a gas similar to carbon monoxide may leak into the air. This substance is usually odorless.
If the natural gas itself is leaking, a sulfuric scent will permeate the air. Many compare this smell to that of rotten eggs. Some individuals may not notice the scent, either due to a cold or because other items in the house are covering up the smell.
2. Examine the Flame
The color of your flame can tell you whether or not your natural gas is burning correctly. If your natural gas is not experiencing full combustion, this can emit a carbon monoxide-like by-product.
A blue flame means that your appliances are fully burning the natural gas; it is a sign that your natural gas appliances are functioning like they should.
Yellow or red flames can indicate a natural gas leak, as they occur when there is incomplete combustion. These produce the dangerous carbon monoxide-like by-product that can cause illness or even death.
3. Install the Appropriate Detectors in Your Home
Every home that uses natural gas as an energy source should have both a a natural gas detector and a carbon monoxide detector. Both of these detectors emit an alarm when the detected substance exceeds a certain level.
For maximum effectiveness, you need to have multiples of both types of detectors. Not only should you put detectors near your furnace, but they should also be placed near appliances that use natural gas. The bare minimum recommendation is to have a detector for each level of your home, but more detectors are ideal. By having multiple detectors, you can detect the gas leak quicker and get your family out of your home before they suffer ill effects from the leak.
4. Take Note of How You Feel
Once the gas permeates the air of your home, it will cause physical distress, including dizziness and nausea. If you are experiencing either of these symptoms, go outside to see if they are alleviated by fresh air. Symptoms that go away once you are outside may be indicative of a gas leak.
Contact an HVAC service, like Johnson Plumbing, for more help.