Homeowners have been using natural gas to fuel home heating and cooking equipment for decades. And it’s generally safe to use. However, it’s possible for a natural gas leak to occur, despite our best efforts to safely seal the gas within pipes. When that happens, the chances of an explosion or harmful exposure to the substance increase greatly.
It’s important to know how to detect a natural gas leak, and every home occupant should be well versed identifying potential problems. Here are three primary ways of knowing that you’ve got a gas leak:
- Smelling the gas – One of the easiest ways to identify a natural gas leak is through smell. While natural gas doesn’t have any odor, utility companies add a chemical to it smells something like rotten eggs.
- Seeing the gas – Depending on where the leak occurs, you may be able to see evidence of the gas, although the gas itself is invisible. If natural gas is leaking out of a pipe that’s dusty, as it moves out of the pipe, it may swirl the dust around, too. If an outdoor pipe is leaking from under the ground, you may notice that plants are withering for no reason.
- Hearing the gas – It’s harder to hear natural gas; however, it is possible to hear blowing or hissing if there’s a leak. You’ll notice these types of sounds emanating from a gas meter or piping.
The best way to prevent a natural gas leak is to have your gas-powered home equipment serviced every year. Annual maintenance includes tasks that will not only improve efficiency, but the service also includes checking the system’s combustion and venting, ensuring a safely operating furnace, water heater or stove.
If you suspect a natural gas leak, don’t hesitate. Evacuate your home immediately and contact your utility company.
Be alert for natural gas leaks, and don’t forget to schedule annual maintenance this year by contacting Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning today. We provide quality HVAC services to homeowners throughout Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Natural Gas Leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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